In the neo-Greek style: the history of the wooden manor house in Gusyatnikov lane

January 9

Gusyatnikov Lane is located between Myasnitskaya Street and Bolshoy Kharitonevsky Lane. It appeared on Moscow maps at the end of the 18th century, and this name is associated with the name of Pyotr Gusyatnikov, a merchant and an eminent citizen of Moscow. The main office of his trading company was located here.

The lane began to be densely built up in the late 19th — early 20th centuries. The appearance of this small lane was influenced by designs of such famous architects as Bogdan Nilus, Nikolay Yakunin, Valentin Dubovskoy, Vasily Borin and Mikhail Fidler. And in house 11 from 1886 to 1904 lived a mechanical scientist and founder of Russian aviation Nikolai Zhukovsky.

One of the most notable buildings in Gusyatnikov Lane is house 7, which is recognized as a cultural heritage site of regional significance. This wooden structure was once part of the manor house of Eduard von Behrens.

The history of this site begins in the second half of the 18th century, when Colonel Pyotr Chicherin erected here stone house with a garden in the courtyard, where various buildings were located. By the 1880s, the site layout changed due to the division of the plot into two properties and the appearance of two residential wooden houses forming the manor.

Engineer-architect Mikhail Fidler built it in the modern Greek style: the facades and interiors are decorated with Ionic pilasters, typical for the architecture of Ancient Greece, and inserts with floral and geometric designs stylized as modern times — palmettes and meander. The customer was a hereditary nobleman Eduard Andreevich von Behrens, who had the rank of collegiate assessor.

In those years, manor houses in Moscow were built according to a single standard and consisted of the main house and side wings. Fiedler, on the other hand, built two separate, symmetrical buildings. Each of them had two stairs — an entrance with a stone fence, dolomite steps and landings, as well as a stair to the mezzanine with dolomite steps, landings and a fence made of chiseled wooden balusters with railings. The interiors of the house included oak parquet floors, profiled ceiling cornices, stucco moldings, fireplaces and stoves, including a brick heating stove in the basement.

In 1905, the manor house was rebuilt as a school. Nevertheless, von Behrens remained its owner until the revolution. After 1917, the house was nationalized and used for communal apartments. In the 1920s, in one of them lived Grigory Roshal, later film director, People's Artist of the USSR and winner of two Stalin Prizes of the first degree for the films "Academician Ivan Pavlov" and "Mussorgsky".

In the early 1930s, the property was transferred to the Society of Old Bolsheviks, after which Gusyatnikov Lane was renamed Bolshevik Lane. The historical name was returned to the lane only in 1994.

In the 1960s, the former von Behrens manor house suffered serious damage — its left wing was destroyed. Later, the remaining building housed administrative offices.

Return of original appearance

In 2016, it was decided to develop a project for the restoration and adaptation of an old manor house under the program of the Moscow Government “1 ruble per square meter”. At the same time, the restoration work began at the cultural heritage site, which was completed a year later.

The specialists restored the brickwork of the basement floor, decorative details of the facades, forged details (forged iron canopy on cantilevers and a flag holder), repaired the roof. In addition, the window and door panels were replaced.

In the interiors were repaired stoves, ceiling cornices, stucco details. The original oak parquet flooring in the front rooms of the first floor and in the mezzanine was also restored. In addition, the engineering networks were updated and landscaping performed.

During the restoration experts made an important discovery. At the start of work, the building was painted yellow. But under a thick layer of paint, the experts discovered the original color of the house — burgundy. And after the wooden surface was cleaned of the previous layers and treated with a fire-retardant composition, the former von Behrens manor house again became burgundy, as in the distant 1880.


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