The brick-style tenement house and mansion: two 19th century buildings recognized as recognized cultural heritage sites

September 6

There are more recognized landmark buildings in the center of the capital. The status of the recognized cultural heritage sites was given to two buildings built in the 19th century. These are the tenement house of A.P. Bars (Trubnaya street, house 29, building 1) and a residential house in 1887 by architect N.N.  Vasiliev (Staromonetny lane, house 35, building 2).

“One of the identified monuments is a stone four-storey building with a basement, erected on Trubnaya Street by an order of its owner — a provincial secretary Bars. Its facades have been decorated in the so-called brick style. The second house had been appeared in Staromonetny Lane by order of the homeowner Nikolai Druzhinin, the project had been developed by the famous architect Nikolai Vasiliev. The building is an example of a city mansion with the function of a tenement building. Both buildings are recognized as Identified Cultural Heritage Sites”, — the head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow Alexei Yemelyanov commented. 

Now, according to the law, they cannot be demolished or reconstructed, and restoration or repairs should be carried out under the control of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow and only after the department has coordinated all the work.

Bricks instead of fancy stucco

The apartment house of the provincial secretary Anton Bars was built on the red line of Trubnaya Street in 1891. This means that its facade has been an integral part of its appearance for 130 years. The house was built in the then popular brick style. This was the conventionally called one of the trends in rational architecture of the late 19th century. Its distinctive feature is the technique of preserving the natural color and texture of bricks. Craftsmen who worked in this style refused to use plaster for building facades and stucco decoration. Presumably, the architect was the owner's son, Peter Bars.

The four-storey house with a basement has a rectangular shape. Its only risalit (protruding part) is made in the form of a four-tier tower topped with a faceted tent with a spire. There is an arch in the lower part of the building. Now it is closed, but it was originally used for driving. Carts and carriages could enter the courtyard through it. The decor of the house, according to experts, is characteristic of Romano-Gothic architecture: lancet window openings and niches, rows of arches, blades (flat decorative projections on the walls), panels (rectangular framing), stepped consoles, brick friezes, forged overhead elements and many other things.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

The courtyard facade is modestly decorated. On the brick walls one can see decorative openings with arched (or bow) lintels, window panels with rhombus belts, two-color interfloor and crowning cornices with brackets.

All floors of the house are the same. Each staircase has three apartments with a corridor-suite layout. In the apartments, the original modest interior decoration is still partially preserved: profiled cornices of the ceilings, paneled doors, parquet. Uthermark brick ovens were installed in the living rooms. They have survived to this day only in a few apartments.

After 1917, communal apartments were organized and various service establishments were opened in the Bars tenement building. In 1990, a major overhaul was carried out without changing the layout and architectural and artistic design of the interiors.

It is interesting to note that the purpose of the building has not changed. It remained residential throughout its history. Individual apartments have now been redesigned. Window and door frames were replaced with modern ones. The historical architectural design of the main facade in past years was distorted as a result of the disassembly of the stepped gable above the side flat risalit with a driveway arch. Basically, all the original structures, layouts, and finishing elements of the building have been preserved.

Eclecticism and seven-axis facade

In 1887, by order of the homeowner Nikolai Druzhinin, a stone two-story residential building with a basement has been erected on the territory of his estate in Staromonetny Lane. The eclectic building is an example of an urban mansion from the second half of the 19th century with the function of a tenement house. Nearby there are stone one-story buildings for service and household purposes. The designs of all buildings were created by the architect Nikolai Vasiliev.

The frontage of the mansion is symmetrical and, according to the architect's idea, consists of seven axes. The building has two risalits (protruding parts), which are crowned with arched pediments. In the right risalit, separate front entrances for each of the two apartments were placed under a common openwork umbrella on metal columns. Initially, the apartment on the first floor of the building was rented, while the apartment on the second floor was occupied at that time by the son of the homeowner with his family.

Among the decorations and original architectural details on the facade, the window aprons and window openings in the form of niches, panels, arched lintels, stucco cartouches with monograms can be seen. All this has been preserved.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

After 1917, the property was nationalized. In the 1930s, a large-scale construction of buildings for the Cement Research Institute was started here. The main building of the institute is located on most of the estate garden. Currently, the building is located at: Staromonetny lane, 35, building 1, is occupied by the Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IGEM RAS).

The building of the former apartment building in Staromonetny Lane remained residential until the 1950s. Then it was resettled and transferred to the Geological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences (IGEM of the USSR Academy of Sciences) to accommodate administrative departments. At that time, a one-story isolated additional building appeared on the side of the northern facade. In 1998 the building was reconstructed. The ceilings were completely replaced, the interiors were redesigned. The decoration was completely made of modern materials.

However, to this day, for the most part, the historical appearance of the former apartment building has been preserved with all the distinctive architectural elements. The frontage of this building is an integral part of the view of Staromonetny Lane.

Currently, over two thousand recognized cultural heritage sites are registered in the city. Over 550 of them have been identified in 10 years since 2011. They are all guarded.


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