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Art Nouveau

One of the most little-studied buildings of an architect E. Y. Mesner in Odessa at the current address 5, Lermontovskiy Lane has been preserved perfectly well, but it is not known to the general public because of a very bad field of view from the street.

Type of building: mansion
Style: Art Nouveau, brick style, pseudo-Gothic style
Architect: E. Y. Mesner
Date of construction: 1913 (?)
Status: not detected


General view General view Main wing Side wing

According to reference books of Odessa homeowners during the first half of the 1910s, the building was located on a site owned by E. Y. Mesner. Hence, the construction is nothing but the own house of the architect. Boundaries of the sites are not very clearly marked, and the likelihood of errors in attribution is big enough. The property of Mesner borders sites of Radbil (no initials) and P. W. Klein, but the buildings located on them have not reached this day.


The mansion in 5, Lermontov Lane has stylistic similarity with another building in the neighboring area «Otrada», probably also designed by E. Y. Mesner — an apartment house of E. Fesenko (the authorship is ascribed to L. F. Prokopovich in some sources). The apparent likeness of two houses is, first of all, in brick fasciae, rounding bow-shaped window openings and high Gothic gables with lancet niches, and initially unplastered facades (in accordance with fashion trends of «brick style» at the beginning of the XX century).

The mansion of Mesner is a small one-storey (with a basement) building, moved back deep into the site and the L-shaped in plan. The fence from the lane side was irrevocably spoilt over the past century by reconstructions and installation of a high solid metal gate, but one of the sections, fortunately was preserved, allowing us to form an idea of the lost. A lattice of the preserved section is a fine example of retrospective Art Nouveau of the 1910s, an implementation subtlety of a flowing tissue from a single profile impresses especially.
Against the background of a large number of blind spots in the history of the house there is a possibility that the remaining fragment of the fence does not belong to the house number 5, but to an adjacent site, which structures have not reached these days.

Site fencing

General view of the preserved section Lattice fragment Fastening of the

A utility wing (belonging Mesner’s site remains in doubt), outgoing by the side of the building at the building line of the lane was preserved in a highly distorted and reconstructed state. One of its walls, which window openings are now boarded up, preserved ornaments of Obrist typical for Art Nouveau in piers.

Utility wing

General view Ornament of Obrist

The house itself was preserved best of all. It almost was not touched by reconstructions, and the façade has reached these days in virtually unchanged state. A compositional dominant of the wing, parallel to the building line, is a massive in proportions risalit, of two windows axes width, shifted almost to the edge of the facade plane and topped with a high gable — the only detail that is visible from the street.


General view Gable Niche Niche One of the details, flanking the gable One of the details, flanking the gable

A small terrace on a high pedestal with a stone balustrade adjoins the risalit from the right. Further, right next to it, a porch with an entrance to the house, preserved the original door of eclectic style with oblong glazed openings in the leaves, was arranged. In the pedestal of the terrace a large semi-circular basement window, which, together with the balustrade and terrace creates a spectacular and picturesque composition, is located.

Terrace and porch

General view Section of the terrace balustrade Porch

Entrance door

General view Lower part of the leaf A fragment of a lattice of the leaf glazed opening

The interior decoration of the mansion was almost lost. Almost square in plan, a small entrance hall leads to two habitable rooms on both sides. The house is decorated with a great restraint: stucco decor is almost completely absent, and most of the decorative elements are made of brick. The gable is crowned by an original weather vane (one of the few remaining in Odessa since pre-revolutionary times), and large figured chimneys, enriching the silhouette of the building in no small measure, are clearly visible on the lean-to roof.

Weather vane

One of the flues

On the whole, despite being located in the prestigious area ​​«Langeron», the mansion can be attributed more to the low-cost and not respectable housing. However, a modest one-storey building has a memorable look and appears to be a durable and reliable construction.



References and Archives

  • Article about the house in Antique blog


A huge monumental structure, built in 1905 for Odessa private pawnshop, can be called one of the most striking constructions in Odessa citing Italian Renaissance. An architect Vikentiy Ivanovich Prohaska, raising largely exquisite apartment buildings and mansions, however, coped perfectly with an unconventional challenge— the design of the building of administrative and public function.

Type of building: administrative
Style: modernized Neo-Renaissance

A. A. Digbi (building, the 1820-s)
A. N. Kolovich (rebuilding, 1851)
V. I. Prohaska (rebuilding, reconstruction, replanning, raising of the second storey, new design of facades and interiors)

Date of construction: 1904—1905
Status: local architectural monument
Second address: 12, Lecha Kaczynskogo Street (former Polskaya Street)
Previous building of the site: house of Sikard, old building of Joint-Stock Company of Odessa private pawnshop


General view of the building General view of the building Facade on Bunina Street A fragment of the facade on Bunina Street General view of the building Facade on Bunina Street Facade on Lecha Kaczynskogo Street( Polskaya Street)
House of Sikard, later the  pawnshop, before the rebuilding

House of Sikard, later the pawnshop, before the rebuilding
Odessa from the first years of its existence was, first of all, a city of trade and usury. Loaning was started in 1800, as, however, and pawn operations, when the city was sent 25,000 rubles at the supreme injunction for construction work that took place in the port. The use of money occurred under the percentage that was usually charged from the total amount taken, and the expense was on parts. If a money lender became aware of the unreliability of the merchant, he could at any time request a refund the amount back. However, the owners of pawnshops did not abuse such right: they valued their reputation, and for a termination of the contract a suspicion of bankruptcy had to be significant.


At the beginning of the XIX century Committee for the fulfillment of works in the port was formed. The president of Commerce College was actually a prince Gagarin, who later gave permission for the issuance of money in a pledge of valuables and goods. It is known that the first loan was given an Italian whose name did not come up to our days, but following loans were issued Odessa businessmen of that time: bills, showing the issuance of a number of loans for 1000 rubles in a pledge of 1000 pounds of fuel sulfur several loans of 1000 rubles and 500 rubles in a pledge of 80 and 40 pounds of wax, oil drums, fur goods, houses were preserved in the archives. For paying majority of debts deferments were widely practiced.

