The facade restoration of the former revenue house which belonged to the tea merchant Vasily Gryaznov is complete. The three-storey building with a semi-basement is located at 17 Ostozhenka Street. It was built in 1901 upon the Art Nouveau project of Lev Kekushev, a famous architect of the time.
“The revenue house of a major tea merchant Vasily Gryaznov had a tea shop on the ground floor, and apartments on the other two floors there were rented out. The building borders closely on the right on another revenue house – No. 19 on the same street. It was built in 1902 by Lev Kekushev and belonged to his wife Anna Ionovna. Both buildings are built in the same Art Nouveau style make a whole. In the 1920s, the houses were connected to each other and used as a hospital. The famous surgeon Alexey Bakunin (1874–1945) once worked there. Now the buildings are used as office premises,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage.
The main feature on this building’s minimal décor is the knight masks, or mascarons (sculptures of the head, a man’s head here, but mascarons can also have animal heads) over the arched windows of the second floor. One mask is on the front facade overlooking Ostozhenka, and the other is on the side facade facing the square. The avant-corps (projected) entrance has a smoothly curved cornice. The arched windows of the semi-basement and the second floor are a typical Art Nouveau feature. In addition, there are wrought-iron openwork fences on the balconies, and wrought-iron lattices on the basement floor windows. The ground floor walls are rusticated (masonry technique), and the first and second floor walls are lined with flesh-colored ceramic tiles.
As Alexei Yemelyanov explained, the former revenue house of tea merchant Vasily Gryaznov is a rediscovered cultural heritage site, so it was restored upon the project agreed with the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage and under the supervision of the Department.
First, the facades were cleaned of dirt, old paint and plaster, which in some areas peeled off by the time of the restoration. And then the specialists sealed the cracks on the walls with special binders. They leveled and grounded the walls, and then put two layers of paint. The décor elements and rustication on the ground floor of the building were painted beige. At the final stage, the facades were covered with a special agent to protect them against environmental exposure.
Building No.19 on Ostozhenka Street, which belonged to Lev Kekushev’s wife, was renovated last year.
Lev Kekushev (1862–1917 / 1919) was a Russian architect, Art Nouveau master. In 1896, he built his first Art Nouveau building in Moscow – a revenue house in Varsonofievsky Pereulok, which has partially survived to this day. In 1898–1900, Kekushev won the competition for the Metropol Hotel project, but the construction customer Savva Mamontov gave preference to the project of the British architect William Walcot. After Savva Mamontov’s arrest and the change of ownership, Kekushev became the Metropol’s chief architect.
The period from 1900 to 1903 was the heyday of Lev Kekushev’s activity as an architect. It was then that he built the Iverskie Ryady on Nikolskaya Street, the Nosov’s mansion on today's Elektrozavodskaya Street, the Tsaritsyno railway station and Mindovsky’s mansion on Povarskaya Street.
Restoration and preservation of architectural monuments is one of priorities of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage. Over the past eight years, more than 1,200 architectural monuments have been restored in the city.
So, for example, a noble estate residential house, a piece of Moscow classicism built in the 18th-19th centuries, has been restored in Denezhny Perulok recently.
Last December, the restoration of Durasov's Mansion on Pokrovsky Boulevard, built in the late 18th century by Matvey Kazakov, was completed. Built in the 18th century, this mansion is a typical piece of Russian classicism. This year, the facades of the building on Lesnaya Street now hosting the Underground Printing House of 1905-1906 Museum, as well as the Pavel Shchapov's house built in 1867 have been restored. Besides, there are works underway in Vsevolozhsky's house in Khamovniki district, once visited by Pushkin, Gogol and Belinsky. It is expected that Moscow residents will see the restored building in 2021.