St Olga children’s hospital becomes an architectural landmark

St Olga children’s hospital becomes an architectural landmark
The ensemble got its present-day look in the 19th century, which has almost remained unchanged. The buildings have been closed for several years already. Specialists are now studying the hospital’s specifics – the first step in the restoration. The next step will be the coordination of the project activities.

The architectural ensemble of St Olga’s children’s hospital built in 1880s-1890s in Orlovo-Davydovsky Pereulok has been recognised as a regional cultural heritage landmark. The status was granted to the hospital’s main, outpatient, administration and quarantine facilities. At the request of Muscovites, the ensemble includes a nearby park that will also come under state protection.

The hospital’s ensemble has an eclectic style. The construction comprised two stages. Behind the buildings’ design were Chief Architect of Moscow University Konstantin Bykovsky, a follower of late eclecticism, and architect Vasily Barkov, who used to design country houses in the Moscow Region, revenue houses and student dorms  in pseudo-Russian and Neo-Grec styles. In 1885-1886, they built a stone hospital building. It is T-shaped with an axial plan – adjacent to the two-storey middle part are two extended single-floor wings. Close to Orlovo-Davydovsky Pereulok are the wooden buildings of the outpatient facility and laundry site. During the second stage, in 1898, brick structures replaced all the wooden ones. Along the axis of the hospital building they constructed a single-floor outpatient facility with a basement. In 1898, they also built a Г-shaped two-floor building for laundry facilities and the kitchen adjoining the outpatient facility. Behind the outpatient facility, at the back of the garden, a one-storey quarantine building was erected.

After the revolution, the buildings housed the first children’s tuberculosis hospital and later the clinical centre of the Central Institute of Doctor Improvement and then a daytime inpatient clinic that conducted workshops for patients used to sit here until 2012.

 “The buildings took on their final look in the late 19th century, which has remained almost unchanged. Since its construction, the hospital’s ensemble hasn’t been restored. Specialists have obtained a permit to carry out a research and engineering survey, and are now studying the hospital specifics. This is the first step in the renovation process. The next step will be the coordination of the restoration project activities,” said Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov.

According to Yemelyanov, the hospital also has commemorative significance. Outstanding Soviet pediatrician and professor Alexander Kisel (1859-1938), the founder and head (from 1934 until his death) of the first children’s rheumatology clinic in the USSR, lived and worked in the main building. Kisel was also known for his study on chronic tubercular intoxication in children. The façade of the first building of St Olga’s children’s hospital bears the doctor’s memorial plaque.

The status of regional cultural heritage landmark provided St Olga’s children’s hospital with state protection. Demolishing the buildings and interfering with the historical appearance of the ensemble is prohibited. Any repair or restoration work should be controlled by and coordinated with the Department of Cultural Heritage.

Work to refurbish and preserve monuments of architecture is ongoing in Moscow. The list of cultural heritage landmarks has been expanding on a regular basis. Within the past seven years alone, 695 monuments made it on the protected list, of which 370 are identified as cultural heritage landmarks and 325 as federal and regional cultural heritage landmarks.

In June, the Krasheninnikovs house, built in the early 19th century on Kozhevnicheskaya Street, became a monument of architecture. The two-storey stone building with a mezzanine floor and basement was granted the status of a regional cultural heritage landmark.

Recently, another 18th-19th century city estate on Moscow’s Starokirochny Pereulok was also listed as a regional cultural heritage site. It consists of a two-storey main building, a gatehouse and a stone fence with a gate. In July, 18th-19th century city estate of the Shnauberts family in Khokhlovskoy Pereulok was added to the list of architectural landmarks.