Chapter 16 HALF-FORGOTTEN MONUMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE
Stone constructions described below are excellent in our opinion, but they are either too dilapidated, or situated in disadvantageous places. So, they had become ordinary objects of the city long ago and now almost do not attract attention both of citizens and, all the more, of guests of Petersburg. Unfortunately, there are many half-forgot-ten buildings in our city.
As repeatedly noted above, during the end of the XIX-th century and the first decade of the XX-th the Russian Empire capital expanded rapidly. Large-scale building on vacant plots, as well as reconstruction of old one- and two-storeyed houses took place. At that time, along with natural stone of various kinds, ashlar brick of different colors, majolica, metal, glass and concrete and plaster, already gaining acceptance, came into use for facing of facades. Functions of buildings were of all sorts. There were private residences, dwelling or tenement houses, enterprises and so on among them. In the following we describe only some of them as an example.
The earliest of the edifices concerned is the former mansion of the writer V.A.Vonlyarlyarsky that was put up after the project by the architect M.D.Bykovsky in the 1850-s (Today it is an ordinary dwelling house with a food store on the ground floor). The building is located in the conspicuous place – on the left side of the driveway from the Lieutenant Schmidt, former Nikolayevsky, or Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation) Bridge into Truda (Labour) Square (Truda st., N2). Its western facade is very trim. A large balcony of the first floor rests upon four pylons faced with grey polished Serdobol Granite. Plastic caryatids standing on the balcony prop up the upper one decorating the second storey. Window piers over this balcony are faced with so called “torn” or “broken” stone presented by pieces of red granite of different shape and size 20-25 cm. They are arranged as an original mosaic and are mortared with unobtrusive concrete.
In 1877-1890 the architect I.S.Kitner put up a mansion in French Renaissance style for the factory-owner K.B.Zigel. The house was situated in Nikolayevskaya street (Marata st., N 63, the works “Positron” now). This picturesque two-storeyed building with walls of decorative dark-red bricks crowned with high roof with a spire over one of projections of the facade attracts attention with its beautiful pediments of an ingenious form. All architectural elements: erker facing, outside window-frames, pediments, portal, ornaments are made of grey Radom Sandstone. The portal is adorned with small carved pillars of red sandstone, the socle is made of large slabs of red rapakivi-granite. The style of the building is accentuated with a carved door and forged gratings. Nowadays the edifice is damaged, the sandstone is painted light-grey, everything is ramshackle.
Built in the latest part of the XIX-th century in the same at one time elegant style of French Renaissance was the private residence of A.F.Kelch. The project was developed by the architects V.I.Schenet and V.I.Chagin as early as 1846 yet. The building was situated in Sergiyevskaya Street (today Tchaikovsky’s Street, N 28). The facade of the edifice is all over faced with Radom Sandstone (the ground floor - with red sandstone, the upper storeys - with light-grey ones). The passage through the gate is decorated with light-grey Kirnov Limestone tinged with slightly yellowish. Rusticated sandstone slabs facing the first floor were worked up with use of a special method that made the stone look like a tuff, as its surface became covered with rounded marks left by surfacing instruments. Especially remarkable is the main staircase that is famous for its rich decoration. Its steps, banisters, balustrade, fluted pair columns are cut out of white marble, and the walls are faced with marbles of different colours. Also of interest are facades of the mansion looking to the court. They have features of Gothic style. An open-work garden pavillion (by the architect K.K.Schmidt) with a sculpture of a girl of white marble is the most attractive.
