S. P. Ryabushinsky?s mansion ? A. M. Gorky?s house-museum (M. Nikitskaya, 6) The mansion, built in 1900-1903 on the corner of Malaya Nikitskaya and Spiridonievka, is a classic example of what we call a modern style.
An academician of architecture F. O. Shekhtel erected an asymmetric two-storied building with a massive porch for a millionaire Stephan Pavlovitch Ryabushinsky. He was a banker and a manufacturer and held a high position among businessmen of the capital.
He was also an old Believer (staroobryadets) and possessed one of the best icon collections in Russia. The main facade of the building faces the church of Great Ascension, which is situated in the north. Besides the main facade there are several more facades.
All of them are absolutely unique and inimitable. They differ from each other and that is what makes them equal in value. The building represents a cube. It is tiled with bright glazed bricks. The mosaic frise is ornamented with irises. Large square windows cut smooth walls through. The irrationality of the facade combines perfectly well with the rationality of the interiors. The paneled interior rooms are grouped around the main staircase. The layout of the mansion is very comfortable and likeable and reminds the old Russian tradition. The interior fascinates with its refinement.
In the pre-revolutionary guides about Moscow the building was called pretentious and quaint and fanciful. Its appearance didn?t fit in with the Empire style masterpieces around in Tverskoy boulevard.
Though the unfamiliarity of the mansion could be explained by Ryabushinsky?s belonging to both bourgeoisie and old Believers.
Since 1919 State Publishing House had been located in the mansion. Then it was All-Union Society of cultural contacts with foreign countries. And at last the house was put at A. M. Gorky?s disposal.
Prominent representatives of western culture visited the writer in his house. So it promoted the part a writer played in the Soviet Russia perfectly well. In 1965 the writer?s museum was opened in the mansion.