A building Mayakovsky once lived in listed as an architectural landmark

A building Mayakovsky once lived in listed as an architectural landmark
The poet, his mother and two sisters lived in this house from 1913 to 1915. The family occupied a four-room flat No. 24 on the first floor. The building was constructed in the early 20th century in French Art Nouveau style.

The former merchant Moisei Kochubey's revenue house where Vladimir Mayakovsky lived in 1913-1915, is recognised as a cultural heritage site of regional importance. Together with his mother and two sisters, the poet rented a four-room flat on the first floor in building No. 36 on Bolshaya Presnenskaya Street (presently 36/1 Krasnaya Presnya Street). It was the place where Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote many of his famous poems, including 'Listen' (1914), 'The War is Declared' (1914) and 'Me and Napoleon' (1915). The last poem begins with the words, "I live in 36 Bolshaya Presnya Street, 24..." In the house in Krasnaya Presnya Street Mayakovsky also worked on his poem ‘A Cloud in Pants’ (1915).

Now this building houses A Flat on Bolshaya Presnya Street Museum, which is part of Vladimir Mayakovsky State Museum. Since 2017, a Daughter’ exhibition is open there, dedicated to the poet's love Ellie Jones and their daughter Patricia Thompson. The rest of the ground floor rooms are occupied by shops, the upper floors house flats.

"The house on Krasnaya Presnya Street has not only a memorial, but also an architectural value. The building is a typical example of the 20th century revenue houses. Its facades are decorated in French Art Nouveau style, with a symmetrical composition and minimum decor. The central part of the front at the level of the second and fourth floors has a bay window. There are two vertical symmetrical compositions, windows framed with carved pilasters (semi-columns) on both sides of the bay window at the level of the fourth and fifth floors.  In addition, the front is decorated with plaster cornice, edged with dentils, and a meander, a decorative Greek ornament," Head of Moscow Cultural Heritage Department Alexei Yemelyanov said.

Alexei added that the building is now protected by the state, since it has been listed as a regional cultural heritage site. It means that any alteration in this landmark’s historical appearance is prohibited and any restoration must be approved and supervised by the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department.

 

The revenue house was built in 1905 by Osip Shishkovsky to replace a former wooden two-storey building. Different parts of the building have different number of floors. In 1904, a five-story building was constructed, and a six-story building with similar design a year later; the buildings were connected. The front of the six-storey building presently overlooks Krasnaya Presnya Street. The first floor of the building housed shops, including a dairy shop and a manufactory shop, a semi-basement housed a fashion designer workshop. Flats occupied the rest of the building, Vladimir Mayakovsky’s family rented flat No.24.

 

The four-room flat in Krasnaya Presnya Street is the only surviving rental flat of the Mayakovskys. It was not before 1919 that the poet acquired its own residential property (a room in a communal flat at 3/6 Lubyansky Proyezd, building 4). After the Mayakovskys moved to Moscow in 1906, they used to change their places of residence rather often. In the days of the poet’s life in the flat in Bolshaya Presnenskaya Street, he was a 20-year-old student of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He lived in the smallest room with a desk, an ottoman, a bookcase, some Viennese chairs, clothes rail, and his art supplies - pencils, paints, brushes and paper. Two other rooms were occupied by poet's mother Alexandra and his sisters Lyudmila and Olga. The fourth room was for rent and usually accommodated poor students or the family’s acquaintances. Due to frequent moving, the memorial objects of the rented flat could not be preserved.

Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) is a Russian and Soviet poet, a futurist. He was born in the Georgian village of Bagdati in the family of a forester. After his father's death in 1906, he moved to Moscow with his mother and sisters. He was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, which he left after a term in prison. In 1911, Mayakovsky entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Later he took interest in futurism. In 1918-1919, his works ‘A Good Attitude to Horses’, ‘Left March’, ‘Order to the Army of Art’ and ‘Mystery-Bouffe,’ were published. The poet also participated in the production of posters for ‘Russian Telegraph Agency Satirical Windows’," for which he created signatures and drawings.

Osip Shishkovsky (1870-1941) was a Russian and Soviet architect, one of Art Nouveau experts. The first eight-storey building in Moscow (Afremov’s revenue house, 19 Sadovaya-Spasskaya Street), and the Polenov Theatre Education House (13, Zoologicheskaya Street) are among his designs.

There is an ongoing program in place to preserve and restore Moscow’s architectural landmarks. The cultural heritage list is regularly updated.  Over the past seven years alone, about 700 monuments have been added.  They include over 370 newly discovered cultural heritage sites and about 330 cultural heritage landmarks of federal and regional significance.

So, for example, a building with a pharmacy in Malaya Bronnaya Street has recently been recognized as an architectural landmark.  This six-storey neoclassical building was erected in 1913. It had rented flats, as well as shops and workshops downstairs.  Over a century ago, there was a pharmacy on the first floor.  It is remarkable that the pharmacy has survived. The register of cultural heritage sites of regional importance also includes  Kalinovskaya's revenue house with its asymmetrical facade and firebirds over the windows. The five-storey building was erected in 1911 by architect Ernst-Richard Niernsee in late Art Nouveau style.

In addition, a two-storey building of the Culture Centre of National Research Centre ''Kurchatov Institute'' is recognized as an architectural monument. It is a piece of Soviet monumental classicism built in the late 1940s.