Elias Palme Factory

Another project the Czech National Trust has decided to pay close attention to and to put its efforts into is the Elias Palme Factory, a former chandelier factory in north Bohemia. The former factory is often nicknamed Eliáška and is located in Kamenický Šenov, which lies in a region that is well-known for its glass production and glass industry in general.

The CNT believes that the former factory site of the once renowned company which produced chandeliers to iconic buildings all around the world is not only a cultural heritage, but also an intellectual one since it carries the legacy of the chandelier-making tradition and significantly contributes to the genius loci of the small north Bohemian town.

These days the former factory building, a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture, is in a desolate state. This once prominent feature of the town, possibly designed by Leo Kammel who was a Šenov native and a well-known project architect in Vienna, has shattered windows, a roof requiring a substantial reparation and heavily damaged stucco decorations, most of which have fallen off already.

The factory premises were nationalised by the communist regime at the end of World War II, most of the town population were forced to leave Czechoslovakia and Harry Palme, who owned the factory at that time, emigrated to Saxony where he died in 1955. Following the official termination of the glass production in Kamenický Šenov in the 1970s, the factory building was subsequently used only as a warehouse. Unfortunately, the current owner does not have enough funds for the repairs and the reconstruction the factory site needs.

There are plenty of possibilities as to how the former factory site could be used. Even though the chandelier production will most likely never return to these premises, they could be utilized as a venue for chandelier or museum exhibitions or as workshops open to glass artists and their glass-making classes. The costly reconstruction would be supported not only by both local and international sponsors, but also by the Liberec region. But first and foremost, the whole site must be bought from the current owner. The Czech National Trust has endorsed the open call for the rescue of the site which was addressed to the representative bodies of the North Bohemia region.

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