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Building of theatre

Building of the Theatre of Musical comedy has been constructed in 1799 – 1801 years conceivably according to the project of Russian architecture E.Sokolov. Construction was made on the land of prominent St.-Petersburg merchant I. Lazarev. New building became one of numerous profitable houses of his family. Almost after half of the century in 1842 – 1896 years according to the project of Italian architecture L. Vendramini the house was rebuilt, at that time the owner of the house was heiress of Lazarev, princess Urusova.

In 1896 Grand duke Nikolay Nikolaevich, grandson of Nikolay I, had bought the house and afterwards presented it to his favourite - well-known actress of Alexandrinsky Theatre M. Pototzkaya. In all probability in this period at will of Grand duke interiors of first floor were anew trimmed, and became splendid palace apartments.

Soon afterwards conflagration of 1910 year building was passed to treasury, and then was bought by private entrepreneur I. Piltzov. In accordance with the project of Russian engineers I. Balbashevsky and A. Maksimov inner apartments of the building were reconstructed for presenting theatre productions.

Interiors of theatre, cozy and elegant, bear marks of very different architecture styles, that is why they are eclectic in astonishing way. Well-known in whole city three-flights stairs, reception-rooms, lobbies with quaint patterns of modelling, dissemination of painting and bronze are evidence of refinement of rococo style. In decoration of lobby placed over entrance to the theatre could be seen influence of different periods. Here elements of style of Italian Renaissance prevail.

Architecture is retained in primordial appearance, except just one lobby that was specially rebuilt as a grotto, which was stylish tendency in the beginning of XX century. Walls of this hall were faced with raw masonry, in which cracks were hidden electric light bulbs; and in small ponds placed in the corners of grotto water flowed. Sometimes in theatre came people who were not interested in theatre at all, they were just curious – they wanted to see the luxurious stairs and to visit grotto.

In architecture of the hall – one of the most early and few in number Petersburg interiors of public purpose of the beginning of XX century – it’s possible to see the influence of Russian late classicism. Hall differs from vivid theatre foyers by accented monumentality, plane angles of walls and discretion of architectural details; and elements of architecture borrowed from late classicism went well together with forms corresponding with engineer possibilities of that time.

Most likely that unknown architect who created audience hall of the theatre was a represent of «streamlined neoclassicism».