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March 28, 2021 12:10 pm

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The building on Bolshaya Ordynka, built in the first half of the 19th century, has a rich history. A city manor and a tenement house before the revolution, communal apartments and administrative premises under Soviet rule, offices and housing now.

Bolshaya Ordynka is one of the oldest streets in Zamoskvorechye. Its name obviously dates back to the times of the Golden Horde. However, for what reason – historians are still arguing. Either the road to the Horde passed here, or the draft people lived here, transporting tribute, or prisoners ransomed from the Horde.

Later, in the 18th – 19th centuries, artisans, service nobility and wealthy merchants settled on Bolshaya Ordynka. However, the Moscow fire of 1812 almost completely destroyed the buildings in this area, and the restoration began only a few years later.

In the same period, the house of the collegiate assessor Dmitry Novikov appeared on Bolshaya Ordynka. In a few years, it will be a full-fledged estate with a main house, a residential outbuilding, a small front yard and an economic zone. The entire property of Novikov was a typical example of the Empire-style buildings in post-fire Moscow. In the second half of the 19th century, many buildings in this quarter were converted for rent and turned into tenements. The Novikov estate was no exception. In the 1870s, the merchant Alexei Davydov became its new owner. At his invitation, Peter Vinogradov was involved in the reconstruction of the house.

“This was one of the first projects of a novice architect, Vinogradov was only 23 at the time. On the red line of Bolshaya Ordynka, a stone fence with wide gates and two wickets was erected between the wing and the main house, ”says Olga Ryzhko, architect-restorer, author of the project for the restoration of the wing of the Novikov-Davydov city estate.

According to her, at the same time the outbuilding was expanded and the appearance of the facade changed. The stucco decoration turned the main house into a merchant’s mansion, which testified to the well-being of the new owner. The central part of the facade was highlighted with blades (false columns), three central rectangular windows were decorated with platbands and onion sandriks (cornices). The appearance of the building was complemented by a scalloped belt and a stylized frieze under the crowning cornice – this was one of the favorite techniques of architects of that time.

In 1914, the widow of the merchant and hereditary honorary citizen Alexei Davydov, who received the estate according to her husband’s spiritual will, sold it to Olga Merhelevich, daughter of Lev Zhemchuzhnikov, one of the co-authors of the portrait of Kozma Prutkov. A year later, a new and final construction stage begins, when a one-story stone vestibule is attached to the northern facade of the main house and the next redevelopment of premises is carried out.

The estate after the revolution

After 1917, the former Novikov-Davydov estate became one of the residential buildings on Bolshaya Ordynka, in which communal apartments were arranged. In the second half of the 1930s, a second floor was made in the front part of the wing, and the number of windows also increased.

“In the 1970s, the main house and the outbuilding were resettled, and the buildings were adapted for non-residential administrative premises. Some of the walls and ceilings were sheathed with soundproof panels and chipboard. During one of the major repairs, the carpentry fillings of the windows were replaced. The double-leaf doorway fillings were removed and replaced with new single-leaf doors, changing the configuration of the doorways, ”says Olga Ryzhko.

When the building had central heating, the tiled stoves were sheathed with plywood and wallpaper. Some of the windows of the front rooms were decorated with peculiar wooden platbands, at the same time the structure and fencing of the main staircase, the staircase of the main entrance and the doors of the vestibules were replaced. Redevelopment of premises was carried out in both buildings.

Return of historical appearance

In recent years, before the restoration, the former manor was not used. Here the roof was leaking, the rafter system, ceilings and walls in some rooms fell into disrepair, the stucco decoration was partially lost.

In 2016, the Novikov-Davydov town estate was recognized as an identified cultural heritage site in Moscow. Restoration work began at the same time under the supervision of the capital’s Department of Cultural Heritage. The main task was not only renovation, but also the adaptation of the object for modern use. Now there are office, residential and utility premises here.

In the course of restoration work in the main building of the estate, specialists preserved the log walls as much as possible, put in order the wooden supporting frame. The white-stone plinth of the 19th century, which was hidden under the ceramic tiles, was restored, they were ground, re-arranged, biocidal treatment and hydrophobization. The masonry of the existing foundation was reinforced.

Special attention was demanded by the work on the reconstruction of the stucco decoration and the tiled stove, which was restored from the surviving tiles. The interiors and facades were painted cream in exact accordance with the coloristic decisions made at the end of the nineteenth century.

In 2018, the main house of the Novikov-Davydov estate became a laureate of the Moscow Government competition “Moscow restoration” in the nominations “Best organization of repair and restoration work”, “Best project of restoration and adaptation” and “High quality of repair and restoration work”.

And in 2020, work was completed on the restoration of the outbuilding of the estate. The specialists put in order the Monier vaults, stoves, decorative elements, and the roof. The building is fully adapted for modern use and is connected to utilities.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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