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Ferenc J. Raichl (1869–1960)|
He completed his studies in architecture in Budapest in 1891. After that he was visiting European centres and studying the achievements of contemporary architecture. He settled in Subotica in 1895 and married Irma Varga the following year.
Until 1908 he designed a number of family houses and public buildings in the spirit of eclecticism prevailing at that time: the City Casino, the grammar school, the building of the Austro-Hungarian Bank in Subotica, the church in Bačka Topola and others. However, step by step, he started to introduce art nouveau elements into his works (the Međanski mansion, the former houses in the Vase Stajić street, the Council Hall in Apatin). On his (unimplemented) designs for the Subotica synagogue and the City Hall and on the Kohnen Villa in Palić, we can notice distinctive changes likewise his decisive commitment to the new style, i.e. art nouveau.
He was under 35 when he designed his masterpiece, the uniquely creative art nouveau style Raichle Mansion (1904) inspired by the so called Hungarian national style. Although he was an owner of a brick factory and worked at the same time as a construction works contractor (Fernbach Castle, a military barrack), unpaid investments and the high costs of his mansion meant a massive financial burden for him. He went bankrupt in 1908 and moved to Szeged with his family. There he designed four art nouveau style mansions, whereof the grand mansion of dr Arpad Gróf deserves special mention.
Since 1912, he lived in Budapest under the name Bernhausen-Raichle, he designed and painted, but none of his later works excelled.