Combination of red bricks and light-grey Radom Sandstone is used for decoration of a private residence of N.N.Bezobrazova which was erected by the architects A.I.Vladovsky and Yu.Yu.Benois in 1902-1904. (Mokhovaya st., N 34, Academy of Theatre, Music and Cinematography named after N.K.Cherkasov nowadays). The facing of walls of the ground floor and erker, outside window frames, carved cornice are made of sandstone, the stone slabs being finished to imitate tuff by the same method that was used for A.F.Kelch’s mansion. The decor of the facade strikes with abundance of carved stone. Piers between windows of the first and second floors, walls of the erker, the portal of the main entrance are embellished with intricate ornaments: here are human figures and devils, animals, birds and plants, mythological beings and grotesques. The magnificent portal and bottom of the balcony supported by four gryphons with long necks stand out as particularly richly adorned with fretworks.
A granitic nose - one of fancies of architects of the Modern Period (the 4-th Line, N 9). The drawing by Ja.Kotov.
The mansion of the merchant P.P.Forostovsky (4-th Line of Vasilyevsky Island, N 9) put up to the project by K.K.Schmidt in 1900-1901 is one of the earliest Petersburg’s buildings in Modern style. The edifice housed an apartment of the owner with a winter garden and an office, each of them having separate entrances, that is why the layout and facade of the building are complicated and forms of the porches and windows are of great variety. Asymmetry of the facade is emphasized by the cut tower with a tall cupola and spire.
In the outer decor of the mansion yellow facing brick is predominant, the stone – red Gangut Granite – is of minor importance. Rusticated facing of the low ground floor and numerous architectural details are also made of this granite. Stone slabs of different form and finish were used by the architect so skilfully that together with ornamental ceramic inserts, shop windows and exquisite, refined gratings of forged bronze they lend the house specific picturesqueness and individuality, so characteristic of Modern style.
The Gangut Granite here is not polished, therefore its colour is not red, but is dark-rose. Narrow stone slabs with “rocky” texture form horizontal “layers” stretching in the brick-masonry along the facade and accentuating the upper storey. Clad with the same slabs are outside window frames and arches of the porches and gate. The surfaces of window-sill slabs and base-stones of the erkers is smooth. Worked up especially original are base-stones of arches of the main entrance and gate. They represent large blocks of the granite having smooth, flowing outlines with fanciful “snubnosed” projections typical of Modern style.
Dwelling houses in pre-revolutionary Petersburg were diverse. So called tenements (or blocks of flats, apartment houses) predominated among them. They were multistorey constructions owners of which profited from letting flats. There were houses with flats for workers. They were built in outskirts, near mines and factories. Tenements of cooperative associations built on common means of future owners of flats and houses of insurance companies play an important role in the forming of the city architectural face. Most comfortable and, as a rule, most interesting and richly decorated houses, including ones adorned with stone, were erected in the central parts of the city located on the left bank of the Neva: Vasilyevsky Island and, beginning from the 1890-s, Petersburg (Petrograd) Side. Their unusual decoration setting off them from standard monotony of contemporary dwelling houses (as a matter of fact, they are tenements as well) attracts everybody’s attention. The war of 19141918 had disrupted carrying into life of a grandiose project of building of stone dwelling houses on the Golodai island.
The house at N 11 in Stremyannaya street put up in 1906-1907 for the architect A.F.Bubyr (after his own design made in common with N.V.Vasilyev) in the style of Northern or Scandinavian Modern is considered to be one of the most remarkable models of tenements. This magnificent construction is decorated with different materials: granite, talc-chlorite schist, concrete, textured plaster, white glazed brick, majolic tiles of moss-green colour.
The asymmetrical facade of the house is faced through the two lower storey height with stone having “torn”, “rocky” surface. At the bottom it is presented with very large blocks of dark-pink granite, while grey talc-chlorite schist is used above. The bay-window is almost entirely faced with talc-chlorite having “rocky” texture at the bottom and finished smooth at the top.
