The name Karowa probably derives from fire guard carts known as kary which often passed there on their way to the Vistula where they disposed of litter from the city.

Karowa 20. The history of the building.

Initially a theatre was meant to be built where the History Meeting House stands now. Ignacy Paderewski’s company, the owner of Hotel Bristol and the neighbouring area, was planning to erect a large concert hall next to the hotel. The idea was abandoned as Paderewski became involved in Warsaw Philharmonic project. In 1928 the owner of Hotel Bristol and the adjacent grounds becomes Bank Cukrownictwa SA, which in 1932-1933 erects a tenement house according to a design by Antonii Jawornicki. Previously, there was a building accommodating hotel power generators at the back. It was adapted as storage in the 1920s.

The edifice of Bank Cukrownictwa SA survived the war unscathed. In the postwar period its interiors were converted and only few decorative elements and items of equipment were preserved. At present the History Meeting House occupies its basement and old banking hall with a mezzanine. One is reminded that there once was a bank by the blast door to the safe, now leading to the room where educational workshops are now held. The other storeys of the building are occupied by the offices and the University of Warsaw.