Life in debt, it can be said, was perhaps the custom, quite well-known people took loans as well. Among them there are two obligations from December 17, 1800 from Felix Deribas, who took 1,000 rubles in a pledge of silver jewels, and his wife, Octavia, taken 1,200 rubles in a pledge of ladies' powder set, a large silver tub, two trays, spoons and more.

At the end of 1886 in Odessa the first private pawnshop was opened (chairman and manager— V. Kirchner), it was not even partially owned by the state, and had a capital of 500 thousand rubles. Later, with the growth of the firm prosperity, the capital was increased to 700,000. Being a very respectable office, the pawnshop had as many as seven offices throughout the city, the most important of which was located on 12, Policeiskaya Street, in a large two-storey house of Sicard, probably erected as early as the 1820's (architect A. Digbi). Originally, this house was built as a grain warehouse («magazeyn») with habitable rooms, in 1851, the building was subjected to reconstruction (architect — A. N. Kolovich) significantly modified its look and layout. Since its foundation, the pawnshop rented this house, and in 1891 finally bought it.

Advertisement of Joint-Stock Company of Odessa private pawnshop

As already mentioned, the pawnshop departments were scattered throughout the city. In addition to  the head office of the pawnshop situated on Policeiskaya Street, there were seven more of its branches, four of them — of general purpose (in 26, Tiraspolskaya Street, 62, Richelievskaya Street, 16, Preobrazhenskaya Street, 44, Stepovaya Street,) and three specialized ones— on 22, Uspenskaya with large warehouses for  furniture storage; on 29, Mikhailovskaya Street, where it was possible to pawn a car, a carriage, a bicycle, a foot sewing machine and other bulky items, and on 14,Deribasovskaya Street, they took as a pledge gold, silver, precious stones and watches, and, right up to nine pm, as a person could always urgently need money. A loan is usually issued for a period of up to three months, after which one could still ask for a two-month delay its return, but then all unredeemed things, were sold by auction at the main office of the pawnshop on certain days of the week: jewelry — Mondays, furniture — Wednesdays, fur and clothing — Thursdays, bicycles — on Fridays. Besides, the pawnshop without issuing a loan, but for a certain fee, took different things in storage for one year, and some housewives preferred to leave fur coats and other expensive furs for the summer without any risk of damage by the moth, which was quite possibly in the home conditions. Very thrifty or staying in reduced circumstances citizens, before moving to the country even refused from the apartment and the furniture and other property gave to the pawnshop, where it was safely stored until the autumn return of their hosts in the city and rent them new or old accommodation.

By the end of the XIX century, the firm started to experience a strong lack of storage space for unredeemed and stored property, among which, of course, there were many very bulky items that required a large exhibition space. Besides, for implementation of auctions and bank operations required specially equipped rooms. The old building on Policeiskaya Street no longer met the needs of the company in the first place owing to the lack of space. In 1904, a construction work on the «adaptation» of the house to the needs of the pawnshop started. The project was made by a well-known by that time architect V. I. Prohaska, who, beginning with the reconstruction of the original building, raised in fact a new one.

Pawnshop building before the end of construction works, still without a wing on Polskaya Street

By 1905, all construction work had been completed, but an interior finishing still took a while. At the corner of Policeiskaya (Bunina) Street and the Polskaya Street a magnificent building arose, the style of which was made ​​in the best traditions of the Italian Renaissance with some elements borrowed from Art Nouveau. The new building of the pawnshop was carrying out in two stages: firstly a wing on Policeiskaya Street was raised, as evidenced by the photo of the end of 1904, and the following year a wing on Polskaya Street appeared. In fact, the previous building was entered in the volume of currently existing one, the first and second storeys kept the shape of windows and the width of piers. A passage arch location to the courtyard also had no changes. The third storey and a mezzanine were already overbuilt by Prohaska. The second floor housed the auction and operating rooms, and from Policeiskaya Street side, on the first floor, extensive areas for the storage of the pawnshop clients’ property were equipped.

Photograph of the building of the Soviet times

Photograph before 1965 Photograph of the end of the 1950-s Fragments of the building facade in the photograph of Vladimir Georgievich Nikitenko, the 70-s

The building is located on a corner site and is L-shaped in plan. The wing on Policeiskaya Street is more extensive than the wing on Polskaya Street (17 to 13 window axes, respectively), and occupies most of the block. A large scale structure is emphasizes not only by chiaroscuro of large forms with refined profiles and moldings, but by a general proportional order as well.

An extreme window axis, adjacent to the neighboring hotel «Bristol», is singled out by a massive risalit. The corner part of the building is accentuated by wide risalit of three window axes on every street side.


Corner risalit, a view upward Extreme risalit at the junction with the building of the hotel

Having met, they form a volume similar to the square in plan tower. Similarly the corner part of a later house Von-Desh at the corner of Gogolya Street and Sabaneyev bridge is accentuated. «The Tower» and the extreme risalit have a mezzanine, through which the level of the roof here is much higher. Between risalits on Policeiskaya Street rhythmic series of identically decorated third-storey windows stretch. The composition formed by the decoration details of each of them is remarkable for harmony and well found proportions. Under the window there is a balustrade, serving as a basis for two pilasters with Corinthian capitals, flanking window openings and supporting a triangular fascia. Each pilaster is decorated with moulded wreath of a modernized style at the base. A window of the third storey in the risalit, that adjacent to the neighboring hotel, is decorated in a similar manner.

Decoration of the second floor windows

Composition of the windows rhythm Composition of the windows rhythm Windows in the central risalit on Bunina Street General view of the framing of one of the windows

Decoration of one of the windows in the courtyard of Doges Palace in Venice — the most likely source of inspiration for the architect V.I. Prohaska.

Pilaster capital Pilaster capital Decoration at the base of the pilaster

At the level of the first and second storeys risalits have a trapezoidal shape, with a pronounced inclination of the edges, and at the third storey level the edges are perpendicular to the horizon line. Such a move significantly strengthened the monumentality of the building and weighted its lower part, in contrast to which the upper looks much lighter and refined. The central part of the facade plane on Policeiskaya Street is marked by another risalit, less deep, but having the same shape as the others. Its width is two window axes, on the second floor there is a balcony with a stone balustrade, and on the ground — two-column portal in the vein of classicism.

