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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


Julia Morton’s mansion is not considered as one of the most impressive buildings on Marazlievskaya Street, but its refinement and subtle blend of styles always attract attention. Moreover, it is one of the oldest buildings in the street

Type of building: mansion, apartment house
Style: eclecticism, blending of Baroque and Renaissance motifs
Architect: D. E. Mazirov
Date of construction: 1886
Status: local architectural monument

Main facade

General view General view General view General view

In 1886 Marazlievskaya Street replenished another mansion. The building was constructed by an architect of Armenian origin D. E. Mazirov for Julia Stepanovna Morton (1858 -?), who was probably the daughter of Odessa wealthy entrepreneur and noble Stepan Ivanovich Rally.
S. I. Rally owned a plot nearby the Sabanskiy barracks on Kanatnaya Street. Julia Morton was 28 years old when she came into possession of the mansion in which, most likely, lived her entire family. Unlike S. I. Rally that had some apartment houses Morton owned only one house on Marazlievskaya Street. The architect Demosthenes Mazirov, at the time of the construction of the mansion, had to his credit, besides a number of reconstructed buildings , a small number of refined buildings designed for Vurgavt, Mavrokordato, Lipman-Wolf and Richter. The buildings were characterized by vivid performance, the use of Neo-Baroque elements and a good spatial composition. On the contrary, the mansion of Morton was executed in more restrained Renaissance motifs that, however, was compensated by a careful approach to the tectonics of the building.


The house is distinguished by pronounced asymmetry in the plan and design. The mansion built with a space from an adjacent area that might have been empty at the time of its construction. However, between the buildings there was an insert with a passage arch at the ground floor level and with rooms on the first floor. An emphasis is made on a corner rounded part of the building and, owing to the fact, the decoration manner of the main facade is changing in the horizontal direction. There are two shallow risalits from the main facade side. Left one, with two window axis width is narrower, and creates stress on the left side edge of the facade plane. Along the edges of the risalit on the first floor there are Doric order pilasters. On the same floor, but in the center, in a window pier, there is a sculpture of a caryatid, which reproduces exactly the sculpture in a building designed by the architect V. Kabiolskiy on 36, Marazlievskaya Street and 16, Sadovaya Street. This sculpture is somewhat balances the facade, contrasting the left side, overloaded by elements, with the right side of the facade. Close to the round corner of the building there is a wider risalit, in width of three window axis. In piers between the windows of the first floor Corinthian order pilasters are located.

Decoration of the first floor facade

Windows between risalits Capital of a pilaster, flanking windows between the risalits Windows decoration between the risalits Windows decoration between the risalits Statue between windows of the side risalit Statue between windows of the side risalit Capital of a pilaster, flanking side risalit windows Semi column capital of the big risalit Corner part of the building Decoration above the corner window Corbels under the attic Attic balustrade Bas-relief insert on the attic

The main entrance is located asymmetrically in the risalit at its left edge. Decoration of the main entrance is fully preserved, including the original door (a simpler version of it can be seen in the house of M. Katsnelson on 26, Marazlievskaya Street) and ornate metal canopy on the thin cast columns.

Main entrance

General view General view Decoration of upper part of the door leaf Decoration of lower part of the door leaf Carved detail of the door Canopy decoration Canopy decoration Capital of the cast canopy column

The risalit is also emphasized by an arched attic ledge that runs around the perimeter of all facades facing the street, and is solid in the areas of risalits, in other parts it represents a balustrade. The storeys of the building contrasted with each other, only the second floor is richly decorated, where there is a large number of small stucco mouldings and ornaments, as well as mentioned above caryatid, pilasters and half-columns. The ground floor is decorated with only rusticated pilaster strips and balustrades in the panels of the windows.

Pilaster strips of the ground floor windows

Basement floor is also residential and decorated simply with linear rustic stone. Basement floor windows have bow-shaped apertures and are decorated by locks.

The facade of the building is equipped with a balcony only, which, however, is of considerable size. It begins at the edge of a large risalit, passes through it, the corner part and the insert to the firewall of the neighboring building. The fence is a patterned metal grate on stone props, but the authenticity of the existing balcony railings is questionable. To the right of the rounded corner at the end of XX — beginning of XXI century the terrace on the base with metal trusses that support part of the balcony was attached. Passage arch is adorned with decorative frame in Baroque style, on a compositional level its principle of indentation from the building line of the street has something in common with passage arches of the other two houses on Marazlievskaya Street — E. Petrova’s (1901) house at number 36 and the neighboring apartment building Vassal (1902-1912), which occupies plot number 38.

Passage arch

General view General view A view from the street side Decoration detail over the passage arch A view from the courtyard side Modern replica of the terrace

A courtyard facade has an expressed play of volumes and asymmetry: approximately in the center there is a trapezoidal risalit, hiding a service metal spiral staircase, perfectly preserved, and having access to both floors and the attic.

Courtyard facade

General view General view A view from the roof of the mansion on 18, Marazlievskaya Street

Bay window of the courtyard facade

General view Finishing of the first floor Semi column capital Console

Service staircase

A view downward A view downward (photograph 2009) A view downward (photograph 2009) Steps ornamentation Steps ornamentation A view upward A view upward

A service staircase is lit by narrow windows located on all faces of the risalit, at the top these windows are arched. At the right from the mentioned risalit there is a less deep but wider trapezoidal bay window which has wide windows and corners decorated with Tuscan order columns. At the left on the roof of the building there is an authentic semi mansard, which is only accessible with the service staircase. The service staircase leads to the basement apartments as well.

The main entrance was gaily decorated originally, corresponding to the external appearance of the building, but the supposed building paintings were painted over, also two Ionic columns capitals flanking the aperture between the lobby and staircase were damaged — volutes at the outer sides of them were broken off. A lobby ceiling is shaped cross vaults; above the entrance to the staircase the ceiling is flat and decorated with panels. Between the walls and vaults there is a moulded cornice, supported by the mentioned columns and decorative consoles.

Staircase lobby

General view from the doorway Vaults General view from the lobby Cornice console Cornice console Cornice ornament Capital of a column, flanking an aperture between the lobby and the landing of the ground floor

Ceiling of the ground floor landing

Panel panel

On the landing of the ground floor on both sides there are living quarters doors, most likely for rent, here is the entrance to the mansion lobby. Stairs leading to the first floor has in plan refined horseshoe bend and, despite the relatively small size, looks very impressive.

Main staircase and a lobby

General view General view A view from the entrance Lobby Apartment door of later times

Railings are artsy interlacement of simple geometric figures: the primary motif is a circle and a composition of circles and scrolls. Railings variety is very rare, and if reproduced anywhere, is not known.


Flight of stairs Flight of stairs Entrance flight of stairs Horizontal baluster Horizontal variant Horizontal variant A fragment Post prop

A ceiling beam rests on two columns, crowned with Corinthian order capitals, made in free plastic interpretation.

Lobby columns

General view Capital Capital Capital

The first floor landing once represented a large gala room, part of which had to be sacrificed in the redevelopment of the mansion during the Soviet era and division into communal apartments. Hence, through a small narrow corridor, one can get on the service staircase, described earlier.



References and Archives

  • «Rally». An article in the newspaper Odessa World News number 74 (3.11.2009). S. G. Rechetov
    *Directory and reference book «All Odessa», 1908, L. А. Lisyanskiy
  • «Architects of Odessa». V. Pilyavsky
  • «Architecture of Odessa. Style and time». V. Pilyavsky
  • «Buildings, structures, monuments of Odessa and architects». V. Pilyavsky
  • Статья о доме в блоге Antique