Pańska Street was named in 1770, after the owner of the Bielino jurydyka1 in Warsaw, marshal Franciszek Bieliński (who besides that had properties in Otwock and Radzymin). The street also bore the name of “Nowa” and, later on, “Wspaniała”. As early as 1784, the street had four brick houses, 63 wooden houses, and a mill.
What we are interested in is the address of 100 Pańska Street: a townhouse previously owned by a private corporation called Własność (mortgage number 1237). The building was erected in the early 20th century, around 1910, its construction being financed by 22 shareholders (17 of whom belonged to the Warsaw-Vienna railway). The townhouse is currently inhabited. Inside, there is a wooden staircase, a fairly well-preserved parquet floor with Marywil tiles and tall, almost 4-metres high doorways; remarkably, there are still bullet holes in the outside walls. Unfortunately, the townhouse as a whole is in a horrid condition.
According to an old phonebook, this address once belonged to Beyer i S-ka - a company which used to sell art supplies, such as paints or painting tools. What is more important is that 100 Pańska Street was home to Wiesław Michnikowski - a remarkable Polish artist. Michnikowski was born here - in Mirów, 100 Pańska Street, on the 3rd of June 1922, and his family resided on the 3rd floor at number 37 up until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. This celebrated stage and film actor, who also performed in various Warsaw cabarets, attended a nearby school: Sowiński Middle School at Rogalińska Street. In an extended interview Michnikowski reminisces about his days there and talks about how the students of the school had access to a small astronomical observatory and were permitted to grow plants and vegetables in the front yard.
Most of you are likely familiar with Mr Michnikowski thanks to his work in the Kabaret Starszych Panów (Old(er) Gentlemen Cabaret) and Dudek Cabaret or know him from such movies as Hello, Fred The Beard, Gangsterzy i cilantro (Gangsters and philanthropists), Sexmission and Four Tank- Men and a Dog. The younger generation will recognise the actor’s voice, as he dubbed the beloved Papa Smurf.