Central risalit on Bunina Street

General view Portal Portico of the portal

Another portal is closer to Polskaya Street. Compared with the previous one, it is put forward much further as regards the plane of the facade and is treated as a small porch. Here there is an entrance to the staircase, and from the ground floor landing a passageway into the courtyard is made.

Portico of the main entrance

General view General view General view

The corner part of the building is decorated with the greatest magnificence. A second-floor window is flanked by pilasters, and a massive fascia, the central, is based on two columns that, like the pilasters, are crowned with Corinthian capitals. From the side of each street there are balconies with balustrades. Balconies of the corner part and the central risalit on Policeiskaya Street are supported by large consoles made ​​in Art Nouveau style. Over extreme windows of the corner risalit from Polskaya Street side there are preserved dates of the pawnshop foundation and the building construction (1886, 1905 respectively). Over similar windows from Policeiskaya Street side, originally an inscription: «Odessa pawnshop» was placed, eventually destroyed. A strip of meander, framing windows from Policeiskaya Street side as well, is stretched along the piers of the corner part.
The similar meander adorns under windows cornices of the first floor. On the corner part of the building there is a marble advertising plate of the architect: «Built by architect. V. I. Prohaska. 1905». A similar one can be seen on the facade of Prokudin’s house.

Decoration of the corner part of the building

General view of the windows composition from Lecha Kaczynskogo Street side Date of the pawnshop foundation, symmetrically there is the construction date Column capital Decoration at the base of a column Consoles, supporting the balcony Decoration detail of one of the consoles

Gap for the flag holder

Rustic stone of the corner

Advertising plate of the architect

The facade from Polskaya Street side is compositionally different. For example, second-floor windows are grouped in threes and the central one is devoid of any kind of framing.

Windows of the second floor from Lecha Kaczynskogo Street side Windows of the second floor from Lecha Kaczynskogo Street side

Console (from Lecha Kaczynskogo Street)

A semicircular passage arch is enclosed in the volume of trapezoid portal of two-storey height.


General view Frequently occurring  lion mask has been preserved to the left of the passage arch

Building facades are processed with rustic stone that on the ground and first floors is rather deep and expressive, and on the second — conditional.

Finishing of the ground and first floors

Windows of the ground and first floors in the corner part of the building Rustic stone of the ground floor(on  Lecha Kaczynskogo Street side) Rustic stone of the ground floor (on Bunina Street) Windows of the ground floor(on Bunina Street) Window of the ground floor Under window cornice ( on Bunina Street) Under window cornice ( on Bunina Street) Windows of an exhibition or trade room ( on Bunina Street)

The facade plane of the second floor is separated from the two lower floors by a cornice. Much more massive cornice crowns the building itself and rests upon large dentils traditional for Prohaska.


Between them (outside risalits) there are small gaps, designed to illuminate the garret. Mezzanine windows are much larger and decorated by Art Nouveau wreaths.

Mezzanine windows

Mezzanine windows Mezzanine windows

The facade from Polskaya Street has three storeys, and from Policeiskaya Street goes from three to two that is associated with the descent of the street in the direction of Karantinnaya gully. Hence, to identify number of storeys is quite difficult.

The pawnshop had safely existed within the walls of the building until the revolution, in Soviet times the building housed a clothing factory named after Vorovskiy, which subsequently moved into a new building on Ilfa and Petrova Street. However, much of the interior decoration was irretrievably lost. The staircase (entrance from Policeiskaya Street) has preserved the original railings of unique pattern, which, however, similar to the gate of a merchant Blizhenskiy’s house (authorship of V.I. Prohaska as well). Walls of the staircase are completely devoid of decoration, but on the second floor it can be seen conditional arcades from shallow arch niches. Entrances to operating and auction rooms, which interiors have not been spared by time and lodgers, are located here as well.


General view Railings Railings Railings Railings

Through the passage arch (not used now) and the passage from the landing of the ground floor one can get into the courtyard of the building. The rear facade is decorated modestly, but the second-floor windows as windows of the exterior facade, have a semicircular shape in order to comply with the symmetry of the halls with two-sided lighting.

Courtyard facade

The concisely decorated passage arch is probably remained untouched during the rebuilding of the old building; the details of the house view can be read on the front facades.

Passage arch

In general, despite the highly dilapidated state (with the loss of major details of the decor), the facades of the building survived to the present day in virtually unchanged shape. The building of Joint-Stock Company of Odessa private pawnshop can be called one of the key in early works of V. I. Prochaska, equally with houses of Ksid and Blizhenskiy. These exquisite building, undoubtedly, have one thing in common — a masterly mix of Renaissance and Art Nouveau, which became, later, a real «calling card» of the architect and a detail of his unique style.



References and Archives


At the turn of the 1880s and 1890s, Odessa was adorned with the largest at the time residential complex. According to the posthumous will of Odessa benefactor P. Z. Yamchitskiy, near the Kulikovo Field, the architectural ensemble, the scope and monumentality of which strike and today, was raised.

About complex   81/1, Kanatnaya Street   81/2, Kanatnaya Street   81/3, Kanatnaya Street   81/4, Kanatnaya Street   81/5, Kanatnaya Street  81/6, Kanatnaya Street

Type of building: residential complex

Eclecticism, Renaissance (buildings no. 1-5)
Geometric Art Nouveau (building no. 6)

F. V. Gasiorowskiy (building no. 1)
N. K. Tolvinskiy and engineer K. V. Chodetskiy (buildings no. 2-5)
L. M. Chernigov (?) (building no. 6)**

Date of building:
1885-1887 (1st stage, building no. 1)
1890-1895 (2nd stage and completion of the construction, buildings no. 2-5)
1910-е (building no. 6)

Local architectural monument (buildings no. 1-5)
Object of background building (building no. 6)

Other addresses:
9 and 11, Italianskiy Boulevard
2 and 4, Yamchitskogo Lane
1 and 3, Orlikova Lane

Photograph from the beginning of XX century guide

Pavel Zakharovich Yamchitskiy (about 1800-1882), a secretary assistant of the Odessa Commercial Court, received before 1841 a rank of the titular counselor, among other things, was engaged in charity. During his lifetime, however, he was unknown, although he made a considerable fortune and owned a house on 8, Richelievskaya Street. 1841 year became a turning point for him. September 28 his year-old daughter Varvara died, and on 3 November the same year, at the age of 22 years, his wife Maria Efimovna went away in other world because of a fever. After outliving them for forty years, Pavel Zakharovich Yamchitskiy died in Odessa, December 1, 1882 at the age of 82 years. On 2 December, after a funeral service at the Cathedral, he was buried in the Old Cemetery.

