The history of one restoration: the Dyomins' city manor house change

October 6

The Kazakov Street in the Basmanny District of the capital features a two-story mansion with a wing in the neoclassical style. The house was built here in 1885. The street name was Gorokhovskaya at the time. It became part of Moscow in 1742. Before, the territory adjacent to Kobylskaya Sloboda (settlement) and Syromyatnicheskaya Sloboda was the far end of the town to be used mainly as agricultural land. Gradually, separate suburban and then urban manor houses were coming up.

Over a century ago, merchant Ivan Dyomin, the owner of a weaving factory and founder of the Sadkovsky Manufactory Partnership, decided to build a house on this territory. The "Atlas of the Moscow Province manufacturing industry" dated 1872 informs that Dyomin's factories produced goods in the total amount of 546 thousand rubles a year. With this large income at hand the merchant could purchase a convenient plot of land in Moscow and engage good architects to build a house and spare no expense on rich furnishing. Dyomin purchased the plot with a residential building on it, and started the reconstruction. Architect Viktor Verigin was entrusted with the task.

Dilapidated structures were demolished and replaced by a two-story brick house and wooden household outbuildings. The house facade was decorated with rustications (stones of original texture neatly fitted to each other) and cornices of hewn brick and white stone. Above the entrance at the first floor level there was a balcony, and above the crowning cornice — an attic (low wall) with the owner’s coat of arms. Stove central heating system and marble fireplaces were installed in the house.

The next significant change in the manor house appearance is associated with architect Nikolai Strukov. In 1893, he was assigned to build a wing instead of the old fence. Unlike the Italian style main building facade, the wing with pilasters (half-columns) was tended to the Russian style, therefore after construction was completed, the outer walls of both buildings were smoothly plastered. It is assumed that it was then that the residential building facade acquired the appearance that survived to our time.

The architect who completed the manor house construction was Evgeny Opukhovsky, the author of a number of mansions and commercial buildings in Moscow. He supervised construction of the west wing of the main building — a two-story stone building with sheds and a stable, as well as a fireproof wall in the eastern part of the manor house. The archives recorded several fires of that time in the main building, and most likely, Opukhovsky took part in the manor house interiors repair and restoration.

As for Ivan Dyomin, the mansion owner, it is known that he was married twice. According to experts, it was his second wife Maria Soldatenkova, sister of philanthropist and collector Kuzma Soldatenkov, who generated the idea of restrained interior design, but with a touch of romance. Hence the picturesque panels in the foyer, bas-reliefs and paintings in pastel colors on the first floor ceiling, stucco putti (winged infants) and the rich floral pattern of the cornices in the hall.

Maria Soldatenkova became the owner of the manor house after her husband's death, then their children inherited it. But the bill of sale of 1912 states that the building was acquired by a German citizen Anna Bokelman, wife of Heinrich Bokelman, chairman of the I.V. Junker and Co. bank Board.

The manor house after the revolution

After 1917, the manor house was nationalized. Initially, it was handed over to the Textile Industry Committee, then to the State Experimental Electrotechnical Institute. After the war, the building belonged to the Missile Forces headquarters. At that time it has already been in a neglected state: the interior decoration was out of order and furniture destroyed. The facade was significantly damaged too. The mansion had such poor appearance for many years.

A road construction and repair company obtained the manor house in the 1990s. The new owner attempted to repair the interiors: wooden windows were replaced with plastic ones, genuine doors — with standard ones, and linoleum was laid on the floor. Meanwhile, the facade remained in disrepair.

Thereafter, the building was acquired by an international investment group of companies in 2011, and a year later the manor house was recognized with the status of a site of cultural heritage of regional significance.

Restoration history

Restoration of the mansion original appearance started in 2015. Specialists brought the facades to life and filled cracks in the roughcast.

The pilasters were restored with their frames replaced, and the molded plaster brackets under the balcony were recreated. The surface of the granite plinth and steps was cleared of dirt. The later plastic cornices were dismantled, and the lost historical cornices were recreated according to the preserved traces. Based on historical analogues, experts made modillions (brackets) and rosettes of gypsum under the corona of the cornice. Specialists reproduced the plaster window frame linings. The preserved original lining was restored.

Gypsum balls above the entrance gate were also recreated. They were lost, but remade according to archival photographs.

Since the building that was adjacent to the manor house did not survive, the fireproof wall was cleared. Once it was cleaned and the brickwork restored and protected, specialists painted a picture of house No. 21 facade that had been adjacent to the mansion.

The work inside the building produced several restoration discoveries. For instance, it turned out that two columns in the main hall, plastered and covered with white paint, were made of artificial marble. Their surface was carefully restored and the columns became a real decoration of the entrance space.

In addition, many authentic door panels survived in the building — a source of great joy for specialists. The doors needed serious restoration, partly because of multiple locks and handles replacement. Standard doors of later times were replaced with the restored ones.

Specialists could not determine the exact color of the interior walls, so pastel shades typical in those days, were used for finishing. In addition, restoration experts cleared decorative paintings to restore the original appearance of two pictures in the main lobby.

Stucco, where possible, remained in its original form: masters removed layers and paints of past repairs. Besides, specialists recreated the lost window sills and parquet floors according to the archival materials.

In 2016, the Dyomins city manor house was announced the winner of the Moscow Government's Moscow Restoration contest in the Best Restoration Project nomination.


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