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The mansion of Mendelevich, masterly combining features of Art Nouveau and Renaissance, strikes with its decoration and design for over 100 years and remains one of the peaks of the creative work of V. I. Prohaska.

Type of building: mansion
Style: modernized Neo—Renaissance
Architect: V. I. Prohaska
Date of construction: 1909
Status: local architectural monument

General view of the facade

The land on Marazlievskaya Street was owned mostly by the aristocracy, that is why the major part of the street’s buildings is performed at the corresponding level and with highly refined interiors. Marazlievskaya Street started being lined with buildings at the turn of ХХ century, but buildings at several lots were erected quite late — this statement also concerns the area of 28.

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In 1890s the lot was obtained by M. Asvadurov, and in the period of 1902-1907 years was purchased by a corn trader, Iefim Iakovlevich Mendelevich, «a merchant of the first guild, delegate of the merchants, a member of the bread-controlling commission of Odessa exchange; the guardian of industrial students’ school, founded by I. M. Mendelevich and etc». It is also well known, that he was related to the owner of Passage at Deribasovskaya Street, — Moisei Iakovich Mendelevich (the patronymics of both Mendelevichs coinside and there is a great chance that they were brothers).

Facade from the side of the yard

In 1909 a mansion in simple, but monumental shapes of Florentine Renaissance was built after the project of architect Vikentiy Prohaska. This architect had constructed only several buildings after his projects by that moment, but from the very beginning of his creative activity his houses had been among the finest ones. He was well advertised by a competitive project of the New Exchange and the building of the main department of Odessa private pawnshop society. For the mansion of Mendelevich, the choice of Neo—Renaissance style was not accidental, — majority of own projects by Prohaska were carried out in this very style, with the help of which the architect reached unusual refinement and monumentality. At the same time, the architect approached each project with creativity, though, as it would seem, the houses should be very similar.

A ledge above the pediment of the main facade
The mansion of Mendelevich has two floors and a habitable semi-basement, according to the plan the mansion is almost rectangular, without marked yard wings. V. I. Prohaska didn’t adhere strictly to the canons of Florentine Renaissance, but boldly mixed it with other styles, particularly with Art Nouveau that reigned at that time. The fence of light pockets of the semi-basement, entrance doors, carved wooden banisters of the main staircase were done exactly in this style. The bas-reliefs above the windows of the first floor got the interpretation peculiar to Art Nouveau. The house is crowned with a classical three-cornered pediment with a mascoron of Athena in a tympanum.

Sculpture decoration of the facade

Bas-relief depicturing Athena on the central pediment Bas-relief depicturing Athena on the central pediment General view of the decoration of the central avant-corps, a pediment and a bas-relief.
Sculptural subject on the left from the main bas-relief in the center of the left-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the left from the main bas-relief in the center of the left-side part of the central pediment The main bas-relief in the centre of the left-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the right from the main bas-relief in the centre of the left-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the right from the main bas-relief in the centre of the left-side part of the central pediment Right-side part of the pediment, sculptural portrayal of a tree Sculptural subject on the left from the main bas-relief in the centre of the right-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the left from the main bas-relief in the centre of the right-side part of the central pediment The main bas-relief in the centre of the right-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the right from the main bas-relief in the centre of the right-side part of the central pediment Sculptural subject on the right from the main bas-relief in the centre of the right-side part of the central pediment.

Fragments of the facade of the building at a photo by Vladimir G. Nikitenko, 70s.

The architect almost fully covered the building with rustic stone, although thanks to the skillful usage of projecting key stones, Art Nouveau panels and bas-reliefs, the facade looks rather diverse. The bas-reliefs with images of separate scenes, united by the common theme of upbringing of children are arranged above the windows of the second floor. The stylized images of trees on the edges of the facade surface, amplifying the sculpture scenes, also grab attention.

Fragment of a cornice

Cornices under the ground floor windows

Fencing of the semi-basement

General view of the picture composition Fragment at the junction of sections Ornamental flower

Instead of traditional bas-reliefs that were arranged in panels, Prohaska placed the figures directly on the facade surface, not separating them from the house that appeals to the idea of synthesis of arts, which was one of the aims of Art Nouveau. In other words, bas-reliefs weren’t isolated from other decoration, and interacted with it (something similar was implemented in the building of Kosagonovskaya at Nezhinskaya Street, 66).

In present time, three balconies are disposed at the mansion of Mendelevich. They were installed in the  soviet times instead of the removed because of the decrepitude stone ones (unfortunately there is too little documental evidence left about their external appearance). The railing of the central balcony wasn’t preserved, but, taking into account the character of the facade and taking into account other rusticated buildings of Prohaska, the fencing of the balcony represented a stone balustrade.

Arch of the passage

View from the street Tethering posts on two sides of the arch

Communal flats were formed out of the rooms of Mendelevich’s flat, which occupied the whole first floor. Separate flats with semi-basement rooms were situated on the ground floor in the left and right wings.

Arch of the passage

General view from the inside General view from the inside

The ceilings of the arch of the yard passage are decorated with moulded mascarons that are identical to the mascarons placed on the facade of Gavsevich house (arch. S. S. Galperson, 1903). Possibly, Mendelevich had liked the mascarons of Gavsevich mansion, situated on Lidserovskiy boulevard on the way to Langeron beach.

Mascarons and a fragment of arches One of the mascarons under the cornice One of the mascarons under the cornice Moulded ornament of the cornice Arches, a flower of crosshair (nowadays remaining only in two sections of the arch)

One of the original entrance doors in the arch

Design of the lower part Design of the lower part, a fragment of décor Design of the upper part Decorative grating

Monumentality isn’t inherent in the staircase and the corridor of the first floor. On the contrary, the decoration became fanciful and pretentious because of the fulfillment, synthesizing in itself Baroque and Art nouveau.
Art nouveau stairs made entirely of wood draws special attention. Its peculiarity is the fulfillment of railings not as separate balusters but as profiled planes, covered at the same time with deep but simple by composition carving.

Stairs

A view of the stairs and the window of the ground floor.

Railings

One of the sections One of the sections A fragment of carving A fragment of carving

A view of the second flight of stairs from below.

Another interesting element is a diminutive wooden tambour that preserved an original door, badly damaged by times and alternations.

Ground floor

Tambour A fragment of the tambour’s door, only the lower part was preserved in original.

The space near the entrance is decorated with two caryatids that hold the landing of the first floor. Compositionally they are symmetrical to each other, but with a closer look the difference is revealed — the arm of the caryatid which is free from the holding, is relaxed, lowered and holds the cloth on the waist level; another caryatid’s arm is lifted, and the same cloth is thrown over it, hiding the nudity. With the lost wrist it, possibly, held a lantern or a candlestick. Both sculptures have naked breasts, which emphasizes their antique eroticism.

Foot of the stairs Caryatid and the design of a projection at the first floor Caryatid and a niche Caryatid by the stairs A fragment of niche design A fragment of niche design Ornament framing the niche Caryatid by the tambour

Also there, by the stairs, next to the right-side (if you look from downstairs) caryatid, a richly decorated niche is located, where a lamp, a vase with flowers or a sculpture could have been placed.

General view of the lobby from the side of the window, all the main decorative elements are clearly visible. View at the caryatid and the niche from the stairs.

Two arch apertures lead to the first floor landing, and the space between them is decorated with two columns with slightly modernized capitals.