January 11, 1883, the Odessa District Court claimed to the execution of three spiritual testaments of Yamchitskiy. Among other things, he bequeathed that to the example of St. Petersburg Society of cheap apartments, a building named after his name(Pavlovskiy) was built in Odessa for habitation in it citizens of the city that matched the specified by him conditions. Besides Pavlovskiy building as Yamchitskiy wanted had to belong to the city — «an inalienable forever property of Odessa». According to the will, for the management of the construction of the building and then operation of the house, Mikhail Bogdanovich Nilus (as director) and Iona Galagan (as an assistant) were assigned. To help them the City Council was to elect two public deputies to the end of the construction. There were two more executors in the testament of Yamchitskiy — Stanislaw Dunin and Victor Sahnovsiky. By the end of 1890, Iona Galagan left his duties, but Dunin, on the contrary —fulfilled. They concerned debentures of Pavel Yamchitskiy (Nilus and Sakhnovskiy had already been dead). According to the testament, in the case of power removal from agreed executors, one of the sons of Maria Klimenko or Anna Veselovskaya, probably relatives of Pavel Zakharovich, had to be appointed instead. And so it happened: on 12 September, 1897, according to the decision of the City Council, Boris Klimenko became a director of Pavlovskiy building and his assistant — Sergey Veselovskiy. Yamchitsky bequeathed to sell his own house on 8, Richelievskaya Street and use the proceeds for expanding the complex of Pavlovskiy buildings. However, this house suffered from the fire, and Klimenko and Veselovskiy delayed the sale of the ashes for a long time, thereby preventing the city in actions under the will. The story ended with a lawsuit and lengthy assize.

Pavlovskiy houses on the map of Mikhail Diterikhs (1894)—left, and on the map of Odessa


By 1895, the construction of five of the six currently existing buildings had been completed. The largest at the time residential complex in Odessa was repeatedly mentioned in guidebooks and references of city sights. A. S. Borinevich dedicated a part of the article about the charity in Odessa, wrote to the centenary of the city and went down in the jubilee digest, released in 1894 by the Committee of City Government, to Pavlovskiy building of low-cost apartments:

«... so-called „Pavloviн building with low-cost apartments“ P. Z. Yamchitskiy left in his will, approved in 1883, a capital of 511,000 rubles (Author: In terms of today's money, this capital can be estimated at more than $ 10 million. Capital was spent partly on the construction of the complex, and in part put at interest used to maintain the buildings in proper form) [...] in order to construct a building named after his name(Pavlovskiy), „for housing in it, with the payment of money at a rate of no more than 3 percent of total income, and in exceptional circumstances and free of charge, for those Odessa citizens, mostly Christians, who are not discredited by the behavior, have settled life here, their furniture and some craft or other means for subsistence. “ The city allotted a free space of the former Dragutinskie plantations, in the amount of 3,450 sazhens: in 1885, a laying of the main building, which was completed in 1887, was made: in 1889 the second building was constructed, in 1891 — the third and in 1893 — the fourth. All three-storey houses consisted of 23 flats of three rooms each, 103 — 2 rooms and 37 — one room: in addition there were 6 shops and the apartment for administration „.

Record in the address directory (1908)

Shortly before the completion of construction, in November 1893, Public school for children living in the building was opened. Their learning, textbooks and manuals were free. At Pavlovskiy house there was a permanent physician whose services the residents of the complex could use for free. Medicines and necessary at first medical benefits patients also received free of charge from the home pharmacy at the building office. The location of schools, shops and the home clinic, unfortunately, is unknown. According to the data of the same 1893, six hundred forty-one people of both sexes lodged in the building, 32 of them did not pay for accommodation.

Photo of the early XX century, right away — the building no. 1

The first of the six buildings the building no. 1 was erected. The building is located at the corner of Kanatnaya Street and Italian Boulevard and occupies a quite complicated in plan asymmetric site. The architect F. V. Gonsiorowskiy, in fact, not only erected the building itself, but also developed a general layout for the quarter development (within the limits of Kanatnaya Street, Italian Boulevard, Orlikova and Yamchitskogo Lanes). N. K. Tolvinskiy, who continued the construction of the complex, partly followed this plan, having built four buildings on the perimeter of the quarter, saving number of storeys of the ensemble and the overall style with the building of Gonsiorowskiy. At the end of the second stage of construction under the guidance of Tolvinskiy in the middle of the block there appeared a large courtyard, which was originally planned for a small garden and placing of smaller, service buildings.

However, this area was empty for a long time, and only after more than a decade and a half, in the center of the courtyard, a large, differing from the surrounding buildings, the building 6 — four-storey parallelepiped of geometric Art Nouveau style appeared. Unfortunately, data on the exact date of its construction, as well as the author of the project are not available; however, analyzing the architectural design of the building, it can be found parallels with the work of architects L. M. Chernigov and A. Minkus.

All buildings constructed by Tolvinskiy are interconnected along the building line by one-story annexes that gives the courtyard of the complex some intimacy. Their front facades are rusticated similar to the first storeys and it has the effect of continuity and solidity of the construction.

In the courtyard a small, square in plan, construction with cut corners, raised in the tradition of „brick style“ and overlapped by a low octagonal tent roof remained. Among the versions of its original purpose, the most likely is a version of the electric substation or dovecote. However, it is — just a guess.

Construction of unknown purpose

General view Window opening

On the other side of the courtyard another interesting item survived, part and parcel of Odessa of the end of XIX century — the filling well.


