An Ottoman Mansion

of the Late 19th Century


Galata Mansion

The second half of the 19th century saw a steady growth of the Ottoman Galata and Pera with the construction of European style multi-story apartments.
Habitation Yazıcı is one of the early examples of such modern apartments that were designed under the influence of French architectural style. It was built as an Ottoman habitation in the early 1890s at No 47, “Yazıcı Street” (now called Serdar-ı Ekrem Street.)

The building was situated opposite the apartments of Belgian family of Helbigs, who were bankers, but also ventured into a variety of investments, such as the early horse-pulled tramways of Istanbul.
“The Habitation Yazıcı” was the first apartment experience of some middle class members of the Ottoman society, who wanted to leave behind the anxiety of fire, as it was frequently confronted in the older wooden mansions.



So, the Habitation Yazıcı today represents a living example of an important milestone of transition from traditional mansions to modern apartments.
Along the street, one may today see a lot of apartments of historic importance, (namely Kamondo, Yusuf İzzettin, Hacı Said, Salomon Asseo, Levi, Elias Braunstein, M. Dikeos, Louis Agostini, Carlo Amancich and Zellich apartments, etc.) virtually all of them being erected at the end of the 19th century.
The Serdar-ı Ekrem Street, which contained the tallest and biggest apartments of İstanbul at the end of the 19th century, is today regarded as the most valuable street of whole Galata and Beyoğlu district. During the past decade, the area witnessed a tremendous revival in the extent of its cultural activities and the vigour of its nightlife.