First floor

Columns Capital of one of the columns

General view of the lobby from the first floor landing

Staircase

Pilasters design Pilasters design Pilasters design, a fragment Corbel under the cornice Flutes

Capitals of pilasters between the staircase and the landing of the first floor

A pair of putti is located in sopraportas of the doors, like the sculptures on the facade

Sculpture group above one of the doors Sculpture group above one of the doors Sculpture group above one of the doors, a detail Sculpture group above one of the doors, a fragment of a detail A fragment of decoration
Niche between the doorways Decorative detail of a niche on the first floor
Bas-relief in the corridor

The ceiling of the staircase also strikes; it was performed in the form of an oval plafond of plastic shapes. It naturally repeats the planning shape of the staircase part. Its walls, therewith, are decorated with Art Nouveau flute and double pilasters.

General view of the cupola-shaped vault above the staircase

First floor landing, general view

Returning to the first floor landing, it’s worth mentioning the semicircular ledge overhanging directly above the caryatid. It reminds of a small balcony and is decorated with a spectacular asymmetrical sculpture.

Decoration of a ledge Decoration of a ledge

At present the original fencing of the first floor is lost completely and substituted, for safety, with a simple wooden construction. Time and men’s negligence relentlessly destroy the decoration of the unique building, and this is seen by the condition of the preserved elements of decor and lobby design (the only one of its kind in the city, by the way).
A huge Art Nouveau staircase window, preserved the unique sash, lost, however, stained glasses.

Window of the lobby from the side of the yard.

A sad destiny reached the painting of a plafond and decoration of the walls with Venetian putty.

The parquet of the landing remained as a whole, but is in a very decrepit condition.

In the soviet times the former lobby of a luxurious mansion, which became the entrance hall of a dwelling house, was painted with an ordinary blue paint. Today it came off from the walls here and there and revealed the original decoration.

The door of the lobby was dismantled in 2011 and replaced with a simple metal monolithic door without decor; other doors of the arch were more or less preserved. However, none of the inner doors, unfortunately, has lived till the present days.

Among the historic episodes, connected with the building and worthy of a memorial plaque, it should be mentioned that the elder son of the founder of national literary school, writer Itshock (Isaac) Ioel Linetskiy, lived here in one of rented apartments, in 1910s. It was an outstanding architect, Moisei Isakovitch Liteskiy, and a lot of wonderful buildings were made after his projects (mostly in Art Nouveau style) in Odessa, including the ones at Marazlievskaya, № 2 and № 14a.

 

 

References and archives

Authors

Sprung up in 1914 at a crossroad of Pushkinskaya and Troickaya Streets, a huge apartment house of Asvadurov K., was destined to become one of the last significant pre-revolutionary buildings of Odessa. The building boggles minds at present as well, embodying Art Nouveau fancifulness and pompous imperial spirit of Empire style.

Type of building: apartment house
Style: modernized Neo-Empire style
Architects: LM Chernigov, J. S. Goldenberg
Date of construction: 1913-1914
Status: local historical and architectural monument

Facade general view
pushkinskaya-37-012.jpg
pushkinskaya-37-001.jpg Facade along Troickaya Street
pushkinskaya-37-003.jpg Facade along Pushkinskaya Street
pushkinskaya-37-002.jpg Facade along Pushkinskaya Street

pushkinskaya-37-092.jpg
pushkinskaya-37-091.jpg

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Building Facade fragments. Photograph 1970s by Vladimir G. Nikitenko.

In 1913, on the spot of G. Greenwald’s house (1832, arch. I. Kozlov), at the corner of Pushkinskaya Street and Troickaya Street the construction of a huge building for those times began, it was an apartment house for tobacco manufacturer K. Asvadurov.

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The tobacco company «Isaac Asvadurov’s sons» was founded in 1886. The latter, how it was written in advertising in 1896, «in a short time was so successful in satisfying the tastes of connoisseurs —consumers of tobacco goods that in 1888 in London and Brussels World Exhibition was awarded big gold medals for tobacco goods and a honorable diploma for cigarettes. Concerning these products every day spreading throughout Russia and abroad, they obtain favorable notices.»

pushkinskaya-37-061.jpg

Initially the factory was located «in a vast exemplary housing with an electric lighting and central heating» in Asvadurovyh’s own house at 58, Uspenskaya Street (later — 66), and the main store was located in Ekaterininskaya Street, in Wagner’s house, and worked there until the Soviet times.

Pompous, speaking volumes about the social status of the customer, the house in fact was building towards the end of the firm’s flourishing. Its construction took less than a year, and the decoration work was completed shortly before the outbreak of World War I.

Creative union of architects LM Chernigov and J. S. Goldenberg was durable and productive — the building once again proved it for its architectural merits, which were quite a few. In particular, it can be said with confidence that finally shaped Goldenberg’s style and hand was just realized with this building , where he not only fulfilled a purely architectural work — the detailed design calculations of the five-storey building was preserved. In addition, the architect acted as a contractor. The skill and taste of the architects are proved enough by the conspicuous fact that, in the light of enthusiasm for «retrospectivism» in the first half of the 1910s, Asvadurov’s house became the subject to imitate. Besides, being a significant part of the urban development and the actual dominant of Pushkinskaya Street and Troickaya Street crossing, the house with its aspect prescribed a Facade composition solution of «Promstroibank» building, raised by the architect L. Volkova and engineer L. M. Frack on the same crossroad in 1987-1990.

Courtyard
pushkinskaya-37-013.jpg Courtyard Facade
pushkinskaya-37-058.jpg Stair railings at the back door
pushkinskaya-37-059.jpg Courtyard residential wing of the late XIX century, the oldest part of the area housing

The building is one of the largest in size of pre-revolutionary Odessa buildings, the second highest after Margulis’ house in Sabanskiy lane and occupying the largest area of land housing (the period of Art Nouveau buildings). The plot itself can be divided into three wings. The front wing in Pushkinskaya Street has five storeys and two main entrances (ground floor is reserved for trading space). Similar wing along Troickaya Street flows from five to six storeys due to the incline of the Street, so it is difficult to define number of storeys. The third wing, which is located within the plot, is a residential building of the late XIX century; it is designed plainly and looks ordinary.

Asvadurov’s house itself was designed so that it forms a right rectangle yard, being enclosed with above-mentioned yard wing. Despite the considerable size of the building, causing the impression of heaviness, it is not without its share of grace and thanks to the abundance of ancient architecture and sculpture motifs, it impressive with strength and serenity.

The composition of front Facades is similar, but the length of the house along Troickaya Street half as longer as its extend in Pushkinskaya Street, due to the fact that the side parts are occupied six windows axes edgewise against two, respectively.

The corner of the house is marked out with the massive rectangular bay window that combines the second and third floors, culminating in the fourth floor balcony-terrace.

pushkinskaya-37-010.jpg
Corner bay window

The composition is crowned with a gable indissoluble with the cornice decorated with a bas relief depicting Aquila eagle. The plot is directly linked to the Roman theme — such images were used as signs of the Legion in the army, and were put on a pole and decorated with wreaths- rings phalerae. Borrowing Aquila as a plot to bas reliefs became frequent in the age of Empire and found its logical continuation in retrospective Art Nouveau architecture of the 1910s.

pushkinskaya-37-066.jpg
Corner pediment and Aquila. Clearly visible above the drum of the lost rotunda, overlapped with tin sheets.

pushkinskaya-37-067.jpg
Bas relief of Aquila on the corner pediment

The central axis of each Facade which are symmetric in composition, is emphasized with a wide two-storey height risalit (in Troickaya Street — three-storey), acting as a pedestal for a stylized portico of four semi columns with simple capitals high as two stories too.

pushkinskaya-37-080.jpg
Bas relief on the cornice

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Original attic window having preserved original sash

pushkinskaya-37-081.jpg Portico semi column capital
pushkinskaya-37-071.jpg Ornamental wreath above capital
pushkinskaya-37-082.jpg Ornamental wreath above capital

Statues
pushkinskaya-37-062_1.jpg Statue on the portico entablature
pushkinskaya-37-063.jpg Statue on the portico entablature
pushkinskaya-37-065.jpg Statue on the portico entablature
pushkinskaya-37-064.jpg Statue on the portico entablature

On the entablature of the portico there are four statues of antique style (because of dilapidation now is attached to the wall with the fixing bars) and a huge pediment with a semicircular niche serves as the composite dominant of the center, as well as the entire Facade as a whole. Its framing was directly borrowed from the architecture of classical Empire — the same course can be seen, for example, in Kamo palace Facade framing (4, Tiraspol'skaya, 1830—1832, Arch. G. Torricelli).