View from the building no.3, on the left —the building no.6, in the distance —the building no.5 General view

Pavlovskiy houses of low-cost apartments had successfully performed their functions until the revolution. These functions have not changed in the Soviet era; however, like most of the pre-revolutionary Odessa apartment buildings, the buildings of the complex were rearranged and subjected to the „compaction“. The subsequent history of houses was not violent. In 1923, at the address 2,Yamchitskogo Lane (i.e. exactly on the side of the complex with cheap apartments) 1st Maternity Hospital was located .

General view of Pavlovskiy complex with low-cost apartments (about 1917). On the left —the building no.1, on the right —the building no. 3, between them, in deep —the building no.6

In the 30 years of the Pavlovskiy houses passed the next wave of renovations, the original plan was finally broken, but its general outlines were preserved. During the Soviet period, the buildings were not repaired for years and fell into desolation, and today their dilapidated condition can hardly be called even satisfactory. However, the complex of Pavlovskiy houses with low-cost apartments is valuable not only from the architectural, urban planning and historical point of view; it is a peculiar monument of the generous charity, so typical for the inhabitants of Odessa XIX century.

Building no. 1

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street

Building no. 2

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street

Building no. 3

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street

Building no. 4

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street

Building no. 5

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street

Building no. 6

Architecture of Odessa. 81, Kanatnaya Street



References and Archives


The apartment house of Shykhman is one of the durable and reliable houses of the rational Art Nouveau period of the 1910s years, when texture and sketchiness became the most important ways of exterior expressiveness unlike the sculpture and the elements of architectural decor. Along with very strict and unpretentious facades, the planning of the building is well made from the functional point of view, and the entrance halls saved the interesting examples of the woodwork and casting art of the period of the building.

Type of building: apartment house
Style: rational Art Nouveau
Architect: А. I. Goltsvurm (?)
Date of building: the 1910s years, the exact year is unknown
Status: local architectural monument

Main facade

 Architecture of Odessa. 32, Panteleymonovskaya Street.

General view

In the list of Odessa heritage monuments, the record about the house by address 32, Panteleymonovskaya Street, lacks the data concerning the date of building, the proprietor and the author of the project, however, according to the planning, sculptural design of pediment and door design, it is possible to attribute it as A.I. Goltsvurm architect heritage. The house belonging is theoretically marked as according to the data given in the manuals of house proprietors in the 1910-s years.

General view

This house can be surely considered as one of the most comfortable dwelling houses on Panteleymonovskaya Street. General planning structure of the site building is quite simple. To the four-storeyed face building two tree-storeyed wings are attached, and in the yard it is completed by the backside four-storeyed wing with wide, squared staircase.

Fragments of the main facade

Central risalit upward Pediment of the central risalit and moulded  garland Pediment and upper part of the side risalit.

On the façade the moulded decoration is present only nearby the central pediment. The garland turning the lucarne has the traces of typical Goltsvurm style. The rest of the facade is decorated with textured blades and conditional panels without decor.

Fragment of textured decoration of the main facade.

The balcony fences are made with the same technique as the one on 104, Panteleymonovskaya Street (probably also created by Goltsvurm) and the house of Markov on 51, Malaya Arnautskaya (architects M. D. Shulgin and M.Markov).

Balcony fences

General composition General composition Main decorative detail — the wreath

Arch of passage

View from the street Flagholders: pre-revolutionary and soviet Flagholders: pre-revolutionary and soviet Fanlight of the removed gates Passage Passage Decoration of the walls inside the arch.

Similarity with the house of Markov can be observed in the shape of dripstones the side wings entrances in  Shykhman house, which look like the dripstones of the facade windows of the house of Markov. This way there is a certain probability that the architect Shulgin also participated in the building designing.

Yard facades

View from the yard to the face building, in the centre — the risalit of the staircase Risalit of the main entrance hall staircase (in the centre) and the back doors View on the backside wing from the arch side Textured decoration of the backside wing, a fragment Risalit of the backside wing staircase Entrance hall portal of the side wing Entrance hall portal of the side wing Upper lightening window of the side wing entrance hall

Yard tap, the construction of which is made following the house style (however its type is not uncommon)
On the right side from the passage arch to the yard decorated with the remained crowning of the lost original gates, the entrance to the main entrance hall is located the sluice of which is decorated with Greek and flower ornaments. The staircase itself is located directly above the arch and the windows of the entrance hall face the central risalit of the building from the yard side. From the original decoration in the entrance hall rare due to the paintings railings were saved (the motif —“trees of life”), panel or bifold doors (which are closer to the ornamental rather than rational Art Nouveau) and showy black and yellow floor tile.

Main entrance hall

Railings (entrance flight) Rail-post Railings Railings

Tile on the staircases.

Apartment door(bifold variant) Apartment door(panel variant) Apartment door(panel variant), décor of the lower part of the leaf Apartment door(panel variant), décor of the lower part of the leaf

Moulded details of the vestibule, rosette (above) and the cornice

In the centre of each side wings of the house one in front of the other the entrances in the entrance halls are located which are much more discreet concerning the decoration. Latticed frames of their windows are similar to those ones which were installed in the building of Dobrovolskiy. Reserved original doors seem to be identical to the main entrance doors however, after closer look some differences can be noticed: the lower parts are decorated with triple flower ornament (in the main entrance hall it is doubled) what is caused by the larger width of the doors which is, by the way, the simplified modification of the door in the house of Wolf and Trandafilova (architects I.Goltsvurm and F.E. Kiuner). In the backside wing the panel door even more simplified can be found.

