Russian Revival-style clinic: Rogozhskaya outpatient clinic comes under state protection

December 16, 2020

One of the most original buildings in Moscow has been declared a cultural landmark and is now protected by the state. The Rogozhskaya Outpatient Clinic, or Sumbul City Outpatient Clinic, located at 17 Rogozhsky Pereulok has received a new status. 

This is a two-storey building, built in 1903 at the request of the Moscow City Hall. Architect Nikolai Blagoveshchensky (1867-1926) picked an unusual style for a public building: the Russian Revival style. The red brick structure with  intricate white décor has become an icon of Rogozhsky Pereulok.

“The Russian Revival style is a popular architectural movement of the late 19th-early 20th century. There are many wonderful examples of this style in Moscow, among them public, distinctive city buildings such as the State Department Store, the Historical and Polytechnic museums. The style features a combination of the Byzantine and old Russian architecture. The Rogozhskaya Clinic has become a spectacular example of a public municipal building featuring the main elements of the Russian Revival style,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

According to Yemelyanov, the cultural landmark status will provide protection from demolition and any other changes in the appearance of the building during renovations or repairs. The owners and tenants now have to receive approval from the city to do any kind of works there.

Пресс-служба Департамента культурного наследия города Москвы

The T-shaped building is made of red brick and painted in contrasting colours: red and white. All décor is made of moulded and ornately shaped bricks.

The main façade has three avant-corps. The entrance is located in the central one. Right above the entrance are two small arches with a drop ornament. They are enframed by an archivolt, an ornamental moulding following the curve on the door aperture, adorned with toothed strips.

The main façade also features ogee (a pointed arch) and lancet (with two semicircular arches) windows, as well as small columns, kokoshniks (semicircular or keel-like exterior decorative elements) and sawtooth courses of bricks. All these elements are traditional for the Russian Revival style.

In the early 20th century, the Rogozhskaya Outpatient Clinic, or the Sumbul City Outpatient Clinic, only provided ambulatory care. It also had a day patient department and an operating theatre. It admitted both children and adults and treated ophthalmic, skin and otolaryngologic diseases. It was also possible to send for a doctor from the clinic.

It is noteworthy that the clinic has two names, one after the site where the building is located. The second one, more official, bears the name of Leonid Sumbul, a famous Moscow philanthropist and public figure of the early 20th century.

The building housed medical facilities until the end of the 1960s. Then it was declared dilapidated and was abandoned for some time.

In 1975, at the request of the Moscow City Executive Committee’s Main Directorate for Public Catering, the building and the adjacent land were given to the Moscow Restaurant Trust. A ready-made meals store was opened on the first storey, and the Museum of Public Catering was opened on the second. Leading chefs and heads of the best restaurants in Soviet Moscow took part in creating the museum exhibition. Among them were the chef of the Moskva Hotel, Georgy Termilin, who invented the Soviet version of the Olivier salad in 1939, as well as the chef of the Leningradskaya Hotel, Viktor Zaitsev. Vasily Sidorov, the author of the legendary Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, also took part in the project.

The museum shut down in the 1990s. In 2006, it reopened as the Museum of Culinary Art.

Work to preserve and restore architectural landmarks in Moscow is ongoing. The list of cultural heritage landmarks is constantly updated. Over the past seven years, preservation status was given to 923 buildings, with 440 of them being newly declared cultural heritage sites and 480 being cultural heritage landmarks of federal and regional importance.


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