„On the occasion of my 60th birthday, the whole country gave me countless proofs of love, and the Legislative Bodies voted, with one voice, a law for the establishment of a Cultural, civil and military Establishment, called the “King Ferdinand I Foundation».
[…] I am happy that, just as our Voyvods left charitable settlements, I can also fulfill one of My great wishes by establishing a Settlement, similar to the “King Carol I” University Foundation in Bucharest, following the good example of the beloved My Uncle We have decided that this new University Foundation will be established in the old and brilliant cultural center of whole Moldova, in the city of Iași. For here, after the first union of the Principalities, through great sacrifices the Great Union was forged with the other sister countries under foreign rule; and also in Iași We took shelter, together with the Queen, in the trying times of the war for national unity. In memory of these hard and great days, in which My dear Wife was My hearty companion in suffering and the best and steadfast support in everything, I want Her to be associated in the protection of all the Settlements of this Foundation.”
This is how King Ferdinand I founded his choice of Iași for the establishment of the University Foundation.
The sovereign declares his gratitude for the legislative initiative that gave birth to this institution, through a letter published in the Official Gazette of February 24, 1927.
After the completion of the legislative procedures, the management of the Foundation was faced with the difficult decision of choosing a suitable location for the construction of the palace.
The issue of the land attracted the attention of the media, which did not delay in disclosing to the public the desire of the university professors from Iași to place the edifice on the grounds of the “Urban Credit” palace. Its opening to Lăpușneanu street, an important commercial center of those times, favored the renting of the rooms on the ground floor to merchants, thus accumulating income for the institution.
It was only in May 1928 that a part of the land connecting Carol Street and Păcurari Street was purchased. The land was later completed by purchasing two other buildings, one belonging to the “Saint Parascheva” Church, located in the vicinity of the Foundation.
Today, the Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu” is in full restoration and rehabilitation process. Enjoying the support of both EEA Grants and national co-funding, the monument will benefit from structural repairs to both the old and new wing.
More than 10 million lei are allocated to the implementation of the project, of which 6,737,667.99 lei represent the amount of non-reimbursable financing (85% SEE Grant and 15% the national budget).
The project “Restoration and rehabilitation of the historical monument building “Mihai Eminescu” Central University Library Iași” is financed by SEE Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-Culture Programme.
*** Source: Gafton Ioana, „Fundația Universitară «Regele Ferdinand I» din Iași”, Editura Universității „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iași, 2018.
Photos: BCU Iași.