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It all began, however, with another house. "Casket house” was built on the Prechistenskaya embankment by the painting collector Tsvetkov. Competing with Tretyakov brothers for fame, he even fired his architect, and hired Vasnetsov, when he learnt that Tretyakovs are bulding a mansion on the basis of sketches of Vasnetsov. "Casket house " was smaller than the Tretyakov Gallery, but had a wonderful view of the Moscow River, the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This view fascinated Petr Pertsov, the railway engineer. Tsvetkov proposed to indicate an even better place, if Pertsov would build a house in the Russian style. He agreed, and with the assistance of Tsvetkov, he bought a piece of land nearby.
Pertsov declared a closed competition for development of a "tenant house in the Russian style". The jury represented the most famous people: Vasnetsov, Surikov, Polenov, Shekhtel. But as result Pertsov himself chose the project of Malyutin, which got only the second place in the competition. Malyutin was an author of the first Russian Matryoshka painting.
The house was built in 11 months - a very short period of time, knowing about the existance of the carved staircases, majolica tiled stoves, stained glass windows, a bedroom with alcoves and smoking rooms in oriental style – for them craftsmen who were discharged from the Nizhny Novgorod province were hired. And as it happens with all tenement houses – there was magnificent decoration of the facade of the building with expensive apartments, but the back part of the house, where the windows of the cheap apartments opened to, was simple and unpretentious.
Pertsov lived in this house for 15 years. He was one of the treasurer of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, he was standing up for the church and in 1922 because of the process of "churchers" was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Pertsov was set free a year later, but was dishoused.
The house was nationalized. Here what his youngest daughter Zinaida Pertsova wrote in her memoir: " ... there was a person living in our house - a famous freak and original - Pozdnyakov. He arranged his apartment, which consisted of four huge rooms, in an extraordinary way. The largest, the one which looked almost as a hall, has been transformed into a bathroom (my brothers visited Pozdnyakov and described his flat to me in details). The floor and the walls were covered with black cloth. In the middle of the room, on a special platform there was a huge black marble bath (its weight was 70 pounds). Orange lights are around. The huge wall mirrors reflect the sitting in the bath person from all sides. Another room has been transformed into a winter garden: parquet was covered with sand and laid with green plants and garden furniture. The living room was lovely - with tiger skins and artistic furniture made of Karelian birch. Here the owner was taking in guests being dressed in the ancient Greek toga and sandals on his bare feet, and on the nail of the thumb there was a shining diamond monogram. A Negro was serving him being dressed in red livery, who was always accompanied by a black pug with a big red bow!
Lev Trotsky fell for this fantastic flat: I do not know if he also borrowed the Greek toga and the sandals from Pozdnyakov!"
Now the building is housing the Administrative Department of the diplomatic service.
Mariinsky schoolSofiyskaya Embankment 8
In the depths of the site at number 8 a bright three-storey building with a shaped attic and elegant moldings stands behind the iron fence. This building known as "Mariinsky Academy." This house endured many changes in the twentieth century and it is now under threat of demolition or global reconstruction.