Doors of the side wings

Bifold door (side wing entrance hall) panteleymonovskaya-32-27.jpg Bifold door (side wing entrance hall), décor of the lower part of the leaf Bifold door (side wing entrance hall), décor of the upper part of the leaf Panel door (side wing entrance hall)

Entrance halls of the side wings (identical)

Railings Railings Railings
Ceiling of the staircase Ceiling of the staircase, cornice Ceiling of the staircase, rosette Ceiling of the staircase, moulded details  — rosette and cornice
Ornament on the centre of the concrete-mosaic platform panteleymonovskaya-32-12.jpg Ornament on the centre of the concrete-mosaic platform

There, in the backside wing a long vestibule is installed as the staircase is located close to the back wall and the windows of the entrance hall face the neighbouring site. The ceiling of the vestibule is decorated with the moulding in classical style. At the foot of the staircase a very rare ornament of the concrete-mosaic is located, and more simple ornaments decorate the floor of the other staircases in all three yard entrance halls. They are absent only in the main one, the floor of which, as it was already mentioned above, is covered by the tile.In the yard entrance halls the original stair railings were saved, absolutely identical for all of them. Their design was quite spread in the city and typical for the 1910s years — such railings were used for example in the houses of dwelling complex of the First community of the house proprietors on 5, Pirogova Street. (architect — Ya. Ponomarenko).

Entrance hall of the backside wing

Railings Railings

Moulded elements of the vestibule ceiling, rosette and cornice

Concrete-mosaic ornament at the stairs foot Concrete-mosaic ornament on one of the apartment platforms

Staircase, view upward



References and archives

  • “Architects of Odessa”. V. Pilyavskiy
  • “Architecture of Odessa. Style and time” V. Pilyavskiy
  • “Buildings, construction, monuments of Odessa and their architects”. V. Pilyavskiy
  • Article about the house in the blog Antique


At the corner of Marazlievskaya Street and Nakhimova Lane a real masterpiece of early, as period concerns, and mature in Art Nouveau content rises. It was created by one of the best Art Nouveau architects of Odessa — Moisei Isakovich Linetskiy in co-authorship with Samuel Savelyevich Galperson. The apartment house of Lutskiy was not the only result of their cooperation, but became the peak.

Type of building: apartment house
Style: ornamental Art Nouveau
Architects: М. I. Linetskiy, S. S. Galperson
Date of construction: 1902-1903
Status: local architectural and historical monument


General view of the corner Facade on Marazlievskaya Street Facade in Nakhimova Lane

At the beginning of XX century a site on Marazlievskaya Street was not cheap, therefore the street was built up only by the wealthiest people. The vicinity of each of the newly constructed buildings on Marazlievskaya Street with exquisite neighboring mansions and apartment houses dictated somehow the scope and aesthetic level of a new building.


In 1902-1903 on the site number 2 a real masterpiece of ornamental Art Nouveau, fashionable and expensive in design style in those days, raised. In the year of its construction beginning a new style just took first steps. The early Art Nouveau houses are dated to the same period. It is interesting that the house of Wolf on the corner of Kuznechnaya Street and Uspenskaya Street, built by architects V. Dombrovskisy and Y. M. Ponomarenko, is very similar to the house of Lutskoy in silhouette lines, proportions, shapes and style of decoration, as if the two houses were built by the same architect. There is no doubt that there was a certain exchange of experience between the architects.

Historical photographs of the house

Photograph from the guide of the beginning of the XX century

Building facade fragments in the photographs of Vladimir Georgievich Nikitenko, the  1970s Building facade fragments in the photographs of Vladimir Georgievich Nikitenko, the  1970s

The author of the project M. I. Linetskiy got a site for development at the corner of Marazlievskaya Street and Nakhimova Lane. According to the reference book «All Odessa» of 1903, the house was built on the site of A. Falz-Fein and P. Mavrokordato. In the register of cultural heritage buildings the house on 2, Marazlievskaya Street was listed as an apartment house of M. D. Lutskiy. Subsequently the building changed owners at least twice. In 1908, the house was purchased by a certain O. von Besser, and, according to the reference book «All Commerce and Industry of Odessa» of 1914, the house was assigned to G. E. Fukelman. Lutskiy was mentioned in the reference book «All Odessa» of 1903 in the section «Architecture», but there were gathered people of different professions related to the design and construction, so to establish details using the reference book is not possible.

According to Tatyana Zayarnaya, the author of «Along the Marazlievskaya ...», «... it was occupied by the» department of Noble and Peasants Bank in the house of Marazli located in Baryatinsky Lane with a facade facing Marazlievskaya Street. Peasant Land Bank later moved to the purpose-built on 34a, Marazlievskaya Street, but Noble Bank had been working in this house until the Revolution«.

Despite the fact that the concerned house was implemented in a „pure“ Art Nouveau, traces of the eclectic architecture are still present, although to a small extent. Those include forms of window openings, stair railings, casings of the ground floor windows, vases (borrowed from the Baroque era, once crowned the attic of the house, and now — lost), carved window frames and courtyard facades finishing. However, the above listed details simply drown in the spectacular Art Nouveau decoration of house facades.

Besides vases, the house has lost some really important details over time. A corner part of the building once was crowned with a massive attic- pedestal, served as the basis for a sculpture of a lying lion. Flanking corner part pylons were exquisitely and richly decorated, ending with large sculptures of eagles. Mascarones of the top floor from Marazlievskaya Street were lost completely, but were preserved from Nakhimov Lane side. Most of the balconies lost stone fences posts, however, forged elements were preserved for the most part. At the corner, on the ground floor there was a trading space and the house had a proper decision of the facade in that place, but now it is closed by an annex or destroyed.

Balconies fencing

Balcony of the third floor of the corner part of the house Balcony of the third floor of the corner part of the house, central section Balcony sections of the second floor of the corner part of the house Balcony in Nakhimov Lane, preserved an original fencing in the main Eclectic fence of the first floor balcony in Nakhimov Lane (probably made ​​earlier and carried from another house)

Lutskiy’s house has a rectangular in plan, elongated along the Nakhimov Lane shape, with a large courtyard and a cut corner at the intersection of the streets. Unlike the house on 54, Kuznechnaya Street the wings converge here at a classic right angle. In general both facades at the building lines of the streets are decorated identically, but there are differences. An entrance to the apartments in the wing on Marazlievskaya Street is directly from the street and properly decorated. The corners of the portal have a slight slope towards the central axis, and over the magnificent original door there is a spectacular cartouche with a monogram. The cartouche is skillfully drawn in details by Art Nouveau plastic lines and added on the top by symmetrical wings. The vertical axis of the portal is accentuated by an open bay window-balcony, flanking by common balconies on the second and third floors.

