Chatzikiriakeio Foundation of Child Protection is housed in a classical architecture building and its entrance is on 18 Kleisovis street, in Piraeus. The building predominates on the entrance to the first port of the country giving its name to the southeast district and covering the entire northwestern part of the Piraeus peninsula.
It was classified by the Ministry of Culture as a “Work of Art and Historical Monument”. It is one of the five most beautiful buildings of modern history and a part of the Greek culture and cultural heritage for future generations. It has a square shape with slight protrusions on each corner. The building is developed around a large patio surrounded by a portico with arched openings. The general typology in the architecture of the building was common for its period of time, while the classical element exudes strength and aesthetic beauty. Each of the four sides of the building has 14 arched windows. It has four levels: basement, ground floor, first and second floor where classrooms, dormitories, administration spaces and utility rooms are located.
In the surrounding area there is a small church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, whose foundation stone was placed on 15 April 1901. What is more, there is an Elementary School operating in the Foundation, which was recognized as a public school in 1980 and was renamed into “56th Primary School of Piraeus of Chatzikiriakeio Foundation”.
The building of Chatzikiriakeio Girls’ Orphanage was founded on April 30, 1883, by Queen Olga and was built according to the plans of the municipal engineer Konstantinos Theofilas, in a 5-hectare expanse, granted by King George I. The construction work was completed in 1897, but its operation officially began in the inauguration day, on 19 January 1904. The contribution of the mayor of Piraeus Tryfon Moutzopoulos to the long-term construction and operation efforts of Chatzikiriakeio Orphanage was very helpful.
In a course of more than 110 years, going through Balkan Wars, World Wars and one civil war, Chatzikiriakeio managed not only to survive but also to ensure durability.
The Chatzikiriakeio Foundation building was requisitioned several times over time:
- In 1913: in order to be used as a hospital for war-wounded.
- In 1922: in Asia Minor Disaster, as a hospital and refugee care center.
- In 1941: when Germans invaded in Athens, it remained in the use of foreign troops throughout the duration of the Occupation.
- In 1945: it was requisitioned by the British at first and later by the Greek government and used as a care center for the repatriated refugees mainly from Eastern countries.
During these periods, the Foundation was housed in Harokopion School in PIKPA facilities in Voula, in Laskaridou School in Kallithea, in a school building in New Smyrni, in a two-storey house, in 4 Santarosa street, in Piraeus.
The proprietary building of the Foundation was used again in 1959, along with a new start for a rise.
During the 1999 earthquake, the building sustained heavy losses and was deemed unsuitable for the welfare of children. After the evacuation of the building, the Boarding School and the Administrative Services were resettled in a prefabricated building camp in the surrounding area.
The restoration process of the Main Operation Building, after long efforts from Board members, was included by the Region of Attica in ESPA and was implemented by the Directorate of Technical Works of the Directorate of Primary Education of Piraeus. The project aims to enhance the static and architectural restoration of the main building without changing its morphological characteristics. Upon completion, that is expected in the near future, the building will be delivered and be functional and safe to proceed with its work.
Chatzikiriakeio Foundation was awarded the Athens Academy Award
in 1987 for its social contribution and the Gold Metal of Athens Academy in 2004, as it tries to meet the demands of the times, to operate according to the concepts of modern pedagogy without ignoring tradition and having a clear awareness of its mission in order to fulfill the vision of its Founder.