Last Sunday I visited one of the most beautiful houses in Moscow – Smirnov Mansion. Located in the very heart of the city, Tverskoy boulevard it starts its history since 1759. Since then it passed from one owner to anther and many times was rebuilt. Pyotr Smirnov purchased the estate in 1900 and decided to renovate it according to his taste. He hired one of the most famous and acknowledged architects and Art Nouveau artist of that time Fyodor Schechtel (I wrote about another his famous building in this article).
The works lasted 5 years. The architect did not demolish any of the existing rooms but decided to give them new look. Each of 8 of rooms Schechtel designed in a specific historical style: “Romanesque hall”, “Egyptian room”, “Rocaille room“, “Greek Hall”, “Classic Room”, “Study”, “Antechamber” and “Boudoir” . Large conservatory was decorated with exotic plants and small zoo. He used in the construction the latest technologies available back then: English batteries, water heating with boiler, ventilation.
Shekhtel not only prepared the project and supervised the construction, but personally handed over the building to the customer. Given the fact that the Tverskoy Boulevard was the main social venue of the city throughout the nineteenth century, the house has always been the focus of Moscow’s social life.
Pyotr Smirnov died in 1910. A few years after the death of his wife Evgenia Smirnova sold the mansion. Since then and until the revolution it housed the Moscow court management.
Want to learn more about various historic styles? Check out my History of Styles e-book:
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