The most interesting in the house decor are stylized relief figures of different living beings, theatrical masks and so on. All the reliefs are either carved of granite, or cut out in talc-chlorite schist, or cast in concrete. A low gateway is flanked with two thickset columns from granite topped with two huge blocks of the same rock where a fish and a porcupine are depicted. A keystone of the gate arch was possibly adorned with some relief as well, but today only metallic strengthenings remained instead of it. The window above the gate is decorated with masks and a porcupine carved from talc-chlorite. Standing on each side of the entrance are two huge birds cut from granite. One of them resembles vaguely an eagle-owl, and another – a marabou. Distinctly seen above the entrance, at the upper part of the first floor windows are figures of a falcon and a grass-snake. The stone-key over the windows are presented by pointed fir-trees cast in concrete. There are also depictions of the sun, moon and stars on the facade, as well as incomprehensible beings that look like birds standing in rows.
Animalistic images and theatrical masks decorate the facade of another building erected in Northern Modern style. It is the former dwelling house of E.K.Barsova on Kronwerk Prospekt (N 23) constructed to the project of the architect E.L.Morozov in 19111912. The lower part of the facade is clad with rectangular slabs of grey granite from the deposit Kovantsaari. The granite is worked up in such a way that it has “rocky” surface. Some architectural elements made also of granite stand out spectacularly against the background of grey relieved plaster. The central archway over the passage into the court rests on two thick granite pylons the upper parts of which are embellished with stylized reliefs depicting lions and snakes. Fixed above the archway are two big tragic masks of granite and granitic bas-reliefs showing eagle-owls are put in the wall surface at the entrances. Due to its grey stone facing and dark plaster the house resembles a castle. But this impressin disappears when the edifice is brightly sunlit. The fact is that glass with facets were set in the latticed windows characteristic of Modern style. They have partially survived up to now. Playing in the sunlight, these windows completely transforms the house face.
Of interest is stone decoration of the house built in Ivanovskay Street (N 14) by the architect B.I.Girshovich in 1905-1906. The City Duma (Council) rewarded the author of the design with a silver medal “For the best facade” in 1907. It is the former tenement and printing house of P.V.Berezin (on the 5-th of May, 1912, the first number of the newspaper “Pravda” was printed there).
Granite and light-green sandstone were used for the facing of the facade. The dark-red granite seems to be the Gangut Rock, the sandstone looks like that brought from Württemberg, Germany. The rich portal uniting two entrances and a gate consists of four well-proportioned pylons and a pediment of a complicated, broken form. The portal is clad of granite; the polished stone is decorated both with an ornament typical of Modern style and with metallic brackets for lanterns (today metallic elements have been curved and broken and contemporary lanterns do not harmonize with the building face absolutely). The walls from the low granitic socle to the second floor windows are faced with smooth sandstone slabs, the same rock is used for the casing of the forth storey and pediment. Unfortunately the latter had been altered by a later superstructure. Brown glazed brick and emerald-green majolic tile decorate the facade together with stone.
Numerous bas-reliefs engraved in sandstone add the peculiar beauty to the building. The bas-relief design is characteristic of Modern style: here are marsh grasses, leaves, flowers, garlands of tulips. The four bas-reliefs depict slim, slender girls in long romantic gowns with books and rolls in their hands. Poses and appearance of the figures, even their coiffures are typical of the 1900-s. The charming girl trios together with flowers and garlands form the sculptural frieze between the first and second storeys. The authors of the stone bas-reliefs are the sculptors V.V.Kozlov and A.F.Razumovsky.
The former dwelling house of N.A.Meltser put up to the design of F.I.Lidval in 1905-1906 on the corner of Bolshaya Koniushennaya (Big Stable) street (N 19) and Volynsky Lane bears resemblance to an old castle. This picturesque building is considered to be one of the best works of the famous architect. All features of Modern style are present here: asymmetry of the construction, smoothness of outlines, variety of decoration. For the facing the architect had used talc-chlorite schist the light-grey colour of which goes very interestingly with the ochre-brown plaster. Rusticated stone slabs alternate with smooth ones what results in the appearance of the relief surface rich in tints. Cut of talc-chlorite are ornaments in the shapes of ovals, garlands, rosettes, meanders. Dolphins, and human masks are carved from the same rock.