Pediment
pushkinskaya-37-085.jpg Niche vaults design in the center of the pediment
pushkinskaya-37-084.jpg Detail of niche design in the center of the pediment
pushkinskaya-37-072.jpg Decorative detail of the niche framing

pushkinskaya-37-083.jpg Bas relief on the pediment (right-side version)
pushkinskaya-37-070.jpg Bas relief on the pediment (left-side version)

The space between the semi columns is enlivened with three small octagonal bas reliefs with centaur images, Neptune (most probably) and an abstract ancient temple, framed by drapery. Two semicircular bay windows, ending on the last floor and conventionally defined with semi rotundas, decorated in the same plot, depicting the ancient temple (but supplemented by two torches on the sides) impart additional grace to both pediments. Facade walls surface is rusticated, the lower floors are processed with pick dressing texture and have a darker shade (building original decision is in the restrained grey).

Bas reliefs
pushkinskaya-37-086.jpg Bas relief depicting Neptune
pushkinskaya-37-089.jpg Bas relief depicting a centaur (similar is located on each of the floors in the left-side entrance)
pushkinskaya-37-087.jpg Bas relief depicting an ancient temple
pushkinskaya-37-009.jpg Fragment of Facade central part in Pushkinskaya Street
pushkinskaya-37-011.jpg Facade central part decoration in Troickaya Street

Bay windows
pushkinskaya-37-004.jpg Decoration of one of the side bay windows
pushkinskaya-37-005.jpg Side bay window semi rotunda
pushkinskaya-37-079.jpg Capital of semi rotunda column of the side bay window
pushkinskaya-37-006.jpg Side view of the bay window (right-side) in Pushkinskaya Street
pushkinskaya-37-088.jpg Bas relief decorating one of the side bay windows
pushkinskaya-37-068.jpg Side bay window bas relief above the right-side entrance in Pushkinskaya Street

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One of the symmetrical bas reliefs with floral motif

Upper storeys rustic stone is conventional, shallow. Window apertures of the first (in Pushkinskaya and Troickaya Street — the second) floor are the closest to the plastic forms of Art Nouveau, the general outlines of bay windows also hint expressively at the era of building a house. Massive stone balconies were almost completely lost, however, recreated on Pushkinskaya Street side during the last repairs. Simpler balconies with forged railing met the same fate. On Troickaya Street side the balconies were not recreated.

Balconies
pushkinskaya-37-076.jpg One of the second-floor balconies with forged railings
pushkinskaya-37-078.jpg One of the second-floor balconies with forged railings, fragment
pushkinskaya-37-074.jpg One of the second-floor balconies with forged railings, fragment
pushkinskaya-37-077.jpg One of the second-floor balconies with forged railings, fragment
pushkinskaya-37-075.jpg Balcony railings, stylized garland
pushkinskaya-37-073.jpg Fragment of the balcony railings on the third floor

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Reconstructed ornament on the reconstituted balcony on Pushkinskaya Street side

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Carved detail of the original sash on the ground floor on Troickaya Street side

The tower rotunda was lost as well, once decorated the corner of the building and clearly visible in old photographs. Emergency tower was dismantled in the early 1990s, and the drum, remaining in its place, was covered with tin sheets.

In the picture below (1927) while still present tower rotunda is clearly visible and the house itself was not even fifteen years after the end of construction.

pushkinskaya-37-062.jpg

On the central axis of the Facade on Troickaya Street side, there is a high, occupying two storeys, passage arch with cylindrical vault, design motif of the latter is similar to the halls vaults in the entrances in Pushkinskaya Street. In the arch itself the original doors, lost in time most of the decor, except for the carved wreaths, were preserved. The Facades of the building from the courtyard are quite minimalist and totally devoid of decorative design elements.

Passage arch to yard
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pushkinskaya-37-047.jpg Interior View

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Vaults fragment

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Entrance door, decor

At different times, one after the other the original entrance doors in Pushkinskaya Street were removed. The identical door that led into the office facilities (now the College of Economy and Trade Management), in Troickaya Street side has been replaced with an approximate copy (unfortunately, having nothing in common with the original except for general composite shapes). The last door led into the left-side entrance in Pushkinskaya Street and disappeared in the second half of the 2000s.

Front door entrances
pushkinskaya-37-008.jpg Facade in Pushkinskaya Street, the entrance into the right front door

Facade in Pushkinskaya Street, the entrance to the left-side front door

pushkinskaya-37-060.jpg Original left-side entrance door (now lost).

Main entrances are identical in configuration, but in right direction staircases are parallel to the hall axis, which turned perpendicular to the left-side staircases. Halls cornices support semi columns with capitals in exaggerated, modernized proportions. The vault is covered with square hollows; in the center of each a flower is added. There are two varieties of flowers, arranging in a checkerboard pattern. Such a simple, at first glance, the course gives the impression of unusual solemnity, despite the relatively small size of the hall.

Left-side entrance
pushkinskaya-37-038.jpg
Hall (detail), view of the front door

Hall, vaults
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pushkinskaya-37-040.jpg Moulded flower
pushkinskaya-37-041.jpg Moulded flower

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Hall, cornice

Tambour
pushkinskaya-37-037.jpg Vaults
pushkinskaya-37-035.jpg Semi column capitel
pushkinskaya-37-034.jpg Semi column capitel

pushkinskaya-37-045.jpg
Tambour view from the staircase

Halls at both entrances are identical in design, but the left-side entrance hall is half as longer, due to the large, square tambour, which vault repeats compositionally the hall vault and is supported at the corners with single semicolumns. The staircase itself has an elongated rectangle form, where one of the short sides is replaced with a half-arc and makes a semicircular landing. This is the place where the doors to the apartments are placed (the semicircular landing in right-side entrance is between flights of stairs and apartment doors are located on a right-angled area) with the lift door between, which aperture is significantly smaller.

Above the lift door on each floor there is an octagonal bas relief depicting a centaur. The same bas reliefs, among others, can be seen on the Facades of houses (mentioned above). In the right-side entrance bas reliefs are not available, but door transom remained between the hall and staircase was preserved. Doors of the apartments are restrained according to the total composition, but are decorated with carved «cameos», meanders along the top edge and symmetrical floral compositions along the bottom. The simpler doors, without ornaments, can be seen as well. However, their belonging to the period of Art Nouveau is indubitable.

