My guest today is FRANCO BACOCCOLI, journalist from Milan, with very special ties to the Cottage district of Vienna:
Franco is no less than the great-grandson of the prominent Viennese architect Johann Hattey.
Nice to meet you Franco. Thank you for sharing your precious history with us and for answering a few questions. Let`s start out from a key point of interest:
AUREA: Franco, you live in Milan, Italy. How did you find out that your great grandfather was a famous architect, that he lived in Vienna? Since when have you known?
Franco: “It all started with curiosity in 1977. That was the first time I came over to Vienna, and that was to visit my aunt Diana who had been living in Vienna for years. She – unlike me – spoke a fantastic German and worked at the press office of the Italian embassy near Schwarzenbergplatz. She lived in Währing. I was a young boy then and became sort of fascinated with the Viennese side of my family, but only in 2008 things started to emerge from absolute obscurity. Until then I knew nearly nothing of Johann. “
JOHANN EVANGELIST HATTEY
AUREA: When I started this magazine, it was clear to me that one major focus would be on the “Life in the Cottage of Vienna” , a beautiful residential area built by and for the elite of the golden era of turn-of-the-century Vienna. I set out to look for a camera angle that would give a visual proof of the beauty of this so-called Cottage district. Turns out that the most representative villa – the one with the high green spire in the photo below – was in fact built by your great grandfather, Johann Evangelist Hattey. How do you feel when you think about this now?
FRANCO: “Of course I can’t help but feeling proud of what my great- grandfather did during his short life. This is a very nice villa indeed. I went to see it more than once and every time I feel there’s a particular vibe.”
Photos above: Representative Villa with spire in neo-empire style, built 1896 by Johann Evangelist Hattey in the Cottage district.
Address: Cottagegasse 31/Anastasius-Grün-Gasse 45
AUREA: How exactly are you connected to Johann Hattey?
FRANCO: “My mother Vera, who is now 88, was the oldest daughter of Frieda Hattey, who was the oldest daughter of Johann Hattey. Johann (1859–1904) was an Austrian architect born in Vienna and so he’s my great-grandfather.
Photo taken in 1896, showing Johann Hattey’s children:
Frieda, then one year old, with brothers Pepsch, Hans and Bruno. (Bruno died in 1955 in Vienna)
AUREA: You are from the Italian branch of the Hattey Family, but you had no trace of your famous descendent in Vienna, no idea that he had been a prominent architect, shaping the face of 18th district Währing. How did you find out about this?
FRANCO: “Everything changed when the Architekturzentrum Wien published an entry about my great-grandfather on their webpage. This was an extraordinary step forward and I started researching from that.
It all started from that document, without that I wouldn’t have known about the buildings he built and that he was of Czech origin. I even travelled to Plzeň three years ago to search all over church books from the last century.
AUREA: Which houses did your grandfather build?
FRANCO: “He built a few buildings there during his short life.The second one he did was in 1896, the villa with the green spire, in Wien 18, Cottagegasse 31 / Anastasius-Grün-Gasse 45. His first one was Währinger Straße 114 and his last one Hofstattgasse 15. Over the years I managed to visit them all. “
The villa in the Cottage district was recently sold to a Romanian Medical Tycoon, owners of Medical Prestige, a medical analyst specialty company with ties to Austria for over 7 Million Euros. Registered owner is Ilinca Oprescu, the wife of the former Romanian medical doctor and politician, former mayor of Bucharest, Mircea Oprescu.
AUREA: Do you have any memories that connect in one way or other to your famous descendent?
FRANCO: “Well, as far as I know, the Hatteys never lived in the Cottage district (Cottageviertel in German). Johann built the villa and then probably sold it as soon as it was finished. They lived in Gersthoferstrasse. They were probably quite well off – a couple of years ago my mother remembered that her mother told her they had horses and a private French teacher…”
AUREA: Thank you very much!
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MORE BUILDINGS BY JOHANN HATTEY
Buildings by Hattey in 18th district of Vienna, Währing:
All buildings made by Hattey according to the Architekturzentrum Website: (red will be blogged on this page)
|1892||Miethaus, Wien 18, Währinger Straße 114|
|1896||Villa, Wien 18, Cottagegasse 31 / Anastasius-Grün-Gasse 45|
|1897||Miethaus, Wien 18, Herbeckstraße 38|
|1898||„Johannes-Hof“, Wien 18, Gersthofer Straße 65 / Ferrogasse 2 / Salierigasse 42 (Entw.+Ausf.; 1904 Erweiterung durch Arnold Heymann)|
|1900||Wohnhaus, Wien 18, Witthauergasse 38 (BH+Entw.+Ausf.)|
|1901||Miethaus, Wien 18, Plenergasse 5|
|1902||Miethaus, Wien 18, Wallrißstraße 6 und 8|
|1902-1903||Wohnhaus, Wien 6, Linke Wienzeile 174 / Morizgasse 1|
|1903||Miethaus, Wien 18, Thimiggasse 30A|
|1903-1904||Miethaus, Wien 18, Hofstattgasse 14 (Entw.+Ausf.)|
|1904||Miethaus „Augusten-Hof”, Wien 18, Hofstattgasse 15 (Entw. Franz Rohleder; Ausf.)|
My gratitude goes to Franco Bacoccoli for granting permission to AUREA.link to use the historic photos of the Hattey family on this site.