Resembling N.A.Meltser’s edifice is the dwelling house built by the architect S.A.Barankeyev in 1910-1911 on the intersection of Zakharievskaya street and Chernyshevsky prospekt (N 16/8).Its facades are also noteworthy for variety of ornamentation with stone, concrete, glazed bricks, ceramics. The stone is represented by grey granite from the deposit Kovantsaari and by dark-red Shoksh Quartzite. The granite is used for outside window-frames, the window themselves being specific for every storey, for some parts of the wall facing and for clothing of effective portals. The facing with quartzite deserves special description. Shoksh crimson Quartzite was always very expensive, a price depending on a size of the blocks. To decorate the house, pieces of broken quartzite the size of 15-20 cm had been used. They had been fitted closely and cemented together to form peculiar mosaic plates with which the facades were faced through the height of the two lower storeys.
The grey Kovantsaari Granite is used for decoration of the facade of the dwelling house of N.A. and S.A.Latonins erected in 1911 by the architect I.P.Volodikhin in Simeonovskaya Street (N 5). The lower storeys of the edifice are faced as with rusticated, so smooth granitic slabs and adorned with masks and a simple ornament cut of the granite as well.
Here and there dark stones – gabbro and diabase – were applied in dwelling house decor. Usually they were combined with rather light or brightly coloured materials. Examples of combinations of such a type can be found in some buildings on Vasilyevsky Island. Specifically, in the house at N19 in the 12-th Line rustic facing of the two lower storeys is made of dark-grey gabbro, whereas the upper part of the walls is clad with concrete and grey glazed brick.
Artistically decorated with the use of grey gabbro and granite is the house N 26, 7-th Line. It was built by the artist-architect D.A.Kryzhanovsky in 1909. The socle of the construction is clad with large slabs of gabbro having “rocky” texture. Above it there are five lines of red granite slabs with the same facture They are beautifully contrasting with dark gabbro. A line of granite blocks with a simple geometric ornament extends over it. Stretching still higher, along the border of the ground and first floors is a narrow belt of gabbro that separates the stone facing from plastered walls of the upper storeys of the house. Decoration of the main entrance, where gabbro was used as well, looks very elegant and effective. Being dark and gloomy by its nature, the stone shows up as quite different owing to the variety of surface textures of block surfaces, diversity of outlines and relieved finishing of architectural details of the portal.
Faced with solid rusticated slabs of black gabbro-diabase are lower storeys of the dwelling house at N 53 in the 8-th Line. It was built by the architect N.I.Alexeyev in 1912. Here, the black colour of the stone accentuates even more, than in the case given above, decorative qualities of white glazed brick, green majolica and red tiles used in the ornamentation of the facade. Red Radom Sandstone is also present in the ornamentation of the house – elegant pillars framing the upper parts of the entrances had been cut out of that stone.
Limestone in decoration of facades of edifices built on Vasilyevsky Island can be occasionally seen too. So, pilasters of Putilovo Limestone embellishing the facade of the house N 15 in the 12-th Line are faced with slabs of red rapakivi-granite with “rocky” facture. Medallions with vases and figures of girls placed in window piers are carved from the same limestone.
White Staritsky Limestone is used for the adornment of the bright, elaborately decorated house at N 20 in the 3-d Line put up by L.N.Benois in 1897. Outside window-frames and portals, as well as ornaments are made of this stone. The ground floor is faced with small pieces of dark-red rapakivi-granite which are joined by mosaic method. Majolic tiles with images of blue lilies against a yellow background are very spectacular among the stone decor.
