The focus point of this special, summer edition of our English Conversation Club will be the life and work of István Sajó, architect. With the help of professional tourist guide Nóra Erdei, we will visit some of the iconic buildings in the city center designed by Sajó, and will also discuss his work in other parts of the world, most notably in New York City and Florida.

This event is subject to registration and has a limited number of attendees. To register, please send an email to the following address (NOT the normal email address of AC Debrecen): 

Sajó was born in Debrecen in 1896 into a middle-class Jewish family. After fighting in World War I, where he earned several medals, he graduated from the Technical University of Budapest in 1920. Still in his twenties, he travelled first to Germany and then moved to North America, first to Florida, and then from 1926, he worked for three years in New York architectural studios, where he designed four building complexes. In 1928, Sajó returned to his hometown, Debrecen, where he died in 1961 in the very stadium he had designed.

The house at 6 Hatvan Street is an excellent work of Sajó’s, built-in 1928-1931 by the status quo ante Israelite community. The villa on Simonyi Street, next to Pálma Restaurant, was built by Sajó in 1929 for the cultural patron, orphanage founder and criminal lawyer Jenő Fényes. Another building on Simonyi Road, built for Pál Geiger in 1930, was designed along similar lines.

Sajó’s first post-war work was the restoration of the Reformed Great Church, which incendiary bombs had badly damaged. He restored the burnt western tower and roof in March 1945. His later works included the building of the Health Outpatient Centre Debrecen on Bethlen and Múzeum streets, as well as the concrete shell and dome of the Main Railway Station.