MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Admiring the mountain chamois and the lion, wondering what an inverted glass on the roof means, and looking for one of Margarita’s likely houses.
A Sunday walk through the main streets easily turns into a cultural hike. The facades of old buildings can be studied as an interesting museum exhibit, the main thing is to arm yourself with knowledge. Read about the past of Ostozhenka and the legends associated with the mansions and apartment buildings located on it in this mos.ru article.
The profitable house of the merchant Ya.M. Filatova: “under the glass”
Ostozhenka Street, 3/14, Building 1
The shape of the roof on the corner bay window-turret gave this building the unofficial name – the house “under the glass”. An unusual apartment building was built by Valentin Dubovsky in 1907-1909 for the merchant Yakov Filatov. The architect liked to combine Art Nouveau style with elements of Gothic and Romanesque motives in his works. After the revolution, there were communal apartments in the house, which were converted into ordinary apartments by the end of the century.
There are several explanations for the meaning of the inverted glass on the roof of Filatov’s house. According to one version, it symbolizes an important event in the life of the owner, who allegedly loved to drink, but was able to get rid of the addiction. According to another legend, the merchant’s father promised to give him a house if he stopped drinking. It is possible, however, that the glass is nothing more than a marketing ploy. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was competition among apartment buildings, each building had to stand out with something. In the newspaper “Moscow weekly” at one time there was a note about the house “under a glass”, but unflattering.
“Each new year brings Moscow several dozen new, monstrously ridiculous buildings, which crash into city streets with some special, only Moscow alone, boldness. Well, where else can you find something like a new house at the beginning of Ostozhenka! .. “
Some architectural historians believe that in fact this is not a glass, but a bowl from which the inhabitants of the underwater kingdom spread along the walls: sea monsters and algae, shells and undines, fish and squid. If you remember the architect’s love for medieval Gothic, you can see in this building a semblance of a castle with a pointed turret.
Kekusheva’s mansion on Ostozhenka: Margarita’s gothic house
Ostozhenka street, house 21, building 1
We continue the Gothic theme and move on to the Kekusheva mansion. The three-storey building, built by Lev Kekushev, resembles a medieval castle thanks to a faceted turret with a high tent and a basement made of granite. The walls are tiled with pink ceramic tiles that contrast with the plastered surfaces that frame the windows of varying sizes. The building is decorated with stucco flowers and leaves, the tower has stucco in the shape of eagles, and on the pediment of the street facade there is a three-meter figure of a lion – the image of this animal was placed by Kekushev on many of his buildings. The lion was probably originally made of plaster; it has not survived. Since 2017, a copper copy of the building has been adorned with it.
Lev Kekushev built a mansion for his family in 1903 and wrote it down in the name of his wife. The house was built according to the drawings that the architect prepared for Savva Mamontov. However, the patron went bankrupt, the building could not be built. Kekushev did not live long in the mansion – already in 1906 he parted with his wife and sold the house. After the revolution, the building was taken over by the Central Bureau for Foreigners.
Some fans and researchers of the novel “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov believe that it was there that the main character lived. Among the possible addresses of Margarita, they also mention the Liszt mansion in Glazovsky Lane, also built according to the project of Kekushev. The writer indicated the heroine’s place of residence indefinitely:
“Margarita Nikolaevna and her husband together occupied the entire top of a beautiful mansion in a garden in one of the lanes near the Arbat. A charming place! “
House of Varvara joint stock company of homeowners: lion and angels
Ostozhenka Street, 7, Building 1
Another building found in the novel “The Master and Margarita” is a huge apartment building on the corner of Pozharsky Lane. In the work, the house appears in the chapter “The Pursuit” – here comes the poet Homeless, pursuing Woland. Bulgakov often visited here: his friend, philologist Nikolai Lyamin lived in one of the apartments.
“In a huge, extremely neglected front hall, dimly lit by a tiny coal lamp under a high ceiling, black with dirt, a bicycle without tires was hanging on the wall, there was a huge chest upholstered with iron, and a winter hat lay on the shelf above the hanger, and its long ears hung down way down”.
The main architectural detail of the house is two rows of bay windows located on both sides of the facade. The central part of the house is slightly moved forward, at the level of the fourth and fifth floors there is an arched niche on load-bearing columns with a balcony decorated with a lattice. There is a mascaron under it, the arch is decorated with stucco molding in the form of a lion’s head and flowers. The windows of the balconies located above the bay windows are framed by bas-reliefs in the form of figures of women, and above there are angels holding the coat of arms.
The house was built in 1898 by the architect Alexander Ivanov for the Varvarinsky joint-stock company of homeowners. It was one of the first companies in Moscow for the construction and acquisition of real estate. At different times, engineer Vladimir Shukhov, professor of Moscow University Alexei Abrikosov, biologist and founder of experimental biology in Russia and the USSR Nikolai Koltsov lived here.
The house where Ivan Turgenev lived: Mumu’s house
Ostozhenka Street, 37/7, Building 1
The mansion, where the House-Museum of Ivan Turgenev is now located, became the prototype for the house of the lady from the story “Mumu”. In fact, his mother, Varvara Turgeneva, nee Lutovinova, lived here. She was a strict and domineering woman, they did not get along with Turgenev. In the heat of one of the quarrels, Varvara Petrovna broke the portrait of her son. Today, the broken portrait is one of the exhibits of the writer’s museum, which opened after large-scale restorationin 2018.
The one-story Empire-style mansion with a six-column portico, mezzanines, seven windows on the facade is a typical example of Moscow post-fire buildings. It was erected in 1818-1819 by an unknown architect for the titular adviser Fedorov.
Profitable house G.E. Broido: chamois and water lilies
Ostozhenka Street, 20
One of the most unusual houses in Ostozhenka (and, possibly, in the whole of Moscow) is the Broido tenement house. The most notable part of the building is the sculptural frieze, which depicts chamois between flowers against a background of mountains and a flock of flying birds. This theme is not found in any other Moscow building. It is worth taking a closer look at it at sunset: under certain lighting, the chamois figures become more voluminous – it seems as if they are about to start moving.
It is necessary to pay attention to the metal brackets, characteristic of the Art Nouveau style, supporting the protruding cornice, and the metal visor located above the main entrance. In the center of the façade is a huge stained-glass window spanning three floors. Above it rises an attic with a stucco molding in the form of plants resembling water lilies. The balconies are adorned with wrought iron ornamental swirls and a whip blow. The window frames at the corner of the building have specific modern curved lines.
The house was built by order of the Moscow developer Herman Broido and his wife, who bought the plots and erected buildings on them for sale. The project was the first experience of the architect Nikolai Zherikhov, who subsequently built several dozen apartment buildings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.