Concluding the description of stone decoration of some dwelling houses constructed in the pre-revolutionary Petersburg, it should be noted that interiors of buildings – halls of main entrances, staicases and so on – would also be adorned with stone. Usually, natural and artificial marbles were used for that purpose. A range of colours and picturesqueness of stone were emphasized with metallic ornaments, stained-glass windows, stucco moulding and original lanterns. Unfortunately, interiors of dwelling houses have been damaged considerably more than the facades. As a rule, marble columns, walls, fire-places, window-sills are clad with several coats of paints, often broken, or crossed with electric wires and different pipes installed carelessly, negligently. Sometimes they are destroyed.
It is impossible to list all variety of ways to use stone for decoration of facades of old dwelling houses. Of course, artistic merits of them depended very much not only on means and taste of an owner of a house, but on a type of tenants for whom the house was built. Some examples of stone decoration of dwelling houses for middle estate can be seen in the photographs offered as illustration.
ORTHODOX CHURCHES, ROMAN-CATHOLIC CHURCHES and TEMPLES
Not long before the First World War several churches and temples were erected in Petersburg. Traditionally, natural stone was used in their decoration.
One of these constructions is the former Roman-Catholic Church of the French Embassy (Kovensky Lane, N 7). It was built to the project of L.N.Benois and M.M.Peretyatkovich in 1909. A severe facade of the church is almost devoid of decorative elements and resembles a castle of the Middle Ages. It is all over faced with red granites – Valaamian and rapakivi. The central portal, outside window-frames and door-cases made of granite having smooth surface stand out against a background of mighty walls decorated with rectangular, roughly chipped slabs that fit closely. The same smooth slabs are used for the facing of a tall tower and vertical pillars at the corners of the facade. The building of the Roman-Catholic church is protected by the State as an outstanding monument of architecture of the beginning of the XX-th century.
The church of the Saviour-on-Waters in St.Petersburg was an unique cathedral built in memory of seamen perished without burial during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. It was erected to the project of M.M.Peretyatkovich on the model of the Church of the Intercession-on-the Nerl – a famous memorial of medieval Russian architecture. Similar to the ancient church, the building of the Saviour-on-Waters was faced with limestone from Staritsa and decorated with stone carving performed by M.A.Mikeshin. The church was light inside, the cupola “seemed to be filled with clouds”.
The iconostasis was also carved from white limestone. Believers used to be strongly impressed by the central mosaic icon “Jesus Christ Walking on Water” and blessing “the heroes of duty on the bottom of the ocean” and visitors of the temple. That mosaic was made after cartoons by the artist N.A.Bruni. Bronze plaques commemorating the names of ships, battles and all lost participants were fixed on the walls. Contemporaries called them “the chronicle of horror”.
The former Roman-Catholic Church of the French Embassy (Kovensky Lane, N 7). The entire facade is faced with granites. The drawing by D.Dolivo-Dobrovolsky. 1 - Valaam Granite; 2 - rapakivi-granite.
The church towering at the end of the English Embankment and presenting a splendid view from the Neva, was blown up in 1932 in order to give place for construction of a factory workshop. Eyewitnesses told that a block with the mosaic picture of Christ’s head was yet lying on the heap of ruins for a long time. Together with the church demolished so pitilessly, the memory about the heroic seamen had gradually gone to the past too.
Some years earlier almost the same fate stroke Theodore’s Cathedral in Tovarnyi (Goods) Lane, N 13, erected in 1911-1914 to the design of S.S.Krichinsky in the style of Rostov churches of the XVII-th century. The cathedral dedicated to the tercentenary of Romanovs’ dynasty had been also faced with white limestone. One of its facade was embellished with a majolic icon depicting Romanovs’ genealogical tree that was executed after the sketch of S.V.Chekhonin. The construction was carried out on donations collected over the whole country. In the late 1920s the temple was reconstructed to house a dairy and became unrecognizable. However, the walls of stone coated later with paint persist today.