Left-side entrance, staircase
pushkinskaya-37-033.jpg Front railings flight at the foot of the staircase
pushkinskaya-37-031.jpg Railings scroll at the foot of the stairs
pushkinskaya-37-032.jpg Decorative railings detail
pushkinskaya-37-036.jpg Railings, the general view composition
pushkinskaya-37-019.jpg Railings post
pushkinskaya-37-027.jpg Meander, located between the railing posts
pushkinskaya-37-024.jpg Railings
pushkinskaya-37-020.jpg Railing posts
pushkinskaya-37-022.jpg Railing post
pushkinskaya-37-025.jpg Railings, floral arrangement at the top of the post
pushkinskaya-37-026.jpg Railings, middle of the post decor
pushkinskaya-37-023.jpg Railings, middle of the post decor
pushkinskaya-37-048.jpg Railings, horizontal section

pushkinskaya-37-043.jpg Stained glass fragments
pushkinskaya-37-016.jpg Stained glass, top of the window
pushkinskaya-37-042.jpg Stained glass piece at the bottom of the window

pushkinskaya-37-018.jpg
Bas relief depicting a centaur

pushkinskaya-37-058_1.jpg Apartment doors, various options
pushkinskaya-37-044.jpg The upper part of the door, cameo and meander
pushkinskaya-37-021.jpg Bottom of the door decor

pushkinskaya-37-017.jpg
Staircase ceiling, general view

Entrance railings pattern is relatively restrained, decorated only with floral ornaments on supports. The spaces between supports are devoid of decoration except meander bordering with the railings. All of the major design elements focused on the entrance passage, where a decorative support is supplemented with a large square scroll (in tune with the above-mentioned meander) and palm leaves.

In the windows a large part of stained glass, which has clearly visible images of wreaths and a variety of floral motifs, has been preserved. Simple in composition sash has come to our time without modification.

Staircase ceiling design is very simple and was brought to geometrism, but ceilings in both entrances vary in composition solution. Besides, the room in one of the apartments, where now there are offices of various organizations, keeps a gorgeous cornice directly quoting «stalactitic» ornament.

pushkinskaya-37-029.jpg
«Moresque» stalactitic cornice in a former apartment

Right-side entrance
pushkinskaya-37-055.jpg
Hall view from the staircase

pushkinskaya-37-049.jpg
Door transom leading from the hall to the staircase

pushkinskaya-37-050.jpg
Decorative arch above the niche

pushkinskaya-37-052.jpg
Railings fragment

pushkinskaya-37-051.jpg Window with stained glass remnants
pushkinskaya-37-053.jpg Stained glass, fragment

pushkinskaya-37-054.jpg
Staircase ceiling decoration

There is no doubt that the house was intended for living of rather propertied people: some apartments area reach 170 meters and equipping of the building was carried out on extremely modern lines. The building was equipped with lifts, bathrooms and electric lighting. Housing insolation was also thought out well, including ground floors areas with windows facing the courtyard.

In the post-revolutionary period house gradually lost its residential functions: offices of various city organizations, including Dorprofsoyuz (trade union of railwaymen) and the newspaper «The Black Sea whistle» housed in the former apartments. Later, there was the city executive, so the house was mentioned in a newspaper in midst 50's:

«A meeting of the Odessa City Electoral Commission for elections to the City Council of People's Deputies, which discussed the organizational and technical preparations for the elections, approved work plan and set daily duty in the evening. The Commission is set in the city executive house in 37, Pushkinskaya Street.»

 

 
References and archives

Authors

The apartment house of I. Margulis at the corner of Marazlievskaya Street and Sabanskiy Lane belonging to the typical multi-family residential buildings of the 1910s is a vivid example of prevailing at that time large-scale, mania for great-scale projects and cold rationality in architecture inherent in dominant that time Art Nouveau. In Odessa there are several other ones (apartment houses of Novikov, Rud’, Asvadurov, Shestopal, etc.), but this house singles out by the revolutionary approach to the design and the largest number of storeys.

Type of building: apartment house
Style: Art Nouveau, Neoclassicism
Architect: F. L. Pappe
Date of construction: 1912
Status: local historical and architectural monument

Facade general view

General view of both facades from Marazlievskaya Street and Sabanskiy Lane corner Facade on Marazlievskaya Street Facade in Sabanskiy Lane Facade in Sabanskiy Lane

Since the mid-1890s to mid-1900s, the area between Marazlievskaya Street and Kanatnaya Street, on the odd-numbered side of Sabanskiy Lane belonged to S. Rally. It was later bought back by S. A. Kumbare, but approximately in 1911, the part of the site, which faced Marazlievskaya Street, was sold to I. Margulis. Ignatiy Antonovich Margulis was known as a technical engineer, who was also the managing director of the Odessa telephone exchange and the tenant of the city power station at the beginning of Staroportofrankovskaya Street. The office of I. A. Margulis was located on 12, Pushkinskaya Street.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=210826835402245267087.0004ca5c2da15216e5734&&t=h&ll=46.479201,30.749847&spn=0,0&output=embed

I. M. Margulis, who was engaged in grain operations, lived on 34, Remeslennaya Street in the 1910s as well, but in the reference book «All Odessa», 1914 edition, he was not mentioned. The Margulis’ with other names lived in the city, but also in other locations.

In 1912 (according to V. P. Netrebsky in 1913) on the site of Margulis a huge six-storey residential building was erected, which apartments were intended for very wealthy tenants. It is indicated, for example, by a high level of presentable appearance in the interiors that, in addition, served as a visual advertisement of the owner. The building was designed by a civil engineer Felix Lazarevic Pappe who was the author of a small number of buildings projects in 1910s. In general, these projects suggest that F. L. Pappe followed Jugendstil in the design of his buildings and the house of Margulis is not an exception. In the stylistics of decorative items neoclassical tendencies inherent in the architecture of the 1910s can also be traced, trends of Empire style are noticeable.

The ground floor from Marazlievskaya Street goes into a semi-basement due to the rough terrain, but the section in Sabanskiy Lane has six storeys, owing to this fact the house was the highest in Odessa for many decades. Asvadurov’s apartment house at the corner of Pushkinskaya Street and Troickaya Street, having shift from five to six storeys as well, was inferior to Margulis’ house only in terms of height.

The building is characterized by strict rectilinear forms; the construction is not hidden behind the decoration and leads out. With the general view on the facades, there is an obvious tendency to rationalize in the architecture of those years. The mass use of new building materials and techniques led to the conception of pre-constructivist architecture in Odessa sooner than in other cities of the Russian Empire. By 1912, when Margulis’ house was building, rational Art Nouveau had been almost formed in basic canons.

The engineer applied the block approach to the design of the building, which consists of two sections, the most massive of which is available from Marazlievskaya Street side, and more extended — along Sabanskiy Lane with a space from the building line. To improve the insolation and ventilation, in the section on Marazlievskay Street a light well was made, where the windows of the utility rooms and entrance hall look. Block layout of the building is emphasized from Sabanskiy Lane side by a composition of risalits varied in form. Facades decoration tension decreases with moving away from Marazlievskaya Street deep into the lane (part of the facade, which abuts to the next building has a risalit height of only two storeys).

Right-side risalit in Sabanskiy Lane

General view Balustrade

It serves as the basis for a smaller area risalit, two storey high, with three facets on the facade, culminating in an open terrace of one of the apartments.

Small right-side risalit in Sabanskiy Lane

General view Bas-relief on a facade facet

Thus, there is a complex in shapes pyramidal composition, balancing the comparative coldness of the facade design in Sabanskiy Lane. In the lower risalit the passage to a small courtyard of the building, flanked by two tall obelisks, was made.

Passage to the courtyard

Passage arch, a view from the street Light windows of the entrance sluice, in the wall between outer volume of the arch Right-side flag holder, a rare specimen

Courtyard passage gates

General view Ornamental inserts Forged medallion, following decorative elements on the lift doors in the entrance halls Flower, the central part of the forged medallion A decorative element, crowning  the leaves

To the right of the passage there is a modestly decorated doorway to the entrance hall

Right-side entrance door

General view of the entrance door (it is quite possible that the door is authentic and the last preserved from the outer ones) Decorative composition Decorative composition fragment

A stronger emphasis makes a central risalit in Sabanskiy Lane, with a loggia on the fifth floor.

