The history of museum buildings. Let’s have a look into the manor house of the Khrushchevs-Seleznevs

July 14

The Khrushchevs-Seleznevs manor house on Prechistenka street changed many owners, was destroyed during a fire in 1812 and was soon rebuilt again. At various times there were communal apartments, a children's shelter, Toy Museum. Today, as well as more than two centuries ago, this majestic building in the Empire style remains one of the main decorations of the Khamovniki district.

House with ground floor

The history of the plot, on which the Pushkin State Museum is located today, has been known since the middle of the 18th century. The first owner whose name appears in the documents was Stepan Zinoviev, the Chief Magistrate's chief president. Later, his brother inherited the plot. In 1798, it was purchased by the chamberlain Vasily Vasilchikov, but not for long. The same year, Prince Fyodor Baryatinsky liked the spot and decided to get it at all costs. Soon Vasilchikov and Baryatinsky struck a deal.

Fyodor Baryatinsky made a brilliant career at the court in St. Petersburg and contributed to the accession of Catherine II. Paul I, who came to power after the death of his mother and fought for the entire short period of his reign against the rules established by her, expelled Baryatinsky from St. Petersburg - capital of imperial Russia. The prince went to Moscow, where decided to settle on Prechistenka street.

According to the documents of 1806, a long two-story stone building, a wooden house with a stone annex (the lower non-residential floor) and other small buildings were located on the site. In view, the manor house had preserved until 1812. The fire raged in Moscow for several days during the French occupation of 1812 left almost nothing of the buildings.

According to the project of Gilardi and Grigoriev

Baryatinsky died in 1814, and his heiress sold the plot to a friend of Fyodor Baryatinsky - Alexander Khrushchev, a retired guard ensign. The valiant service in the army that got left behind, allowed him to live the rest of his life without needing anything. Khrushchev planned to live in the manor house with his large family, in which 14 children were brought up, but first everything had to be rebuilt here.

The old ground floor was demolished, and a large Empire-style mansion appeared on this place. The style, which followed the traditions of imperial Rome, was at the peak of fashion at that time. Terraces with wrought-iron fences adjoined the house. Due to the angular location, the house received two facades-both were decorated as front ones. The facade facing Khrushchevsky Lane was decorated with an eight-columned portico of the Ionic order (with a capital decorated with two symmetrical scrolls - volutes). On the facade from the Prechistenka street side, six columns of the same order appeared, as well as a mezzanine with a balcony and a sculptural bas-relief designed by Gavriil Zamaraev. All the elements have been preserved to this day.

Most likely, architects Domenico Gilardi and Afanasy Grigoriev worked on the project. This duo was known for restoring buildings damaged in a fire. They worked on many city manor houses: the Catherine Institute, the premises of the Guardianship Board and many others.

In 1816, the renovated manor house opened its doors. Receptions were constantly arranged here. The Khrushchevs had many friends and acquaintances, so it was possible that one day Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin could also drop by for a dinner party or a ball. But there is no documentary evidence of this assumption.

Alexander Khrushchev died in 1842. The successors sold the plot along with all the buildings to Alexey Rudakov, a tea merchant from Verkhovazhye. Rudakov was going to move to Moscow and was looking for a house for himself.

"Moscow, which has lost its aristocratic splendor, is flourishing in other respects: industry strongly sheltered, has revived and developed with extraordinary vigor in it. The merchant class is getting richer and begins to settle in the chambers left by the nobility," Alexander Pushkin wrote about those times.

Orphan boarding school

Rudakov did not change the manor house in any way, having left everything as it was during Khrushchev’s days. Later, in the 1860s, the manor house was purchased by a nobleman, staff captain Dmitry Seleznev. He also did not interfere with the appearance of the manor house with two exceptions: he added a winter garden and placed his coat of arms on the pediment of the facade facing Prechistenka. "The house with all its furnishings is maintained in the same form as it was during the Khrushchevs’ time; even the old paintings have not changed their places," officer memoirist Dmitry Nikiforov wrote in his book From the Past of Moscow. Notes of an Old-Timer .

After the death of Dmitry Nikiforov in 1906, his daughter Ekaterina Matveeva became the hostess of the house. She did not live there - she handed over the manor house to the Moscow nobility for charitable needs. The manor house was estimated at 800 thousand rubles. They organized the orphan boarding school there, and called it in honor of Catherine's parents. The shelter was located in the front part, the wing and outbuildings were rented out. In the basement, wine was stored in the basement, a doctor's assistant rented rooms in the mezzanine, there was also an umbrella workshop and a barber shop in the manor house.

From the revolution to the present day

The revolution of 1917 changed everything. The main house was handed over to the Toy Museum, and the rest of the buildings were used as communal apartments. In this form, the manor house existed until 1940. Then it was handed over to the State Literary Museum to create a permanent exhibition dedicated to Vladimir Mayakovsky. But this idea, for various reasons, was not fated to come true.

After the war, the manor house was occupied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then again by the State Literary Museum, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Slavic Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The Pushkin Museum settled here only in 1957, when the decree on its creation was issued. In 1996, the building underwent a large-scale restoration. All engineering communications were replaced here, a recreational area was equipped, and the manor yard was glazed.

Today, the museum has permanent exhibitions - Pushkin and his Era and Pushkin's Fairy Tales. There are reading, concert, and exhibition halls here. In the museum’s open storage premises, you can find rare collectible books, unique genealogical materials. The museum also houses collections of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, furniture, as well as objects made of porcelain, bronze, ceramics that once belonged to noble families.

The museum has several branches: the Memorial Apartment of A. S. Pushkin on the Arbat, the Memorial Apartment of Andrei Bely on the Arbat street, the Memorial House of I. S. Turgenev on Ostozhenka street, the Memorial House of V. L. Pushkin on Staraya Basmannaya street and exhibition halls in Denezhny Lane.  Each of the buildings in which the branches of the museum are located has its own history. About them - in the next issues of the History of Museum Buildings section.


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