Little-known is an excellent temple – the Buddist Datzan situated in Primorsky (Maritime, or Sea-side) Prospekt, N 91, Staraya Derevnya (Old Villige) District. It was put up by G.V.Baranovsky in 1906-1915 in the style of old Tibetian architecture. Both forms of the building and its stone decor are unusual for Petersburg. The Datzan appears as if it were constructed of massive blocks of red granites. The socle of the building, steps and a floor of the portico, pylons are made of rapakivi-granite, while the walls are faced with Valaam Granite. Blocks of black-grey coarse-grained stone of an uncertain nature frame the windows.
A remarkable stone edifice can be seen in the 11-th Line of Vasilyevsky Island (N 8). It was built early in the 1900s in Neoclassical style. Originally the building was designed for the Naval Cadet Corps, now it houses the General Board of Navigation and Oceanography. The socle of the construction is faced with polished slabs of red Gangut Granite and the facade is revetted with light-green talc-chlorite schist. The building is richly decorated with columns, sculpture, ornaments made of the same talc-chlorite. It might be well to point out that the facade is kept in excellent repair: the stone is clean and “attended”.
In 1912-1914 a monumental building of the Geological Commitee was erected on Vasilyevsky Island to the project of the architect A.A.Poleshchuk (Middle Prospekt, N 74). The high ground floor of the building is faced with rustics of pink porphyritic granite. Above the socle the whole of the facade is revetted with slabs of light-grey Esel Limestone. The same rock is used for columns joining the two storeys into a single whole. The imposing granite staircase is leading up to three main entrances set between them.
One of the best known constructions by F.I.Lidval, together with the house of the Azov-Don Trading Bank, was the edifice of the Second St.Petersburg Mutual Credit Society in Sadovaya (Garden) Street (N 34) put up in 1907-1908. Owing to that creation, the architect had gained wide acceptance when he was 40 year old (he was born in 1870). The composition of the building facade is fully symmetrical and, according to a statement of B.G.Isachenko and G.A.Ol, is closer to Modern style than the design of the house of the Azov-Don Bank. Its stone decoration is diverse and elegant.
The ground floor with broad surfaces of show-windows is clad with polished slabs of foliated dark-grey granite gneiss. The polish permits to see that the rock consists of white tablets of feldspar - plagioclase, transparent smoky-brown grains of quartz of irregular shape and of flakes of black mica - biotite. The colour of the stone in places seems to be brown because of the smoky tincture of quartz. The rock is very picturesque due to its bedded fold structure.
The first and second storeys are faced with rusticated slabs of the same granite gneiss, but they are roughly trimmed here and, therefore, gain murky dark-grey colour. Clearly standing out against the raised background of the rustic-masonry are shallow, elongated vertically niches joining the both storeys into a single whole and lined with light, smoothly finished stone. A block of such a stone is inlaid in the wall at the gate where the rock can be examined. This is a medium-grained granite of uniform light-grey colour that had been quarried at the deposit Kovantsaari. It was also used for window frames and well-proportioned columns (cut in the central bay and rounded in the niches sited on each side of it). Carved of the same granite are adornments set over the central bay: a geometrical ornament of the arch semi-circle, a garland and palm branches under the upper balcony, a mascaron with a head of Mercury above the first floor, as well as bas-reliefs of women in antique attires installed over pylons of the ground floor. Sculptural panels above the first floor windows (sculptor L.Ya.Kozelsky), rams heads with powerful horns over the central arch and fine theatre masks under the side-arches are likely to be stucco mouldings. However, it should not be excluded that they could be carved of stone (sandstone, talc-chlorite, or limestone) and painted afterwards as demonstrated by well-defined joints. The upper part of the facade is clad with concrete finished to imitate light granite, but it is conceivable that the facing is really granitic (strict determination is impossible at such a height). Metallic balcony railings of exquisite design and two lanterns at the entrance are in harmony with the general style of the edifice.