Entrance to the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street

Portal, general view Portal, general view Cartouche over the portal

Entrance door

Transom Transom detail Detail of the lower part of the leaf Fragment of the door leaf before the restoration

Bay window over the portal

A view upward Fence stone section Profile apertures

The walls of the ground floor are processed by belt rustic stone consisting of two broad profiles.

Ground floor finishing

Fragment of the facade wall in Nakhimov Lane Fragment of the facade wall in Nakhimov Lane Cannelures Cannelures Detail of the original window sash

On the first floor the rustic stone is more classic and austere; window openings have rounded top corners and keystones with moulded ornaments of floral motifs.

First floor finishing

Windows and rustic stone Keystone

The second-floor windows are topped by large fasciae, the part of which is supplemented with mascarons.A vertical windows rhythm is emphasized by the pilasters of smooth curved shapes with the ornament of Obrist in the piers. The windows of the top, the third floor, are the most richly ornamented. Over each of them there are mascarones, performed partly in the „Egyptian“ stylistics and depicting faces of various types and ages. As mentioned above, any of them were preserved from Marazlievskaya Street side.

Upper storeys finishing

Facade fragment in Nakhimov Lane Facade fragment on Marazlievskaya Street

Decorative details of the second floor

Fascia with a mascaron Fascia corbel Fascia corbel Windows with a double fascia Double fascia

Decorative details of the second floor

Windows (on Marazlievskaya Street) Moulded crowning detail Under window detail

Mascarons of the third floor

General view of compositional combination of windows and mascarones Mascaron Mascaron

Facade in Nakhimov Lane is more extensive than the facade on Marazlievskaya Street (14 to 9 window axes respectively). Symmetrically in the center (if ignore the extreme axis of the window adjacent to the corner of the building) there is a passage arch into the courtyard, and its axis is singled out by a risalit, gradually tapering upwards. The similar risalit is located from Marazlievskaya Street side (plays exclusively a composite role). Both risalits are decorated with plant crowning elements in niches over the windows of the third floor.


Risalit in Nakhimov Lane, over the passage arch Passage arch, located in the risalit Risalit windows of the second(right) and the third floors on Marazlievskaya Street

Crowning details

Upper part of the risalit on Marazlievskaya Street Upper part of the risalit on Marazlievskaya Street Crowning detail on Marazlievskaya Street Crowning detail fragment on Marazlievskaya Street Crowning detail in Nakhimov Lane

It is worth mentioning one more interesting detail of the facade decoration on the third floor — ornamental belt, stretched out on piers over the entire facade, except for the corner part of it.

Ornament on the piers

The corner part of the facade is the most significant, the dominant element of the house that is emphasized by the pylons on each side and a huge mascaron in its central part above the windows of the third floor. The mascaron is interesting not only for its dimensions (probably it is the largest in the city) but for decoration. Twisted in fanciful design a rope around his neck has made Odessa local historians and art critics to puzzle over the meaning of its presence here for decades. An interesting fact is that the house of Lutskiy is not the only on Marazlievskaya Street where there is a mascaron with a rope around his neck on the facade. A similar sculpture image can be seen on the facades of apartment buildings of N. Kryzhanowskiy-Auderskiy on 54, Marazlievskaya Street (1900, architect. L. L. Vlodek) and N. Belikovich on 5, Marazlievskaya Street (1902, architect D. E. Mazirov). And on the facade of the latter there are two ones. No less interesting is another fact: in other streets of Odessa similar mascarones do not occur.

Corner part of the house

A view upward Windows of the third floor and the mascaron Windows of the third floor and the mascaron


Decoration of the third floor windows, general composition Decoration of the third floor windows, a fragment Decoration of the third floor windows, a fragment
Left-side pylon Right-ide pylon Remnants of the pedestal for an eagle sculpture

The passage arch to the courtyard is designed very simply and has flat vaults.

Passage arch to the courtyard

Inner view Inner view Window of a habitable room in the arch

A forged gate of eclectic pattern, adorned by images of leaves and snakes was preserved.


General view from the arch Right-side leaf Right-side leaf, a fragment Left-side leaf Lower part of the left-side leaf A leaf A leaf Scroll with a flower Scroll with a snake Crowning detail shaped like a cone

In the arch there are opposite to each other entrances to the entrance hall of a wing in Nakhimov Lane and a habitable room of the ground floor. One of its rooms some time was illuminated by a small round window overlooking the arch, now boarded up and not exploited.

Door of the habitable room in the arch

General view Upper part of the leaf Lower part of the leaf A fragment of the leaf lower part Carved detail Forged lattice Forged lattice fragment

Courtyard facades are made with the use of decorative shapes of the brick style and balconies fences are of an eclectic pattern that copies that of balconies fences in the courtyard of the next house of Ozmidov (number 4). The similarities do not end there.

Courtyard facades

Courtyard façade of the wing on Marazlievskaya Street Courtyard wings, a view from the wing on Marazlievskaya Street Courtyard wing, a big risalit Courtyard wing, a small risalit

Finishing of the windows piers

Window of the second floor Light window of the first floor landing in the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street (is not used for its intended purpose)

Balconies fencing

General composition General composition Detail Fencing of the third floor

The angles of the wing on Marazlievskaya Street, when coupled with the wings perpendicular to it, are marked out by spectacular risalits having a quarter of a circle in the plan. A similar risalit was applied by the architect Y. Dimitrenko in the above-mentioned next house.

Corner risalit

Original window sashes

Window of the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street Window of the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street Window of the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street Window of the entrance hall in the arch Window of the entrance hall in the arch, a fragment Window of the entrance hall in the arch

Despite the impressive dimensions, the house of Lutskiy has only two entrances and one back door, which can be reached from the courtyard. Facades finishing finds a logical continuation in the interior of the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street. ​​Even a framing of concrete mosaic landings is made in Art Nouveau style. (!) The most interesting of them is located at the foot of the stairs, in the lobby, and is reproduced in pattern nowhere.