Central risalit in Sabanskiy Lane

General view Perspective view from below

The risalit is decorated with moulded elements in the form of bas-reliefs, which are concentrated in the panels, pilasters and between the loggia openings. The bas-reliefs in panels are traditional for Neoclassicism and depict baskets of fruits, symbolizing abundance and rods, decorated with flowers. More interesting compositions with images of eagles are located under the pilaster capitals.

Central risalit decoration

Bas-relief of an eagle, crowning the pilaster Bas-relief in the panel Bas-relief in the panel

Above, between the loggia openings, workers bas-reliefs are placed, intensifying the austere style of the building. The idea of the proletariat depicting in architecture refers to the trends that existed in the art of the early twentieth century in Odessa and also reflected in the design of the entrances to the Mendelevich’s passage.

Loggia decoration

Bas-relief with image of a worker, decorating the loggia (left-side) Bas-relief with image of a worker, decorating the loggia (right-side) Loggia fencing with forged inserts of original design

In the central risalit the expressive doorway portal of the entrance is located. There are grotesque mascarones on the portal columns and two vases over the entablature. A similar portal leads to the entrance from Marazlievskaya Street.

Doorway portal to the central risalit entrance

General view Portal mascarone, left-side Flower over the mascorone

A corner section represents a separate monolithic volume, but for compensation of the ruggedness, bay windows are arranged on sections of both street facades (facades facing Marazlievskaya Street and Sabanskiy Lane). However, the section is still less loaded with decorative elements from Sabanskiy Lane side and does not spoil accent of the central risalit (described earlier) in Sabanskiy Lane.

Corner section decoration in Sabanskiy Lane

General composition of three panels A panel Medallion

The same pilasters with the eagles as on the central risalit are located on both bay windows however, small medallions with modest ornamentation are placed in the bay window from Sabanskiy Lane side as well, and a regular balcony on the bay windows of the corner section is in keeping with the central loggia on the central risalit.
A section facade on Marazlievskaya Street is smarter and dynamic; there are panels with rods in the bay window as on the central risalit from Sabanskiy Lane side and the bases of pilasters side are made in the baroque style. The windows of the two lower floors of the bay are aggregated in vertical groups by the decorative frame, and balconies lead to both sides of the bay window.

Facade decoration on Marazlievskaya Street

Bay window perspective view from below Eagle bas-relief Eagle bas-relief Eagle bas-relief Medallion Pilaster base Pilaster base, fragment Pilaster base, ornamental decoration Capital of the lower pilaster section, occupying the whole height of the first floor Cornice fragment over the window Ornament specimens Upper storeys fencing (similarly to loggia one)

Basement level on Marazlievskaya Street

Rustic stone fragment Basement level cornice, surrounding outer facades of the building by uninterrupted ribbon Memorial plaque, indicating that Honoured Artist of Ukraine— Gregory Zinovievich Krizhevsky lived in the house in 1956-1965

Under the bay window there is an entrance portal, decorated, as mentioned above, like the portal of the central risalit, but from Marazlievskaya Street it is equipped with three small oval windows, illuminating an additional flute in the sluice formed by the stairs.

Entrance portal on Marazlievskaya Street

General view General view Portal mascaron, right-side Vase An oval window for the sluice illumination

From the second floor the building have balconies, which are varied in design. The second floor balconies have stone balustrade with metal edging on top; the third and fourth floors balconies also have completely metal fence, and the fifth floor balcony — metal fence on stone props. Balconies are placed in the space between the risalits, excepting balconies near to the end of a nearby building in Sabanskiy Lane.

Balconies

Perspective view of left-side facade balconies facing Marazlievskaya Street from below Second floor balcony facing Marazlievskaya Street Second floor balcony facing Marazlievskaya Street, forged fencing fragment Third floor balcony Third floor balcony, fencing prop Third floor balcony, fencing prop Overhang props over the fourth floor balcony Fourth floor balcony facing Sabanskiy Lane, fencing fragment Fourth floor balcony facing Sabanskiy Lane, fencing prop

The first two floors of the building are identified as a basement level by means of large blocks of roughly hewn stone imitating rustication. In the space formed by the indent of an extended section from the building line of the street, a front garden, separated from the pavement by a low metal fence on a stone base, was placed.

Front garden fencing from Sabanskiy Lane side

Fencing fragment Decoration sections Forged scroll

The building is substantial in size and occupies a large part of its site, but the yard is well lit owing to the separate building of the former Peasants Bank at a nearby area on Marazlievskaya Street. Undoubtedly, F. L. Pappe was aware of the nature of the adjacent building, which in those days probably was already building (completed in 1914), and was at a comfortable distance from Margulis’ house, and took into account this point in the draft. Therefore, the firewall of the house, turned to the Peasants Bank, not being designed for an extension to buildings closely, was treated with vertical decorative textured ribbons.

Firewall

Perspective view from below, from Peasants Bank side

However, the limited size of the site forced the architect to bring the windows of the right entrance (facing Sabanskiy Lane) in the courtyard passage, and the windows of technical utility services rooms on Marazlievskaya Street — in a specially equipped light well. Some rooms overlook the same right-side passage. Left-side entrance, on the contrary, has a classic layout «lobby-staircase», and equipped with windows located on its axis, so that all the flights of stairs are well lit and landings are quite compact in size that also has a positive impact on insolation. Courtyard facades are made in rationalization design manner peculiar to Odessa.

Courtyard passage arch

General view Decoration of the light widows section of the entrance sluice Medallion, decorated by a  wreath Medallion, decorated by a  wreath

Courtyard facade

General view Balconies and stairs risalit Staircase  window, illuminating the entrance hall in the central risalit in Sabanskiy Lane Window with reconstructed stained glass, illuminating upper stairs landing in the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street Balcony fencing fragment Balcony fencing fragment Perspective view from below from the right-side entrance on Marazlievskaya Street

Small risalits with faceted corners look in the courtyard, the facades are roughcast, and under the windows panels are arranged (similar design can be found in the buildings of the 1910s of  such architects as A. I. Goltsvurm, M. S. Radbil, P. L . Slavkin). However, unlike most of the other architects buildings, courtyard facades, as well as outside, at the level of the first two floors are covered with rustic stone (but more primitive.) There is also a semi-circular risalit of the entrance staircase on Marazlievskaya Street, which led to the proper form of the staircase landings.

All three entrances of the building are decorated in a similar way; however, from the point of view of planning decisions and certain details, they are different. The most representative is the entrance from Marazlievskaya Street side leading to the apartments of a five-storey section only (starting with the first floor, which is accessible via a sluice stairs). The sluice is blocked by an arch vault with caissons and blades made of granite slabs are placed on the walls. Over the blades on the caisson vault there are six identical antique bas-reliefs; two more fragments of bas-reliefs are located near the doorway.

Entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street

Stair sluice Stair sluice vaults Stair sluice vaults A bas-relief in the sluice Ornament Decorative finishing of the windows over the portal from within Decoration fragment of the authentic door, leading to the stair landing Decoration fragment of the authentic door, leading to the stair landing

Staircase

Stair landing between the lobby and the stairs, a view of the lobby A view of the stairs from the first floor landing Top floor landing Top floor landing A view of the stairs from the first floor landing Pilaster capital Pilaster capital

Stair landings with entrances to the apartments have a large size, but lighting is not enough. In addition to the entrances to two apartments on each floor there is a massive lift door, covered with metal strips and decorated with a simple oval medallion of a plain floral ornament. A similar medallion adorns the passage arch gate. The only surviving to the present day lift door is located on the first floor.

Lift door

General view Medallion

Entrance doors in Margulis’ apartment house are two varieties in width. Their wide option is present only in the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street; in Sabanskiy Lane entrances to the residential areas are equipped with doors of ordinary width. Unfortunately, not all doors were preserved: come to present times ones reveal similarities with the doors of rooms of Shestopal’s apartment building on Lev Tolstoy Street, but a similar design was common in the 1910s. On the whole, the doors are restrained in decoration, transom and five oval apertures are glazed, and one of the doors preserved the original (!) stained glass. The fine carving, decorating the door, was fulfilled with great skill.

