The Nobleman?s Assembly Okhotny Ryad, 2 The building of the Nobleman?s Assembly is one of the few works of M. F. Kazakov in which the style of the great master was preserved despite the numerous late reconstructions the building underwent.
The house was erected in 1784-1787 by Kazakov?s project for the Moscow Nobleman?s Assembly (which was created on the initiative of the prince A. B. Golitsin and M. F. Soymonov). The building became widely known thanks to its solemn and imposing Hall of Pillars.
In 1784 the Nobleman?s Assembly purchased the building of the former governor-general of Moscow V. M. Dolgoruky.
On the base of it Kazakov erected his monumental mansion with the homestead buildings attached to it. The large Hall of Pillars was situated in the centre with numerous adjoined drawing-rooms and halls located around. The main entrance faces Bolshaya Dmitrovka.
It is decorated with a six-columned Ionic portico. The corners were adorned with lower pilastered porticos. The main entrance was located in the part of the building that faced Okhotny Ryad. It was adorned with an arch put on doubled columns.
A three staired staircase led to the main suite of rooms. But the most remarkable sight of the building was the famous Hall of Pillars. The corinfic colonnade made of yellowish artificial marble and illuminated with the upper light made the building look solemn and exquisite at the same time.
In 1800 a three storied building was attached to the Assembly on the side facing the Georgievsky lane. In 1811 the house was enlarged. At the same time a decorated ceiling representing an eagle with outspread wings and surrounded by a thundercloud made its appearance in the Hall of Pillars.
In 1812 the building was greatly damaged by the fire. In 1814 it was restored by a M. F. Kazakov?s disciple A. N. Bakarev.
Unfortunately he didn?t manage to restore the decorated ceiling, so it was lost for us. In 1903 an architect A. F. Meisner bricked up the upper light and added the 3rd storey to the house. He lifted porticos up to the first floor and brought them into line.
On March, 30 1856 the Hall of Pillars witnessed Alexander II?s speech where he accented the necessity of setting the serfs free. P. I. Tchaikovsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, F. List, S. V. Rakhmaninov performed their musical works there. In 1880 F. M. Dostoevsky delivered his famous speech in connection with the unveiling of the Pushkin?s monument.
After the Revolution the building was passed on to the trade unions and was called the House of Unions. Different congresses of the Comintern and Profintern took place there.
Beginning with V. I. Lenin?s funeral the Hall of Pillars started to be used as a mourning hall to bid famous people and statesmen farewell. The building was under reconstruction in 1977-1979 and in 1995-1996. Today public activity and concerts take place in the Hall of Pillars.
Address: 1, Bol. Dmitrovka St.
Underground: Okhotny Ryad