Two-storeyed mansion with expressive composition of the facade on 18, Marazlievskaya, reckoned among the most picturesque mansions of Odessa — is one of two buildings of Yefim Yakovlevitch Mendelievich on this street (the second one is located on the site №28). Despite not being one of the most outstanding creations of the architect L. L. Vlodek, nevertheless it performs his considerable artist talent.
Type of building: mansion
Style: eclecticism, neoclassicism, renaissance
Architect: L. L. Vlodek
Date of building: ~1880
Status: local architectural monument (?)
Mendelievich’s family was one of the richest in the city. The big commercial and industrial company «M.I. Mendelievich» dealt with grane trade ; possessed a lot of buildings icluding «Passage», which was also built according to the project of L.L. Vlodek.
It is known that in the beginning of XX century the building passed to the city possession, and later (in 1907) becomes a residence of Odessa mayor of a town V.D. Novitskiy, where he was living since August till November. It was preceeding by rough events of 1905 and their consequences.
1905 was marked in Odessa history due to the rebellion on the Battleship «Potemkin Tavricheskiy» and bombardment of the city from its ammunition, jewish pogroms, the fire in the harbour which destroyed the elevated track and the barricade construction on the streets. The city was boiling for two years. Mayor Neigardt, who had permitted the pogroms, quited his post voluntarily. The election of a new mayor by Municipal Duma lasted for a long time.
Its formlessness and inability to act couldn’t pass unnoticed in Petersburg, who was watching carefully the rebellions in Odessa. The crisis in the city was still going on. Finally after Neidgart on 22 October 1905 on the position of the «father of the city» was appointed Apollon Gavrilovitch Grigoriev. After Grigoriev’s appointment on the position of the mayor, the citizens of Odessa gained a hope that he, as one of them, could finally set normal life in the city. But he didn’t stay on this position too long — till 22 August 1907. In the year 1907 the tsarist government was searching for a new person who could stabilize the situation and soothe the city. The researches were successfully finished in that very summer.
In August on the position of the Odessa mayor a seventy-year-old lieutenant-general Vasiliy Demientievich Novitskiy was appointed, who had served in Kyiv befored and defended a jewish quarter from pogrom in Lypky. Novitskiy himself was writing:
«My strong desire is to bring peace and calm to this suffering city. It is going to be difficult, but I will find support to my intentions in the Central government and, as I hope, in the local one.».
But the hopes of the general were not fated to be realised. On 14 November 1907 the newspapers of Odessa were released with the messages:
In the morning the temporary governor-general and mayor of Odessa Vasiliy Dementievich Novitskiy living by the address Marazlievskaya street 18 suddenly passed away. According to the conclusion of doctor Martyn Zile, his death was caused by cardioplegia due to overfatigue.
After the death of Novitskiy, his post passed to general I.N. Tolmachev, who left quite ambivalent opinion to the residentns of the city and the mansion till the Revolution had been a residence of the Odessa mayors. The soviet period of history of the maison is quite blured.
After the revolution different municipal organisations were based in the former maison of Mendeleievich, then there was a kindergarten. As a consequence of the big amount of reconstructions and rebuildings, almost nothing was left of the interior decoration of the maison. The facade was generally saved without changes ; but its condition leaves much to be desired. The last several years the building is totally abandoned and not exploited, that only accelerates the delapidation process, bringing it almost to the catastrophic level.
Mendelievich house was erected a bit further than the building line and is separated from the street by the forged fence of the middle heighth.
The right side is finished by the entrance gates, flanked by the high stone pylons, the extreme of which is attached to the neigbour maison of Yulia Morton on the site №16 (both buildings were constructed almost at the same time).
The maison itself is L-shaped, where two wings are united orthogonally, and the left one (perpendecular to the street and facing it by abutt) is located in a small distance from the fence line. The main wing, parallel to the building line, is situated profoundly in the site. During the projection Vlodek in fact «turned around» the classical house of Odessa back to front, having made the yard building visible from te street. This original decision permitted to create a big entrance yard in front of the main entrance, plant the pines and set a small round fontain.
