On the Day of Memory, technical report of the Central Post Office in Skopje is unveiled by the Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute
Read/download the Report in PDF
On this significant day of remembrance, commemorating the earthquake that shook Skopje on 26 July 1963, Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute are publishing the technical report of the Central Post Office in Skopje, North Macedonia. This momentous document pays tribute and calls for immediate rehabilitation to a historic building that has come to symbolise the remarkable revitalisation of Skopje in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake.
The technical report is a result of the mission and research implemented by the experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute at the Central Post Office in Skopje. This iconic building was listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe for 2021, highlighting the urgent need for its preservation. The experts have issued a comprehensive technical report summarising their findings.
The report emphasises the importance of rehabilitating this distinguished architectural heritage building, which is long overdue. Its restoration would not only enhance the key location within the city but also provide a venue for cultural and social events, benefiting the local community. To ensure the successful preservation of the building, experts advise implementing a series of actions and effectively managing these processes. Their recommendations encompass various aspects, including comments on efficient coordination and management, rehabilitation, feasibility research, conservation measures, and operational procedures of the building. They emphasise that the decision regarding the entity responsible for the rehabilitation is crucial in driving the necessary actions forward.
The technical report was compiled based on a series of online meetings and a physical mission conducted between 29 May and 1 June 2023. The team comprised of Peter Bond and Mario Aymerich, Technical Consultants provided by the EIB Institute, and Graham Bell, Member of the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme, the team collaborated with the local delegation, the POST coordinating team (CPOST), including the nominators of the Central Post Office: Suzana Kasovska Georgieva, Blagica Stojcevska, Dr. Georgi Georgiev and Konstantin Dimitrovski.
In addition to providing a brief history of the site, the technical report summarises the overall condition of the building. It offers recommendations on conservation, integration of the building, general operations, and maintenance. Following its inclusion on the 2021 List of 7 Most Endangered, the Central Post Office has been listed as a “protected heritage” of the country, showcasing progress toward safeguarding it. The experts estimate the total cost of rehabilitating the Central Post Office might be of the order of €10 million with a minimum work duration of three years. They stress the importance of promptly appointing a task force or project manager to advance the various activities and coordinate decision-making, including the effective utilisation of the EIB Grant.
David Geer, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, stated: “The Central Post Office designed by Macedonian architect, Janko Konstantinov, is one of the finest buildings to have emerged from the rubble of the devastating 1963 earthquake. Today, the central chamber of the Post Office lies in ruins and is open to the elements. As we mark the 60th anniversary of the earthquake, it is time to take action to protect this masterpiece of modernism, giving it fresh life and preserving it as a tribute to those that rebuilt this city, and a symbol of hope and vision for the future. Thanks to the work of Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute, the authorities now have to hand a technical report together with recommendations for the way forward”.
The Board of Europa Nostra, on the basis of the opinion expressed by the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme, stated: “The Central Post Office represents everything the 7 Most Endangered Programme is about: a heritage site of extraordinary significance that is a bold symbol of the rebirth of a city post-earthquake. This site needs to be reborn a second time.”
Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute recognise the significance of rehabilitating this distinguished architectural heritage building, both for European heritage history and the local urban dynamic. The preservation efforts would not only restore its splendour but also contribute to the city by offering a venue for cultural and social events accessible to all.