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Entries / Apartment Houses (entry)

Apartment Houses (entry)

Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Apartment Buildings

APARTMENT HOUSES, houses constructed to receive a profit by leasing the apartments. They appeared in St. Petersburg in the early 18th century, proliferated after the decree of 1769 that authorized shops to be arranged on the ground floors. Until the early 19th century they were called "speculative houses". Due to the expensiveness and shortage of land in the centre of St. Petersburg, houses of country estate type gave way to houses of "ribbon" layout (along the perimeter of the lot). By the end of the 18th century two types of apartment houses, "gallery" and "sectional", became firmly established. The gallery layout originated from the “Gostiny Dvor” (trading house) design and vanished by the early 19th century. Sectional apartment houses consisted from a number of apartments, divided with stair flights. The ground floors were leased to all sorts of shops (the tradition cherished until the present day). The apartment houses were constructed by merchants (the house of Yakovlev, 5 Mikhailovskaya Square, etc.), grandees (the house of Stenboсk-Fermor, 17 Tuchkova Embankment, etc.), church officials (the house of the servants of the Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral on Ekaterininsky Сanal, architect A.N. Voronikhin, 1811, etc.), Imperial Court (the house of His Imperial Majesty’s Cabinet, 31 Fontanka River Embankment, intended for "leasing to those selling goods"). The apartment houses with "grand" apartments featuring up to 30 rooms, apartment houses for the middle class - 2-3 rooms, a kitchen and a lavatory on a stair landing. Until the early 19th century the construction of houses larger than four-stories was not permitted. In 1827, in St. Petersburg the first five-storied "giant" apartment house appeared (the house of Zverkov, 18 Stolyarny Lane; rebuilt). By the mid-19th century the living quarters lease and sublease (so-called from lodgers) system with documents processed at notary officer's and at the police was established. Until 1910, the construction of apartment houses higher than five-stories was not approved. The desire to maximize profits resulted in the introduction of quadrangles by the mid-19th century. In the late 19th - early 20th centuries in St. Petersburg the construction of exceptionally profitable apartment houses became a priority. Rich customers invited famous architects (P.U. Suzor, L.N. Benois, A.E. Belogrud, E.F. Wirrich, A.I. von Gogen and others) to design new buildings. By the early 20th century zones built up exclusively with apartment houses appeared (Pushkinskaya Street, built mainly to the plans of Suzor; Kamennoostrovsky Avenue etc.). Many apartment houses became homes for cultural workers, political figures, etc. (the House of Muruzi, the House with a Tower, 35/1 Tavricheskaya Street, engineer M.N. Kondratyev, 1903-1905, etc.). Along with it quite a lot "streets-corridors" with "well-houses" emerged on Vasilievsky Island, Peterburgskaya Side, in Kolomna, Moskovsky District, etc. After 1917, the construction of apartment houses ceased. The majority of apartment houses were redesigned; a number of apartments were turned into communal flats. Only apartment houses that had been given to either state establishments or museums were spared, the house of Norov at 36/2 Nekrasova Street, accommodating the memorial apartment of N.A. Nekrasov, etc.).

References: Кириченко Е. И. Доходные жилые дома Москвы и Петербурга // Архитектурное наследство. М., 1962. Сб. 14. С. 135-158.

Y. N. Kruzhnov.

Belogrud Andrey Evgenievich
Benois Leonty Nikolaevich
Gogen Alexander Ivanovich von
Kondrayev Mikhail Nikolaevich
Muruzi Alexander Dmitrievich, Duke
Nekrasov Nikolay Alexeevich
Suzor Pavel Yulievich
the Stenbock-Fermors
Voronikhin Andrey Nikiforovich
Wirrich Ernest-Friedrich Franzevich

Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 31
Iskusstv Square/Saint Petersburg, city, house 5
Makarova Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 17
Nekrasova St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 2/36
Stolyarny Lane/Saint Petersburg, city, house 18
Tavricheskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 35/1

The subject Index
Muruzi House
Ivanov's Wednesdays, Literary and Artistic Meetings
Nekrasov Memorial Museum Apartment