Fontain in front of the entrance
The side wing is five window axes long on the ground floor and four — on the first floor. Superstructure of the post-war period, making its quantity till five is not considered due to its non-authenticity. The extreme axes attached to the buttis marked with entrance to the staff rooms of the ground floor. On the butt there are metal stairs that lead to the first floor (which one can through the door made in the superstructure described above) The last but one axis is flanked with the blades and has a wide threefold window on the ground floor, and a window crowned with triangle dripstone on the first floor. There is a balustrade below.
Extreme axis of the side wing
On the central of the three remained axes there is one more entrance to the building, probably serving to the staff needs.
The door and terrace
The main wing has five window axes, the most extreme of which is standing out by the massive risalit marking the main entrance.
** Risalit of the main entrance **
Risalit plays the role of the compositional dominant of the building architecture, it is crowned with a triangle pediment and a massive attic. In the pediment area there is an elegant cartouche.
Pediment of the main risalit
Above the main entrance there is a balcony, which used to be supported by splendid moulded corbels, only parts of which have remained till our days.
The main door itself and a decorative panel above were fortunatelly saved.
Original balcony fence (the only one on the main facade), probably because of its dilapidation, was demounted and replaced by a simple one, unpretentious.
Upper part of risalit
General view of the balcony ; balcony door and a panel above it
The door opening leading to the balcony is crowned with a gorgeous semicircular panel with a faun mascaron inserted inside. The panel is flanked with the angels sculptures of different sexes (probably).
Decorative elements above the balcony doors
Here, above the pediment on the both sides, the composition is finished with the lion mascarons. The risalit of the main entrance is decorated in the richest way, almost all sculpture is concentrated there.
Lion mascarons of the risalit
The remaining facade of the both wings is decorated quite modestly. The ground floor is treated with the rustic stone without vertical segmentation, rectangular windows have massive and simple platbands with the keystones. Partition walls of the first floor are flat, window bidings are finished with the finials on the corbels. Just below there are simple relief panels. Their simplified variant is located under the windows of the ground floor.
The storeys volumes are divided by the cornice which belts the building, and the house itself is crowned with a more massive and distinct cornice. Probably, the facade plane used to be finished by the balustrade (its fragment was saved from the side of the main wing butt) which was completely lost with time flowing.
One the right from the risalit, between the butt of the main entrance and the stony fence of Y.Morton manoir site, a passage in internal yard of the site is situated, where there is a terrace of the back entrance. Back facade has almost no decor and has no artistic interest.
As it was already mentioned above, during the years of its existence, the manoir has lost almost all inside decoration. Planning in the main wing is mixed, and in the staff wing — enfilade. The ceiling of the tambour is leaning on a splendid moulded coving of quite widespreaded type.
The lobby is divided into two unequeal parts by the ceiling beam supported by the corbel-dragons, which one can see from time to time among the houses decoration of the last two decades of the XIX century.
Dragon corbel (right-sided)
Among all house interioirs the main stairs were saved in the best way — the wooden one, two-marched with the combined balusters of unique example.
The walls of the stairway enclosure are made with thin decorative frames of a big square. It is possible that the space, marked on the wall plane used to be filled by the mirrors or wall paintings.
Wall decoration of the stairway enclosure
Somewhere the doors between rooms were saved who have the thin carving, but the remaining decoration is completely destroyed.
Doors of the inside rooms
On the wings conjunctions, inside of the house volume, there are staff stairs illuminated by a glazed skylight. It unites both storeys and the cellar. Metal stairs saved its inexpensive raillig of eclectic shape similar to those ones that one can find in the outhouses in inner yards around all the ciy.
Generally the house has quite a lot of original decision what the volumes layout and the planning is concerned. Due to the well found proportions and harmonic decor elements combination the building deserves its place in the set of much brighter buildings on the Marazlievskaya street.
References and archives
- «Buildings, construction, monuments of Odessa and their architects». V. Pilyavskiy
- «Article about the Marazlievskaya street „About Odessa“
- „Architects of Odessa“. V. Pilyavskiy
- „Along the Marazlievskaya street…“. Tatiana Zayarnaya Publication
- Dmitriy Shamatazhy, photographer and redactor
- Alexandr Levitsky, art director, photograph and colour stylist
- Valeriia Arnaud, translator
- Marina Tomenko, editor
~1880 Vlodek L.L. Marazlievskaya Mendelevich E. Ya. manoir renaissance eclecticism