The fantastic fish is a detail of the granitic setting of the gates leading to a courtyard yard of the house of the architect A.F.Bubyr (Stremyannaya st., N 11)
In 1908-1910 the Trading House of the Guards Economic Society (Bolshaya Koniushennaya – Great Stable – Street, NN 21-23 - the well-known department store called up to the 1990s “DLT” that is the abbreviation of the House of Leningrad Trade in Russian) was constructed. The design of the building was developed by E.F.Wirrich, S.S.Krichinsky, N.V.Vasilyev and other architects. Walls of this enormous building with a thin spire on the top of a corner rotunda are faced with light-grey Radomsky Sandstone and decorated with metallic bas-reliefs. The construction seems to be light and transparent due to the huge windows. The bays of entrances are embellished with pylons: at the doors leading to the small hall they are lined with bright-red granite, and at the entrance to the big hall - with light-brown marble from Keletze (Poland). The marble is considerably weathered and covered with thin grey coat of gypsum, but at the bottom of the pylons, where the rock is polished by shoulders of customers its noble colour and fine pattern can be seen.
The imposing edifice reminding an Italian palazzo of the Renaissance rises high in Karavannaya (Caravan) Street (N 12). Put up in 1914 to the project of the architects K.S.Bobrovsky and B.Ya. Botkin for the Petersburg Government Credit Society it was reconstructed a short time later in order to house one of the best at that time city cinematographs, namely, Splendid Palace that came to be known as the cinema Rot-front later and then was renamed Rodina (Motherland) after the Great Patriotic War. The facade of the building, exclusive of eight huge columns made of artificial stone, is faced with grey granite brought from the deposit Kovantsaari. The walls are decorated with carved granite bas-reliefs – mascarons and garlands. Three high arches concealing a loggia inside of which an entrance to the cinema is arranged rest upon granite pylons. A gently sloping staircase leads up to the entrance, its granite balustrade is polished and adorned with relieved delineations of griffins made of granite as well (sculptor A.E.Gromov). Perhaps, it is the only case of using of the granite from the deposit Kovantsaari when it is polished. There is a plinth of polished black gab-bro-diabase at the foot of the staircase banisters.
Interiors of this picturesque building are also decorated with stone. Walls of the cash-hall are lined with Fominsky Marble (from the Urals) having yellow colour with concentric pattern that resembles a tree cut. It is set off by slabs of grey-black with white and golden veinlets marble (probably, from the Armenian deposit Davalu) and lilac-pink with cherry-coloured spots Belogorsk Marble. Of these three varieties of marble a star is paved in the middle of the floor. The floor in the foyer is flagged with Belogorsk and Davalu Marbles.
Prompt development of industrial building in the city began since the middle of the XIX-th century. Though industrial constructions are characterized by strict and modest facades, nevertheless there is peculiar beauty in their design too. As a rule, they were put up in so called “brick-style” and only architectural details were performed of stone, the most common choice being limestone. The plant Arsenal is an example of such a kind. It was built in 1844-1849 in Simbirsk Street (NN 1-3) to a project of the architect A.P.Gemelian with K.A.Thon’s participation (artillery-shops previously located in the Arsenal building on Liteiny Prospekt were transferred there). Blocks of the plant are constructed of brick and trimmed with Wasalemma dolomitic Limestone. Cut from this light and dense, massive rock are portals and hemispherical arches over windows that alternate along red walls of brick.
Analogous materials had been used in building of blocks of the tobacco factory Laferm sited on Sredny (Middle) Prospekt of Vasilyevsky Island (N 36-38). They were put up after the project of the architect R.I.Kriger in style of Industrial Modern. Facades of the factory with large well proportioned and outlined windows are clad with concrete and facing brick of grey colour. Cut from stone – Putilovo Limestone Slab – are portals of the gates outside window-frames and decorative elements in piers. The limestone had been finished wonderfully clean and smooth. Currently it is well preserved and has almost no traces of weathering. Its banded pattern formed by thin brownish-yellow and greenish intercalations is skilfully used in the portals masonry and plays the role of an ornament.
To the beginning