Apartment doors

General view of the door General view of the door Decoration of three oval apertures Fragment of the carving Fragment of the carving Fragment of the carving Stained glass of a door, probably authentic Fragment of the stained glass

The walls of the entrance hall are covered with ceramic tile on a third of height, such move does not occur anywhere else in the city, as well as the type of tile. This design was common in Europe, but within the Russian Empire was not widespread, although it might be present in apartment houses of St. Petersburg and Moscow. The edges of the tile lining are flat on the landings, and stepped parallel to the stairs. Most of the tile imitates cold grey marble or granite, part of its wall is mounted with, arranged in a row, the tiles with floral patterns (on the stairs are placed stepwise).

Ceramic tile

Stepped composition Stepped composition Tile fragment on the wall of a semicircular landing between flights of stairs Horizontal composition One of the decorated tiles, making upper edge of the coating Fragment of the lower part of the coating

The ceiling is completely covered by a broad raised moulded frieze on the fifth floor which is made more emphatic, due to the presence of caisson fascia as a junction of walls and ceiling.

Frieze and ceiling

Fragment of the ceiling over the landing between flights of stairs Fragment of the ceiling over the landing of the top floor Fragment of the ceiling over the landing of the top floor Frieze fragment Frieze fragment Decorative details of the frieze Cornice fragment

The entrance hall railings reproduce partly fencing elements of some building balconies: the upper part of the railings is a frieze of scrolls identical to insert of the second floor balconies and the front garden fence (in the latter this motif is made on a larger scale), which is interrupted by a vertical composition, reminiscent of a flower or a rod.

Railings

General view Banister, inclined variant Baluster fragment Baluster fragment Baluster fragment Baluster Ornamental insert between the balusters Banister, horizontal variant Banister, horizontal variant

The windows of all the entrance halls have small geometric inserts of yellow glass. In the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street, on the top floor, on the entire area of the window there is a stained glass of geometric pattern that has been preserved almost completely. Large windows of the light well, looking at the entrance hall, have been preserved as well (now tightly boarded up as unnecessary).

Window between the first and the third floors

General view Stained glass fragment Stained glass fragment

Stained glass on the top floor

Lower window aperture Stained glass fragment Stained glass fragment Stained glass fragment Stained glass fragment Upper window aperture Stained glass fragment

Light well window

General view General view

It is known as well that in the entrance on Marazlievskaya Street Margulis’ apartment was located, which layout was carried out in two levels. F. L. Pappe, applying such a move was the first of the city architects, who made the innovation come true.

In terms of design, entrances in Sabanskiy Lane are not different from the main one on Marazlievskaya Street. Left-side entrance in the lane is equipped with a long stair hall instead of a stairs lobby, similar to the lobby of the main entrance, vaults and bas-reliefs.

Left-side entrance in Sabanskiy Lane

Stair hall Stair hall Stair hall vaults Bas-relief

The right-side entrance is decorated more interesting. The vaults are flat, but decorated in the same vein. Light windows overlook the passage arch (most of them are today boarded up or painted over, so it's hard to judge how well the entrance lobby was illuminated).

Right-side entrance hall in Sabanskiy Lane

General view of the lobby from the doorway A view of the stairs from the doorway Light window Fragment of the light window decoration Fragment of the light window sash Vaults Vaults General view of the lobby from the staircase General view of the lobby from the staircase Finishing of the lobby wall Double bas-relief Single bas-relief Ornament Ornament

Staircase

General view from the lobby General view A view upwards A view upwards A view of the beam and column A view of the beam and column Column capital Column capital Lower part of the column, covered by metal plates

The staircase is of a slightly oblong, almost square form. A beam between the staircase and the lobby is supported by a massive, square in cross-section, column with cut corners, crowned by the original form capital of geometric shapes. The lower part of the column is covered with metal bands with rough rivets (lift doors are decorated in the same style) that can also be attributed to unique elements of interior decoration. Here and there are remains of tiles, but otherwise the style of the entrance hall is similar to the previous two ones.

Railings

Entrance flight of stairs Carved scroll of the handrail, preserved only in the right—side entrance hall in Sabanskiy Lane Flight of stairs Flight of stairs

Tile

Fragment of the tiling Tile, preserved on the ground floor landing

Windows

Light window of one of the apartments One of the entrance hall windows

Doors

Standard width door, such as in both entrance halls in Sabanskiy Lane Carved decoration

Cornices

Cornice fragment, horizontal variant Stylized heraldic medallion at the junction of the horizontal and stairs flight sections of the cornice Cornice fragment, stairs flight (diagonal) variant

Frieze of the staircase

A view from the top floor landing Corner fragment

In some areas of apartments broad friezes with bas-reliefs depicting putti in scenes of hunting, harvesting fruits and crops, fishing have been preserved in good condition. Ceilings are ornamented like ceilings in the entrance halls, the composition is complicated.

Frieze, ceiling and bas-reliefs in one of the apartments (the entrance hall on Marazlievskaya Street

Frieze fragment Bas-relief depicting fishing Bas-relief depicting harvesting grapes Bas-relief depicting hunting Bas-depicting harvesting wheat crop Corner fragment of the frieze Ornamental fragment of the frieze Rosette

In general, analyzing the number of artistic techniques, a variety of finishing materials, unusual engineering and planning decisions and the degree of preservation of the decoration, the apartment house of Margulis can be attributed to the most outstanding buildings of the 1910s in Odessa.

Centenary history of the house can not be called intense. However, there are interesting pages in it. For example, in 1920 it housed editorial office of the journal «National Economy» — «the monthly organ of the Odessa Province Economic Council.» Later, some of the apartments were transferred to the KGB to place various offices and housing some employees. Next door, in the former Peasant Bank, since the 1920s there was a club of MGB, NKVD and KGB.

 

 

References and Archives

  • «Architects of Odessa». V. Pilyavsky
  • «Architecture of Odessa. Style and time». V. Pilyavsky
  • «Buildings, structures, monuments of Odessa and architects». V. Pilyavsky
  • An article on building in a blog Antique
  • Reference book «All Odessa», 1914

Authors

Marzalievskaya Street is one of architectural conservation areas of Odessa center. Variety of styles here is plethoric and fantasy of an architect creates a real spectacular sight in stone. A big apartment house of М. О. Mendelevich is not an exception and demonstrates creative genius of its author in real.

Type of building: mansion, apartment house
Style: Art Nouveau, Neo-Renaissance, «Egyptian Revival»
Architect: M. I. Linetskiy
Date of construction: 1905
Status: local historical and architectural monument

General view of the facade
marazlievskaya-14a-44.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-45.jpg

Magnificent two storied house, number 14a, is maybe the most ornate and imposing one among the creations of talented architect M. I. Linetskiy, whose creativity brightly and distinctively completed the list of Art Nouveau period houses. Moreover Linetskiy side by side with another great architect of those times — L. M. Chernigov boldly combined such styles like Art Nouveau (mainly decorative and ornamental ones) and Egyptian Revival (general stylization), having created truly expressive and recognizable idiom. From style point of view, house on 14a, Marazlievskaya Street is not an exception, though it is singled out among other buildings of the master.

