The building on IC Brătianu Boulevard, built under the emblem of the Romanian Academy, which was the beneficiary of Mrs. Dalles’ will, included an amphitheater with 480 seats, with a generous stage dedicated to the conferences of the Popular Universities of Bucharest, musical auditions and theater performances, as well as two large halls for exhibitions of fine art, weaving and stitching of folk art.
The floor was intended for a public library equipped with 90 desks, for researchers of scientific works and books intended for readers, and the wings on the right and left sides were allocated to offices and administrative staff.
John Dulles’ family, the definition of generosity
The family of Ioan Dalles owned extensive estates in Dâmbovița county and was composed of generous people, good householders, who collected a large fortune that they did not squander, but used it for the benefit of the community of which they were a part.
Eager to help those in need, in 1911, after the death of their daughter, Mioara, Elena and Ioan Dalles built a school and a church in the memory and honor of the child in Dărmănești commune in Dâmbovița county.
The Dulles were left with one son, John, who studied history and earned his doctorate in Paris. Returning to the country, the young Dalles was elected deputy twice, being highly respected for his honesty, work and scientific and artistic contributions.
However, he died at the end of December 1914, in the prime of his youth, at the age of 35, after a long suffering.
Before closing his eyes forever, he asked his mother to donate the entire family fortune to the Romanian Academy, to support the creation of an institution for the promotion of Romanian art and culture.
“I leave and bequeath to the Romanian Academy, the houses with all their premises, i.e. the building in Bucharest, str. IC Brătianu No. 12, as well as the houses with all their premises, i.e. the entire building in Bucharest, street Eugen Stătescu (former Gloria) No. 4 with the following destination:
From everything that will be taken from their income until the expropriations designed for the widening of IC Brătianu Street into the boulevard and for the straightening of Eugen Stătescu Street, and everything that will be taken from the expropriations, as the value of the land and constructions that will be expropriated, will be form a capital from which a small part, at most 10%, will form a fund whose income will be allocated for maintenance.
With the rest of the capital, within two years of the expropriations, after all the constructions that would remain after the expropriations have been demolished, a beautiful and spacious building will be built in the middle of the remaining land, according to the plan that the Academy will decide, but in such a way that it can have the necessary rooms for artistic exhibitions of all kinds, of painting, sculpture, architecture, fabrics and national sewing, etc.; then, for exams and auditions of music and declamations and, finally, for the courses or conferences of the association of the Popular University of Bucharest, as well as of other institutions that would be established with the aim of forming the characters of Romanian citizens by cultivating and educating their souls” .
This sa ales from Sala Dalles
The Romanian Academy entrusted engineer Emil Prager with the construction of the building, which was designed by architect Horia Teodoru.
During the interwar period, the Dalles Hall hosted conferences of personalities such as Nicolae Iorga, Octavian Goga, Ioan Bianu, Gheorghe Țițeica, Gala Galaction, Ion Simionescu, Virgil Madgearu, Tudor Arghezi, Gheorghe Petrașcu, George Oprescu, George Călinescu and Dimitrie Gusti.
In 1948, the properties of the Romanian Academy were taken over by the state, and the Dalles Hall was put under the administration of the Ministry of Arts and Information, then the Art Museum of the Romanian People’s Republic.
In the early 1960s, the beautiful garden of Dalles Hall was destroyed, and the area designed by Horia Teodoru was surrounded by two seven-story blocks.
The main facade remained in the boulevard, but the original Dalles building, which included a total of 450 square meters outside the concert hall, was preserved and significantly expanded, with new exhibition halls designed by architect Petre Svoboda of the Project Institute – Bucharest, reaching a total area of 2,100 square meters.
In 1962, the Popular University of Bucharest was established in the Dalles complex.