Istanbul inn with iconic architecture seeks restoration
Vlora Han, an inn that highlights Western influences that crept into Istanbul at a time when the Ottoman palace was enthralled with the Art Nouveau styles spreading throughout European cultures, has been expecting restoration since it has been in a state of ruin due to neglect.
Built in the beginning of the 20th century to eliminate the lack of office buildings in the city’s historic and busy Sirkeci district, the iconic inn bearing the signature of the world-famous Italian architect Raimondo Tommaso D’Aronco is still open for service despite it nearly being demolished.
While there is a notary’s office on the second floor of the six-floor inn, the upper floors of the building are used as the notary’s archives and document warehouse. A kokoreç (lamb intestine) buffet, which serves at the entrance of the building, continues to host customers ironically.
Zeynep Ahunbay, a restoration specialist and architectural historian, said the site should be restored and brought back to its old splendor.
“While we need to look after and protect such historical special structures in Istanbul, it is a tragicomic situation that it has become a place where kokoreç is sold,” she noted.