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, concrete mosaics

Concrete mosaic landing at the foot of the stairs into the lobby Concrete mosaic landing of the first floor Concrete mosaic landing of the first floor, a fragment

On the left there is a nonfunctional door to the utility room covered by a subtle and refined carving. Over it there is a small fascia with a keystone and scrolls around the edges supported by corbels. Opposite it, in order to keep to the symmetry of the lobby a similar fascia is located, but there are no apertures under it. The walls of the lobby are finished with moulded frames in the best traditions of decorative Art Nouveau, supplemented by mascarons. The gap between the lobby and the staircase is decorated by a fanciful twist of narrow decorative bands.

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the lobby

General view

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the utility room door

General view Decoration in the upper part of the leaf Lower part of the leaf A fragment of the lower part of the leaf A fragment of the lower part of the leaf A fragment of the lower part of the leaf

Fascia over the door

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, decoration of the lobby

Vaults Vaults and the arch, leading to the staircase Finishing of the lobby over the entrance door Finishing detail
Finishing of the lobby door Finishing of the mascaron axis
Mascaron Mascaron
Vaults of the arch aperture Finishing of the arch Finishing of the arch, detail

Here Art Nouveau in stone ends and begins in wood. A staircase has marble steps and concrete mosaic landings. Railings of widespread sample are eclectic. The walls are covered with classic frames, found in a number of buildings of the late eclecticism. Only magnificent carved doors, window frames and framing of concrete mosaic landings are in Art Nouveau style here.

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the staircase

Landing of the first floor Landing between the first and the second floors Landing between the second and the third floors Landing of the third floor

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the doors

General view Top detail Top detail A detail of the middle part of the leaf Lower part of the leaf A detail of the lower part of the leaf Handle

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the windows

Window between the first and the second floors Window between the first and the second floors Window between the second and the third floors Window between the second and the third floors

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, the handrails

Entrance flight of stairs Entrance flight of stairs Stair banister Stair banister General view of flights of stairs Horizontal variant Fastener Fastener

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, a frieze of the staircase

Frieze fragment Frieze fragment

Some of the apartments still carry traces of former magnificence in its design. On the third floor, for example, a niche with a statue of the ancient style and paired corbels with small mascarons supporting joists were preserved.

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, one of the apartments

General view of the vestibule Niche with a statue Corbels with mascarons

Similar corbels-mascarones are located in the entrance hall of the wing in Nakhimov Lane and keep the aperture beam between the lobby and the staircase. The lobby ceiling is decorated with moulded coving and rosette; handrails are similar to the rails in the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street.

Entrance hall of the wing in Nakhimov Lane, the lobby

Corbels over the beam Corbels over the beam Rosette Coving

Entrance hall in Nakhimov Lane

General view of two upper flights of stairs Stair banister Stair banister Detail Front banister A view from the landing of the first floor Horizontal variant Horizontal variant

The doors of eclectic style are plain.

Entrance hall of the wing in Nakhimov Lane

General view Carved detail Carved detail Handle Door plate

Window frames remain the only element of Art Nouveau style of the staircase, and their performance is different from the window frames of the first entrance hall.

Entrance hall of the wing in Nakhimov Lane, the doors

Window of the top landing between the floors A fragment of the window sash between the first and the second floors Handle-catch

Coving under the lap of the staircase

The staircase here is more cramped and less illuminated (indicating the location of simpler flats in the wing in Nakhimov Lane than the ones on Marazlievskaya Street). In the same entrance hall, on the landings, niches probably intended for floor vases or statues were preserved.


Entrance to the stairs of the back entrance is located at the corner of the courtyard, at the junction of courtyard wings. The stairs are made ​​of concrete mosaic and have inexpensive handrails without any decorative frills.

Stairs of the back entrance

The apartment house of Lutskiy can be called one of the key works of the architect M. I. Linetskiy. Many elements of its design were subsequently used in other buildings. For example corbels with mascarons similar to those described, decorate the stair lobby of the house on 66, Nezhinskaya Street and Egyptian stylizations were continued in the house on 14a, Marazlievskaya Street. Despite, however, such self-citations in projects, Linetskiy was able to achieve uniqueness in each of built houses. And despite the large number of similarities and parallels with other buildings (not just Linetskiy authorship), Lutskiy’s apartment house lost part of the facades decoration and badly decayed is, however, one of the most significant examples of early Art Nouveau ornamentation in Odessa.

The most significant chapter in the history of the house is now imprinted on a memorial plaque on the corner part of the building facade:

„In this house, in 1910-1911, a Russian writer Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin lived“.

A. I. Kuprin

Portrait bas-relief Memorial plaque Memorial plaque

Here it is also set a portrait bas-relief of the writer. His daughter, K. A. Kuprina in the essay „Kuprin — my father“, writes:

„My father traveled almost all of Middle Russia, liked many of its cities, districts, landscapes, but a special place in his heart occupied Odessa ... At the end of August 1909 we moved to Odessa, where soon rented an apartment with a view of the sea.“

In those years A. I. Kuprin wrote some great novels and short stories that in some way reflected life in Odessa. These are „Gambrinus“, „Garnet Bracelet“, „Listrigony“, „Lenochka“ and some others. About the city Kuprin later wrote:

„... looked everywhere for life smells. Among dockers in Odessa port, thieves, magicians and street musicians there were people with unexpected biographies — visionaries and dreamers with a wide and tender soul.“

It can be said that Kuprin self-forgetfully lived a life of Odessa. With the fishermen he went to sea to catch mackerel and plaice, dressed in a diving suit sank into the water near Hlebnaya harbor, yielding to the magic of the circus, participated in the French wrestling. From the territory of the present racecourse flew in a balloon, and later with the pilot Ivan Zaikin — by plane. This flight ended in crash, but Kuprin and  Zaikin got off, fortunately, only with injuries. In Odessa, the writer became close friends with I. Poddubny, S. Utochkin, an artist Nilus ... In Odessa, he began the second part of the story „The Pit“ ...

The house of Lutskiy is connected with another outstanding name. In 1925-36 in this house a scientist in the field of hydraulics prof. V. N. Pinega lived. Later a ship was called by his name.



References and Archives