“O.P. Korobkova’s mansion of 1894 with a service wing and fencing”
33-35 Pyatnitskaya Street

In 2015, being fully restored by the Main Administration for Service to the Diplomatic Corps (GlavUpDK) under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the site was recognized a laureate of the competition of the Moscow government for the best project in the field of preservation and promotion of sites of cultural heritage – “Moscow Restoration 2015”.

The mansion was built in 1886, and rebuilt in 1894 by the architect Lev Kekushev for the Moscow merchant Trifon Korobkov. In five years the architect Sergey Shutsman enlarged the building by extending the Kekushev’s finish of the façade to the unfinished part.

This masterpiece of architecture was highly appreciated by contemporaries. “Stroitel” Magazine stated while publishing (soon after the opening) the photos of the mansion of T.I. Korobkov in Pyatnitskaya Street, “This work can be considered one of the best among those built by him [Kekushev] in Moscow”.

T.I. Korobkov was a famous entrepreneur in Moscow. He owned a paper factory and was involved in financial and stock transactions. Like many successful entrepreneurs of the time, Korobkov was fond of patronage of arts, thus artists, poets, musicians and writers were frequent guests in his house. One of the guests, the young artist Alexander Gerasimov painted a famous portrait of the host’s wife, Olga Petrovna. She was the one who became the owner of the mansion after the head of the family died.

L.N. Kekushev allotted classic features to the appearance of the building with a significant taste of modernity. Caryatids, rustic work, ancient wreaths and mascarons are combined with intricate curves and asymmetrical volumes.

A special attention is certainly drawn to the bay window of the second floor with expressive sculptural decoration, forming a canopy above the entrance. The inside of the building was also completely remade by Kekushev. The second floor was placed slightly higher due to the reorganization of the roof, and layout of the rooms was changed significantly.

The building was an orphanage and a dining room for some time after the revolution, and in 30-40-ies some prominent Soviet scientists lived there: A.P.

Karpinsky and V.L. Komarov (both successively held the presidency of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR). In the postwar years, the mansion housed the Institute of Art History of I.E. Grabar. The mansion was well preserved probably because of the latter organization.

The rich interior decoration inside the building attracts attention. The most interesting in this regard are the rooms of the grand staircase with a bay window and a spectacular helical flight, a living room and a dining room on the second floor. There is a small turret above the staircase with a high figured roof and a large window that illuminates the stained glass with floral motifs — a clear tribute to the style of Art Nouveau.

During the restoration of 2013-2015, the building was brought back to its true color palette of a lilac color. A bay window of the second floor with a dome and roofing was restored as well. The sculpture and the stucco decoration of the facade were also reconstructed. The wall and ceiling stucco work of the interiors was restored. The front hall was returned to its original form including the restoration of the marble staircase, and reconstruction of the gilding on its railing, stucco ceilings and wall panels.