Who is Leonid Berkowitz?
The house was originally built in 1881 for Ioan Pascu, the first owner of this beautiful architectural masterpiece, but those who lived in it was the Berkowitz family.
Leonid Berkowitz, a booming banker, bought the residence in 1903 and modified it inside and out for his family’s needs. A well-known figure in the business environment of the 19th century, Leonid Berkowitz, setting up a loan house named after him. The placement in time is due to an official document from December 7, 1931, which mentions the “past 60 years of the Berkowitz Bank”, which after the retirement of Leonid Berkowitz, remains in the care of his children, Max, Elly and Adolph Berkowitz.
The Berkowitz Bank withstood the years of the First World War (1916-1919) and especially the period of German occupation between 1916-1918. Then it faced currency devaluation and rampant inflation after 1920. It was a very rich period between 1903 and 1926, when it changed its status and obligations. The Berkovitz family buys a lot of real estate in Bucharest, the bank having other offices simultaneously on Lipscani 24, Blv.Academiei nr.1 or Calea Victoriei 32 (for the years 1920-1932). There was also the company “Berkovitz Max et Co”, based on Calea Victoriei 88.
In 1932 the residence in Sfinţilor Street became the property of the state, following years and years of trials, but in the end, in 1945, it was confiscated by the Communist Party and was transformed into the House of Pioneers.