The building with the most representative facade on today’s Rákóczi Street is the former Mayer Mansion. In its place stood the house and premises of József Lengyel (1832-1895), a merchant of building materials and wine, the first village mayor’s counselor of Israelite religion in Marcali. His son-in-law, Dr. Ignác Mayer (1856-1932), opened his law office in Marcali in 1884, which he managed for nearly fifty years. As a prominent member of the Jewish middle class of the settlement, he and his wife, Sarolta Lengyel, built their two-storied house here in 1903. The architect was a designer named N. Szabó from Budapest, while the contractor was a local master builder named Ferenc Sztelek Jr.
The family’s apartment was located upstairs. Later, he ran the law firm Mayer & Dénes in cooperation with Dr. Antal Dénes. On the ground floor of the building, various shops let out to tenants served the needs of customers. The barber Klein, the yardgoods dealers Berger and later Faragó rented premises here, and the office of the Marczali Savings Bank Ltd. also received its customers here. From 1945, the Mayer Mansion housed military offices, and between 1956 and 1965 it was home to the town’s secondary grammar school, and the teachers’ official residence was also located here. From 1965 until 1976, this beautiful building was a student hostel. It is currently privately owned, and shops await their customers on the lower level.
1.| Rákóczi Street and Mayer Mansion built in 1903 (Picture postcard detail, 1904)
2.| The shops of the Mayer Mansion and those of the Isztl House (Picture postcard, 1918)
3.| House of lawyer Dr. Ignác Mayer with shops on the ground floor (Picture postcard, around 1904)
4.| The renovated Mayer Mansion (Photo: Dr. József Gál, 1991)
5.| Main Street with a group of children between the Mayer Mansion (on the left) and Hotel Korona (on the right) (Picture postcard, 1920s)