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If we refer to archives sources and publications of those years, in a reference book All Odessa, year 1903 this place is marked as «vacant» and in the reference book, year 1910 the plot number 14 (present-day number 14a and 14b)had already belonged to M. O. Mendelevich. According to the reference book, year 1914 Mendelevich didn't possess the plot, by that time divided into two parts and passed to two different proprietors. In the same reference book former house of Menedelevich belonged to Vinokurov, and on the plot 14b, a big apartment house of Z. Naum had appeared a year earlier. However, decisive role in defining of historical belonging played only name of the first proprietor of the house, building developer. That is why in the list of local architectural monuments the building is registered as apartment house of N. A. Mendelevich. The date of construction is known for sure — 1905.

After a number of buildings designed in a more or less «academic» Art Nouveau, the architect again refers to eclecticism and stylization, not forgetting however the stylistic fashion. A number of earlier houses of Linetskiy are known as built in eclectic style. Therefore he had already had experience in this direction before the construction of Mendelevich’s house. As for the style the building combines renaissance, Art Nouveau and Egyptian stylizations. However obvious mix of the styles is observed only on the front facade. As for the facade from yard side and decoration of the interior — they are much closer to pure Art Nouveau. Coming back to the front facade, it is worth mentioning, that trace of Egyptian Revival is visible there quite obviously, and not only in ornament, but in some sculptures themes as well. In general, Egyptian architecture motifs were rarely applied in Russian Empire; however a considerable amount of such buildings were quite successful. The buildings implemented in Egyptian reminiscences are characterized by expressive wide mass of central part, which as a rule dominates in height, and applying of trapezoid forms. Stucco mouldings and rustication have straight clear lines and are cut out of monolithic stone. They also have cut edges which are not expressed clearly. Last wave of interest to Egyptian Revival appeared during epoch of Art Nouveau and was developing together side by side, mixing sometimes. Strict canons of this style never existed so the final result always depended on the architect's vision. Concerning Odessa, this style was expressed most of all in the works of Linetskiy. In the case of the describable house, the architect managed to combine naturally the monumentality of Egyptian Revival and the Renaissance. In addition to this, one can notice cold Scandinavian motifs in male mascarons and chimeras.

The house consists of the main wing and two side ones; the plan of the building is nearly symmetrical and represents by itself cyrillic «П» (Р). Probability that the main wing was planned as the mansion is very high. On its first floor there was only one apartment for the owner. Similar design decision is observed in the mansion of another Mendelevich (initials Е. Y.) on Маrazalievskaya, 28. The rooms of the ground floor could make the most splendid apartments in the house. A bit cheaper apartments could be found in three — storey yard wings.

The main facade has nine window axes on its width, seven of which are occupied by a wide, a bit prominent risalit. The ground floor of two storied house is decorated by rustication, which imitates the laying of sandstone and limestone (materials typical for Egypt).

Rustication finishing of the main facade on the ground floor
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marazlievskaya-14a-47.jpg
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Fragment of wall finishing of the ground floor
marazlievskaya-14a-123.jpg

The sections of balcony fences and semi-basement windows are different in measures, but made in the same compositional vein, and present a magnificent example of decorative Art Nouveau.

The fence of the balcony
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marazlievskaya-14a-130.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-121.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-124.jpg

The fence of semi-basement window
marazlievskaya-14a-125.jpg

The axes of the passway arch is not marked with traditional risalit, but in order to add a shade of solemnity, a big sculptural composition is placed in the vaulted niche above the arch. It is symmetrical, consists of shield and male mascaron and two sphinxes on each side. Such order of the elements associates with heraldry incarnated in the sculpture.

The passway arch, general view
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Sculptural composition above the passway arch
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Fragments of facade
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Solemn rhythm of big windows with large fascia occupies the first floor. The window of central axes is a bit wider than the others and framed on each side with splendid Art Nouveau medallions.

marazlievskaya-14a-26.jpg
Medallion

The fascia lies on two columns (fascia of the other windows is supported by corbels), and lucarnes are decorated with grotesque lion heads in Egyptian style.

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Image of the lion's head decorating the lucarne of the central window

On the rest of the windows the lions' heads are replaced by the images of the rolled snakes.

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Image of the snake

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Mascaron above the window on the first floor

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General view of decoration composition of the first floor window.

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Small bass-reliefs between the first floor windows.

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In the motifs of the bass-reliefs two symmetrically located sphinxes are used that resonates with the compositional sculpture above the arch.

The strongest impact of Art Nouveau both on the ground and the first floors has the framing of the window aperture of two end window axes.

Windows of end axes
marazlievskaya-14a-49.jpg Window of the ground floor
marazlievskaya-14a-50.jpg Window of the first floor

Above each of risalit windows the small triplex windows of entresol are located, and their rhythm additionally underlines the central part of the building.

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Decorative filling of the space between entresol windows

A massive balcony, circled by the balustrade on the first floor, completes the compositional wholeness of the facade. The balcony occupies three window axes edgewise and is located in the center just above the passway arch. The stony balustrade balusters are decorated simply, but plastically and made in pure Art Nouveau vein.

Balcony of the first floor
marazlievskaya-14a-48.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-31.jpg Fragment of the balustrade
marazlievskaya-14a-33.jpg Corbels

Cornice
marazlievskaya-14a-32.jpg

Unfortunately no documental witness about the gates of the house was found, however the remaining fanlight restrained geometrical composition tells about their probable strictness in general. Afterwards, due to their dilapidation the leaves of the gates were disassembled and replaced by simple monolithic ones.

marazlievskaya-14a-109.jpg
Fanlight of the gates

The inside space of the arch consists of two bulks.

Passway arches
marazlievskaya-14a-16.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-15.jpg General view

Directly attached to the street bulk is correspondingly main. It is gorgeously decorated and has a floor laid with small pieces of tile. (The floor was almost completely preserved and after restoring was cleaned from remains of the soviet time asphalt covering.)

Tilework of the arch floor
marazlievskaya-14a-111.jpg General composition of the pattern
marazlievskaya-14a-114.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-116.jpg Fragment

Opposite the gates there is a window which was used for watching people arriving or leaving the house or the yard.

Window in the arch
marazlievskaya-14a-43.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-21.jpg Keystone

The entrance is located on the left, in a small distance from the gates just enough for the opened leaf not to block the front door. Decoration is concentrated on the window and the walls on its level. Among the interesting elements it's worth to highlight the keystone of the window which is the same as the medallions on facade and not very high doubled half-columns, that are also taken from the ancient Egyptian architecture, where such half-columns symbolized bundles of reed. With the difference, of course, that the half-column measures are brought to the strongest miniaturization in comparison with the prototype.

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Fake pillars

Fragments of the arch decoration
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General view of the arch from the window
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On the vaulting the decoration is represented by simple floral ornament. There is a probability that their big, free from decoration surfaces could be originally painted.

The vaulting of the arch
marazlievskaya-14a-14.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-23.jpg Ornamental decoration
marazlievskaya-14a-22.jpg Ornamental decoration

The second arch leads down to the yard, decorative finish is almost absent. Here the doors to semi-basements are located.

The arch leading to the yard
marazlievskaya-14a-63.jpg View from the street side
marazlievskaya-14a-117.jpg View from the yard side
marazlievskaya-14a-113.jpg Door to the semi-basement. Its authenticity is doubtful, however it is made in balance with the whole house decoration.

The door which leads to the entrance is the exact copy of the original one, which was in absolutely catastrophic condition before the last restoration. As the restoration or making the same door would be expensive, the repair organizers preferred just to replace the door with the simplest one instead of restoring it. It resulted in loosing of one more authentic element. And nevertheless from the compositional point of view it can be related to the best examples of carpenter furniture of the Art Nouveau epoch houses.

The entrance door
marazlievskaya-14a-107.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-106.jpg Upper part of leaf
marazlievskaya-14a-105.jpg Lower part of leaf

Inside the entrance hall there is the following order of space: stair sluices, the landing of the ground floor (here located a watching window for observing the gates), staircase. The decoration changes depending on the space.

