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An Extraordinary Survivor: The Story of Sytin House, Moscow

Author/EditorCecil, Clementine (Author)
Publisher: Fontanka
ISBN: 9781906257439
Pub Date29/12/2022
BindingPaperback
Pages208
Dimensions (mm)260(h) * 210(w)
The compelling story of a wooden neo-classical mansion in central Moscow and the man who built it, through two hundred years of fires and political upheavals, from its construction in 1803 to the present day.
€23.36
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The compelling story of a wooden neo-classical mansion in central Moscow and the man who built it, through two hundred years of fires and political upheavals, from its construction in 1803 to the present day.

Sytin House was built in Moscow in 1803 by Brigadier Andrei Sytin to be his city residence. Built from wood but disguised to look like stone, a peculiarity of the Russian building tradition, it was a typical house for a member of the gentry class, built according to standardised designs and decorated with classical motifs. The otherwise modest house has a portico with four columns and a pediment, all from wood. The Sytin family moved in just a few years before the fire of Moscow in 1812 that devastated most of the city, but, amazingly, not this house, that is to this day an extraordinary survivor, one of only a handful of such houses left in Moscow.

The house survived the early 20th century building boom, as well as the upheaval of the 1917 revolution when numerous wooden houses were dismantled for firewood. Divided into communal apartments during the Soviet period, it avoided demolition under Stalin, was listed in the 1960s, and finally restored in 1980. It was once again left empty in the 2010s however, and began to decline. Nestled between two of Moscow’s main streets, it has been recently triumphantly restored, and is today a witness of over 200 years of the city’s architectural history. This account provides a fascinating and original insight into the cultural, political and social landscape of Russia, as well as its architectural history.

The compelling story of a wooden neo-classical mansion in central Moscow and the man who built it, through two hundred years of fires and political upheavals, from its construction in 1803 to the present day.

Sytin House was built in Moscow in 1803 by Brigadier Andrei Sytin to be his city residence. Built from wood but disguised to look like stone, a peculiarity of the Russian building tradition, it was a typical house for a member of the gentry class, built according to standardised designs and decorated with classical motifs. The otherwise modest house has a portico with four columns and a pediment, all from wood. The Sytin family moved in just a few years before the fire of Moscow in 1812 that devastated most of the city, but, amazingly, not this house, that is to this day an extraordinary survivor, one of only a handful of such houses left in Moscow.

The house survived the early 20th century building boom, as well as the upheaval of the 1917 revolution when numerous wooden houses were dismantled for firewood. Divided into communal apartments during the Soviet period, it avoided demolition under Stalin, was listed in the 1960s, and finally restored in 1980. It was once again left empty in the 2010s however, and began to decline. Nestled between two of Moscow’s main streets, it has been recently triumphantly restored, and is today a witness of over 200 years of the city’s architectural history. This account provides a fascinating and original insight into the cultural, political and social landscape of Russia, as well as its architectural history.

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