Description of the attraction
A four-story corner mansion, perfectly preserved to this day, on Nevsky Prospekt and ul. Bolshoi Morskaya, built in 1806 in the style of Russian classicism, is popularly called the Chaplin House by the name of its last owners, merchants Grigory and Stepan Chaplin, who owned this house for over 70 years and kept a store on the ground floor.
The Chaplins' house entered the architectural composition of Nevsky Prospect as an exemplary multi-storey residential building, embodied in the forms and techniques of Russian classicism of the early 19th century. The appearance of this monumental mansion has remained practically unchanged since its construction. It is characterized by ingenious simplicity and restraint in the use of decorative elements.
The corner of the Chaplins' house, like many other houses of that time, was cut off. The facades along Bolshaya Morskaya Street and Nevsky Prospect differ very little from each other. When designing the house, the architect V. I. Beretti used a traditional technique for Russian classicism - straight and triangular sandrids grouped along the edges of the building above the eaves of the third floor. The facade received a strict monumentality and expressiveness due to wide triangular pediments, beautiful balconies with cast-iron gratings resting on granite brackets. With such simple and somewhere stingy methods, the author received a significant artistic effect.
The history of the plot of house No. 13, on which the Chaplins' house was later built, is rather unusual. In the middle of the 18th century, it housed the temporary palace of Elizabeth Petrovna, the empress. In 1771, by order of Catherine II, the temporary palace was dismantled, the empress made a preliminary sketch of the new palace with her own hand and handed it over to the architect Yu. M. Felten. It is believed that the new palace was supposed to be a gift for the eighteenth birthday of Pavel Petrovich, the heir to the Russian throne and the Grand Duke. The project provided for a two-tiered colonnade and rounded corners of the new palace.
In 1786, a new project was made on the construction of a mansion-Cabinet of Their Imperial Majesty on the same vacant site, in which it was planned to house the entire imperial court with the chancellery. The architect of the project was N. A. Lvov. The project envisaged the construction of a complex of buildings with a round body topped with a dome in the center. However, this ambitious project was not destined to be realized. In the end, in 1802, the empty plot was acquired by the businessman A. I. Peretz, who later sold it to Chaplin.
In 1817, A. S. lived in the Chaplins' house. Griboyedov, in the 1860s. - composer M. P. Mussorgsky. At the end of 1855, M. A. Balakirev, who arrived in St. Petersburg for the first time, lived there until the beginning of the next year.
At all times, the Chaplins' house housed various bookstores, and later - shops. In the 1840s, the house housed Schmitzdorf's bookshop. In the 19th century, the building housed a number of different offices: the photographic studio of S. I. Surov, A. N. Erickson, M. I. Bernard, F. Melzer & Co office, Admiralty Pharmacy, Urban Insurance Company. Since the 50s of the XIX century, the Chaplins house housed bookstores of the famous publisher of Mauritius Wolf. It is about him and his stores that a saying was put down in St. Petersburg: “If you go to the Public one, you will not find it. If you look at Wolf, you will get it."
In 1919, Petrogosizdat set up a book market in the Chaplins' house. The book tradition in the Chaplins' house was taken over by the "Bukvoed" store, which is a successful bookselling enterprise.