Adolf Lorenz
1854 - 1946
  Adolf and Albert Lorenz Memorial
1010 Vienna, Rathausstrasse 21
Hofr.Dr. Adolf Lorenz 1854-1946
Orthopädische Chirurgie Skolioseschlingen
Vienna I., Rathausstrasse 21
The building located at the back of the new university building and at the border of the Votiv quarter was built in 1880 from a plan by city architect Anton Adametz. Its style mirrored the expectations of the contemporary upper middle-class. The owner of the four-story building was Emanuel Prince Collalto et San Salvatore, military commander of Vienna and principal of the corps headquarters. In 1918 the house was bought by Nettie Kunitzer. In the thirties of the 20th century it changed hands again and the present owner is the Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt (AUVA), an insurance company.

Adolf und Albert Lorenz Gedenkstätte
From 1903 Adolf Lorenz had his practice on the second floor at this address. In the early years his name was already associated not only with the outpatient clinic for orthopaedic surgery in the Vienna General Hospital - which he used to call my most expensive hobbyi - but also with his private practice. The vicinity of the university and the General Hospital contributed to the development of an academic quarter, an area preferred for living and working purposes by several other authorities of the Vienna Medical School as well. The address Rathausstrasse 21 became a well-known synonym for orthopaedics much like the address Berggasse 19 was for psychotherapy. There Sigmund Freud had his consulting rooms after moving from his first site in Rathausstrasse 7. Evidence of the international reputation of this address for orthopaedic treatment is provided by the still existing voluminous card index with medical histories.

 On November 13, 1909 the Lorenz family has moved from Garnisongasse 3 to Rathausstrasse 21. Plans at the building control office show that in the same year the practice was joined with the opposite appartment (no. 10). Consulting and private rooms comprised a total area of approximately 490 m2. In 1930 the family moved their permanent residence to Altenberg and gave up the Viennese apartment. The consulting rooms with a total area of 245 m2 remained. They consist of 4 large and 7 smaller rooms which have mostly been preserved in their original state.

 In the 1920s the consulting rooms were used as a joint practice by father and son. After Adolf Lorenz' death, his son, Albert, used the practice without any alterations until shortly before his death in 1970. Afterwards the Lorenz consulting rooms were used by his widow Helga (1910 - 1993) as a curative sports institute until 1993.

 The original sign of Prof. Lorenz and that of the later joint practice (foyer) inevitably evoke in the visitor of this historic site a feeling of the untiring work of these two famous orthopaedists.

 On December 17, 1993 upon the initiative of the Adolf-Lorenz-Society founded in 1992, a commemorative plaque designed by the academic sculptor Prof. Rudolf Friedl and affixed to the facade of the building at Rathausstrasse 21 was unveiled in a special ceremony.

For a tour of the consulting rooms the following route is recommended:
The tour starts in front of the entrance door in the foyer (room 1). Passing through the short corridor one reaches the small office (room 2). Afterwards one returns through the corridor and turns left entering the fireplace room (room 3). Back through the hallway and passing the large double door, one enters the gymnastics room (room 4). Turning to the right one enters Lorenz' study, the last stop on the tour.
Ordination Plan

Rundgang durch die Lorenz-Ordination

Original map of the apartment at Rathausstrasse 21, now in the archives of the Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt (AUVA), an insurance company

Furnishing plan of the Rathausstraße 21
Furnishing plan
Room No. 1
Foyer - Waiting room

The foyer doubled as a waiting room for the huge number of patients who came to Vienna from all parts of the monarchy in order to be treated by Lorenz. In this waiting room, patients from all social classes rubbed shoulders sitting on the same bench.

Until his retirement Lorenz worked at the clinic at the General Hospital in the mornings examining and operating on his patients. In the afternoons he had his private consulting hours in Rathausstrasse 21 between 4 and 6 o' clock. From 1924 onward he received his private patients on Monday to Friday mornings between 10 and 12 and additionally on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays also in the afternoon between 4 and 5 o' clock.
The waiting room with its modest equipment was only slightly modified during the many years of private consultations of father and son Lorenz. In front of the two windows to the patio there are two original benches and two chests for the storage of coal. On the clothes rack there is Adolf Lorenz' winter coat on a wooden coat-hanger. In the umbrella stand we find an old umbrella which belonged to Mrs. Lorenz as well as Lorenz' walking stick.

This was the place where the patients waited before being admitted to see Lorenz himself or to the gymnastics room. This was indicated by the sound of an electric bell which was rung by the assistant who requested the next patient to enter.

Foyer - Waiting room
Room No. 2:
Small office
Small office

This small office was formerly occupied by an assistant responsible for receiving the private patients and preparing their medical histories. Besides the voluminous New Patients' Card Index of Docent Adolf Lorenz there are numerous exhibits described in the booklet Adolf Lorenz 1854 - 1946 Stages of a long-lived personality by Norbert Steingress. These include decorations received by Adolf and Albert Lorenz as well as photos with personal dedications of illustrious patients, among them statesmen and personalities from culture and science.
Room No. 3
Fireplace room

The mantlepiece in the fireplace room features the bust of Eduard Albert created by Hermann Heller.

Comparing the biographies of the professors Eduard Albert and Adolf Lorenz, we notice several parallels between their lives. Both of them experienced hardship during their childhood, youth and the early student years.

They both became famous through dedicating their lives to medical research and to the diseased.

When Eduard Albert died in 1900 the obituary speech was held by his student and friend Adolf.

Fireplace room
Room No. 4
Gymnastics hall
Gymnastics hall

The gymnastics hall features a coffered wooden ceiling and a wood panelling about two metres high. Here one can still find the devices used for the active and passive treatment of scoliosis and other afflictions. Pictures demonstrating the treatment by similar devices can be seen in the monograph edited by Adolf Lorenz Über Rückgratverkrümmungen (On spine deformations) distinctly showing Lorenz as the treating physician. These devices date from the beginning of Lorenz' private consultation (around 1903) and were used also by Albert Lorenz. After his death in 1970 the gymnastics hall continued to be used by his widow Helga for physiotherapy.
Real curiousities are the wooden trestle with the suspension loops, pelvic forks and redression bars, the adjustable velotrab, the footpullmanizer and the appliance for the active lateral movement of the body.
Gymnastics hall
Room No. 5
Prof. Lorenz' study

The study has, for the most part, been preserved with its original furnishings. After Lorenz' definite move to Altenberg / Danube his son Albert continued to use the rooms for his private practice. The exhibits are from both, father and son Lorenz. Like the gymnastics hall, the study has a coffered wooden ceiling.

To the right of the balcony door we can see Lorenz' writing desk with the table lamp and several writing utensils as well as the signature stamp of Prof. Adolf Lorenz.

On the long bookcase behind the writing desk there are several exhibits described in the booklet Adolf Lorenz 1854 - 1946 Stages of a long-lived personality by Norbert Steingress. The bookcase itself holds Lorenz' own works with handwritten corrections, manuscripts and rare examples of the specialized literature in German, English and French. Besides well-known standard works there are numerous offprints of papers written by famous Austrian and foreign orthopaedists, many of them with personal dedications to father and son Lorenz.

The left part of the bookcase contains the medical histories of patients from all over the world. They are of great medical interest but are as yet unordered. Besides their scientific value they give an interesting view on the social and geographic origin of Lorenz' patients.

Prof. Lorenz' study
Hofr.Dr. Adolf LORENZ Orthopädische Chirurgie
Adolf and Albert Lorenz Memorial
1010 Vienna, Rathausstrasse 21
Mobil: +43 699 11988553
Phone: +43 1 405 04 22
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