The Golitsyns and a Persian merchant lived here: how facades of the ‘house with mezzanines’ at Staraya Basmannaya street will be restored

September 13

Facades of the old house with mezzanines in the Basmanny District will be put in order. It is a long time that they are in need of restoration. The house is a cultural heritage site of federal significance. Therefore, all work will take place under supervision of Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage. The department has already approved the restoration project.

“The historical facades were unique; their decoration always attracted the attention of Muscovites. However, time did not spare the building appearance and now it needs restoration. Cracks are visible on the walls, plaster is deformed, there are chips, wet areas, defects and potholes. The restorers will pay special attention to reconstruction of the stucco decoration, the facades will return their historical appearance of the second half of the 19th century,” commented Alexei Yemelyanov, head of the Department of Cultural Heritage.

According to him, specialists will have to eliminate all defects, patch up cracks and chips, restore all surfaces using original materials and cover them with protective compounds. Historical and cultural research was carried out in the course of the restoration project development. It helped establish the original appearance of those elements. For example, the main entrance will be restored; in addition, the previously filled in auxiliary entrance to the building will be reopened. Also, the porch, stairs and roof will be repaired, new wooden window frames and doors will be installed, engineering systems will be repaired and partially replaced, and waterproofing will be restored. Flooring will be changed and walls will be repaired in some rooms.

The house with mezzanines at Staraya Basmannaya street is known since the 18th century. At first it belonged to Ivan Rybinsky, a first guild merchant. And then he was sold it to Prince Peter Golitsyn and his son Mikhail. It was then that the building became a part of the nobleman city manor house.

The slightly reconstructed two-story stone building along with the Golitsyn manor house ensemble, was included in the "Architectural Albums" issued by Matvey Kazakov. Drawings of the Moscow best buildings were collected there.

Photo by Maxim Denisov,

Later, the manor house changed owners several times. It was acquired by Persian subject Aji-Mamed Usein agha Aminezarba in 1901. In 1902, a five-story apartment building designed by architect Vasily Shaub was built close to the house with mezzanine.

Aminezarba was a cotton, oil and silk trader, but decided to expand his business in Moscow and build a tenement house with warehouses. He rented out apartments in his houses, used a part of the storage space himself, and rented out another part of it.

In 1917, the house was redeveloped. In Soviet times it housed communal flats, and in the 1960s it was redeveloped for office premises.

The "Science and Life" magazine published an article in 1968 about Staraya Basmannaya street development (at that time — Karl Marx Street) where the residential house with mezzanine was named the Vassily III traveling palace. It was dated 16th century, and the superstructure — 17th century. Despite the fact that there is no documentary confirmation of this hypothesis, different sources name the building this way until now.

In 1986, the building was handed over to the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) Ministry of Education to accommodate the teaching and methodological office for higher and secondary pedagogical education. Development of a project for the building restoration and adaptation to new functions started the same year. Works began in 1991, but very soon the restoration was stopped due to lack of funding. The building wasn’t used for 10 years. The restoration was carried out only in the early 2000s.


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