Milyutinsky Lane is a short street in the heart of Moscow that is rich with history; it connects Myasnitskaya StreetandSretensky Boulevard and is about 600 meters long.
In present days, Milyutinsky Lane impresses Muscovites and visitors of the capital with untouched by time historical buildings of the 19th-20th centuries. The name of the street derives from the name of landlord Aleksey Milyutin who built a silk manufactory there in the 1720s (it was one of Moscow’s largest productions at the time).
In the late 19th century, fairly small estates and manors were intensively replaced with big residential and revenue houses many of which were preserved till present days.
Here, in 1928, a three-story building was constructed on the site of the French government residency under the management of a brilliant Soviet architect Arkady Langman. The construction order was a direct commission of the Mossoviet Presidium.
Windows of the new 2,693 m2 property were facing the street; the building was characteristically S-shaped. Façade’s architectural solutions were neat, with Constructivist touch to them: wall expanses were smooth while decorative elements were mostly lacking. The artistic value of the building was defined not by its decorations but its classicist features like height disparity of its silhouettes, locations and shapes of large openings, as well as their compositional proportions.
The main entrance was moved to the loggia and accentuated with vertical glazing and porch with a staircase opening towards the guests. The construction project didn’t include any outbuildings in the courtyard – semi-basement was intended for utility purposes.
Floor plans were pretty much the same for every apartment: hallways had spacious entrances to the studies and the living and dining rooms connected by enfilade doors. A corridor starting from the hallway provided entrances to two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with a pantry and a servant’s room. The bathrooms were equipped with a large bathtubs, the kitchens had cooking stoves, sinks, as well as built-in refrigerators installed in a wall cupboard connected to the outside.
A nine-apartment building used to house families of the important NKVD members and remained inhabited until the 1960s. In various periods, it was a home for Yakov Agranov, Artur Artuzov, Terenty Deribas, Pavel Sudoplatov, Genrikh Yagoda. In 1961, the building came into possession of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR to accommodate the Polish trade mission. To date, the Milyutinsky Lane building apartments have been refurbished into comfortable offices.
The building is of great historical and cultural significance as a peculiar and very masterful sample of Soviet architecture of the 1920s Constructivist era.
The Major Projects Department under GlavUpDK has put much effort into rendering the building back to its original appearance. In particular, the entrance group of the main façade has been restored: the later built vestibule has been dismantled and the metal columns refurbished. The façades have been given back their original color scheme, the brickwork has been repaired, and the plaster layer has been restored and recreated. One of the façades features dormer windows again. Galvanized steel ventilation grilles have been recreated from historical drawings.
The staircase of the main entrance has also been restored: the coverings of the steps have been replaced with granite, with steel railings installed – all this made it possible to bring the staircase back to the appearance conceived by the architect.
The roof fence has been replaced, the brick chimneys restored and smokestacks replaced, and wooden windows with the appropriate color scheme mounted.
In addition, the fence and entrance gate have been restored: they were dismantled and sent to a specialized workshop; the surrounding area was landscaped as well.
During the work, we used traditional restoration materials and techniques, as well as modern finishing compositions with high protective and decorative properties, which have proven effective in the restoration practice.