Sluice
marazlievskaya-14a-10.jpg General view from the ground floor landing
marazlievskaya-14a-69.jpg Decorative niche
marazlievskaya-14a-70.jpg Keystone of the niche
marazlievskaya-14a-12.jpg General view of one of the walls decoration
marazlievskaya-14a-73.jpg Decoration of pilaster, ornament and Druid
marazlievskaya-14a-101.jpg Fragment of pilaster ornament
marazlievskaya-14a-67.jpg Fake balustrade
marazlievskaya-14a-72.jpg Fake balustrade
marazlievskaya-14a-68.jpg Detail
marazlievskaya-14a-71.jpg Detail

Under the lightening window of sluice there is a high decorative niche; walls are processed in relief with applying of pilasters and fake balustrade in between. In the space of each pilaster a “Druid” mascaron, which is located above the simple vertical floral ornament, is added,. The vaultings continue logically the compositional rhythm of walls decoration but in more strict geometrical style.

Vaulting of sluice
marazlievskaya-14a-11.jpg General view

Panels under the vaulting of sluice were originally painted. Painting presents picturesque paysages and even till the middle of 2000-s years it was in good condition, but in the second half of 2000-s years or later was completely destroyed (probably during the last repair).

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Lost picturesque panels (as of 2008)

The landing of the ground floor strongly contrasts with the sluice, the ceilings are simplified and look more schematic. From the sculpture one can find only doubled corbels, which support the girder. The corbels are decorated with floral ornament (similar can be found in other buildings of Linetskiy).

Corbels
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The last door from the original ones on the ground floor was demounted (supposedly in 2011) during the restoration and replaced by the new one with decorative metallic plates, which style can be named free mix of Secession and Jugendstil, however the door doesn't fit with the stylistic of interiors.

Doors
marazlievskaya-14a-127.jpg Lost door
marazlievskaya-14a-65.jpg Door remake

The landing of the ground floor leads to the splendid vestibule staircase. Unlike the sluice, the vestibule is located along the central axes if the house and is a real culmination of architectural idea. Splendid wooden stairs with Art Nouveau handrails with simple geometrical pattern and ornamental panels used to lead to the owner’s room.

Staircase
marazlievskaya-14a-9.jpg Entrance stair flight
marazlievskaya-14a-76.jpg Ornamental panel
marazlievskaya-14a-100.jpg Ornamental panel
marazlievskaya-14a-75.jpg View of the staircase and entrance vestibule

Handrails
marazlievskaya-14a-97.jpg A variant of the stair flight
marazlievskaya-14a-91.jpg Horizontal variant

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Finishing of the vestibule walls on the ground floor at the places free from wooden panels.

On staircase landing a small glazed bulk facing the yard as the bay window ledge on the corbels is located. The window apertures of free plastic forms saved the original sashes in decorative Art Nouveau spirit. In the center of this small room a bass relief with another one «Druid» is located which used to be part of decorative fountain, which basin has not been saved till now. The balk of the aperture leading to the bay window area is supported by three half-column on each side with complicated in terms of configuration column caps, made on the meeting point of Art Nouveau and Egyptian Revival.

Interior of the bay window
marazlievskaya-14a-95.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-4.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-92.jpg Remains of decorative fountain
marazlievskaya-14a-94.jpg Windows
marazlievskaya-14a-93.jpg Element of window decoration
marazlievskaya-14a-87.jpg Column top
marazlievskaya-14a-88.jpg Column top
marazlievskaya-14a-89.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-5.jpg A view from the bay window to the vestibule

Vestibule in the process of restoration
marazlievskaya-14a-17.jpg General view before the restoring
marazlievskaya-14a-56.jpg General view from the first floor platform in the process of restoring
marazlievskaya-14a-62.jpg General view from stairwell platform in the process of restoring

Vestibule after restoration (current condition)
marazlievskaya-14a-2.jpg General view from staircase landing
marazlievskaya-14a-3.jpg General view from staircase landing
marazlievskaya-14a-8.jpg General view from staircase landing
marazlievskaya-14a-7.jpg General view from staircase landing

Finishing of the walls in vestibule is much more splendid than the sluice's one. Here panels with symmetrical floral compositions appear and doubled pilasters crowned with cameo medallions with women's profile images. The turns of the profiles alternate, each cameo is put into the crown of stylized moulded «tree». The walls are separated from the vaulting by textured panels with floral ornament.

Floral ornament in vestibule
marazlievskaya-14a-60.jpg Floral ornament, wide variant
marazlievskaya-14a-59.jpg Floral ornament, narrow variant
marazlievskaya-14a-84.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-83.jpg
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marazlievskaya-14a-85.jpg Floral ornament in the curve of the corner.

Pilasters
marazlievskaya-14a-98.jpg Pilasters and the wall surface in between
marazlievskaya-14a-99.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-90.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-81.jpg Decoration of the lower part of pilaster
marazlievskaya-14a-55.jpg Decoration of the lower part of pilaster
marazlievskaya-14a-86.jpg Decoration of the lower part of pilaster, detail

Cameos
marazlievskaya-14a-61.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-57.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-58.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-82.jpg

Vaulting
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General view

The vaulting is alike the vaulting of sluice and arch in terms of composition. In the long axis of vestibule, in front of each other a big window with original sash is located (it is above the room described above in the bay window), and also there is a pompous richly decorated arch which marks the entrance to the apartment of Mendelevych, following a niche with three doors (one of the window aperture, central one, is closed).

Arch of the entrance in the first floor apartment
marazlievskaya-14a-6.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-96.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-80.jpg Cupola of the encased door aperture
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marazlievskaya-14a-19.jpg Floral ornament in the niche behind the arch
marazlievskaya-14a-102.jpg Door in the niche (some probability of authenticity exists)

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The window of the vestibule

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Parquet on the landing of the first floor

In vestibule original parquet is preserved, the walls of the ground floor are covered with wooden panels; the decoration of the walls and handrails were well preserved, and sculptural finishing was cleared from a big amount of paint from different times due to restoring. However on the background of it, the fact of losing the mentioned above doors and the paintings supposedly completed the decoration in the entrance hall as well as picturesque panels remains quite sad.

In comparison with interior decoration of the main wing, the ones inside the yard are decorated with restraint. During the examination of the entrance hall of the left side wing simple eclectic handrails with ordinary ornament were found.

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Handrails of left side wing

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Left side wing, fragment of facade

From the side of yard the wall finishing of a main wing is quite restrained too, however richer than in side ones. Moreover the main wing is more complicated than the others the central part is singularized by risalit, and on the level of the first floor the mentioned above bay window is located, its corbels are decorated with the floral ornament.

Yard facade
marazlievskaya-14a-34.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-42.jpg A view from the wing window

Bay window
marazlievskaya-14a-36.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-37.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-40.jpg Corbels

marazlievskaya-14a-35.jpg
Authentic balcony handrails from the yard side

The bay window overhangs just above the arch of the passway, in front of which in the yard a small sculpture is located. It shows a boy who hugs the pike. Probably it used to be a fountain or a spring.

Fountain-sculpture
marazlievskaya-14a-39.jpg General view
marazlievskaya-14a-1.jpg
marazlievskaya-14a-118.jpg

Like in several previous buildings of Linetskiy, the corners between the wings are marked by the rounded risalit that makes impact on the shape of the rooms inside them. Both risalits are decorated on the level of the second floor with the classic streaming ornament, known as «Cyclamen» (Russian «Lash of the whip») Based on the well-known namesake embroidery of G. Obrist, this motif became in fact a calling card of Art Nouveau.

marazlievskaya-14a-119.jpg «Lash of the whip» between the windows of risalit

 

 

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

Authors

 

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