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Tolstoy’s rental apartment building

29/1 Arbat Street
3.3
Tolstoy’s Rental apartment building was the last hotel in Moscow decorated in Art Nouveau style.
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Tolstoy’s Rental apartment building was the last hotel in Moscow decorated in Art Nouveau style.

Rental apartment building combined with the hotel owned by Yakov Mikhailovich Tolstoy was built on the Arbat street by architect Lazarev in 1904-1906. This is one of the first state of the art projects of the famous Moscow architect Nikita Gerasimovitch Lazarev. He came from a well-known Moscow-Armenian family, graduated from Sank -Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineers. He became a successful entrepreneur and developer, author of this and many other developer’s rental apartment buildings in Moscow in the beginning of XX century. Tolstoy’s Rental apartment building is the latest hotel in Moscow, decorated in a modern style. The house is built symmetrically with the central and two side avant-corps which stand out of the façade lane, i.e. part of the building, advocating for the basic line of the facade and extending to the full height of the building.

Additional floor of the house was built in 1912-1913, which spoiled it a bit. Central avant-corp of the house was accented with a small dome. The dome and two side attics were lost during the superstructure of additional floors (attic - a wall, built over a crowning cornice of the building).

Ground floor has been designed for the stores with very interesting curved windows that did not survive until the present day. Fourth-floor windows were framed with the chestnut leaves pattern - a characteristic of Moscow Art Nouveau style. Keystone in the central stair window avant-corp at the fourth floor is decorated with female head. The very high attic corner block ends with two flowerpots and graceful garland under the eaves. Side corbels decorated with intricate openwork balconies with delicate forging. Each floor has its own design of the top window casings, which creates a very interesting game decor, which is always interesting to examine.

Vladimir Apollonovich Lossky, singer (bass) and director of the Bolshoi Theatre lived in this house. He debuted in the private opera house of Mamontov as an alternate of Fedor Shalapin playing the party of Mefistofil in Gounod's opera "Faust". He performed in Kiev and Nizhny Novgorod. After the revolution in 1920 he become a chief director and artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre. He sang 36 vocal parts in different performances and directed over 50. Vladimir Apollonovich  taught before the revolution in Odessa and Kiev Conservatory , and after World War II became a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory .

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