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10, Bolshaya Arnautskaya Street. Apartment house of P. M. Mavromatis

The apartment house of P. Mavromatis, as it befits constructions built in the so-called «brick style», gives an impression of good quality and durability. At the same time, the house is perfectly illustrates the period of rationalization in the architecture of the early XX century.

Type of building: apartment house
Style: «brick style», German Renaissance
Architect: A. B. Minkus
Date of construction: 1906-1908
Status: local architectural and historical monument
Previous building of the site: mansion of A. Beyul

Main facade

General view Central risalit, a view upward Left-side wing, a view upward Flanking pylon

On the even side of Bolshaya Arnautskaya Street, four adjacent sites from number 10 (which will be discussed below) to number 16 were built up on the projects of an outstanding architect A. B. Minkus scoring a great success in eclecticism of the late XIX century as well is in Art Nouveau of various trends of the beginning of XX century.,30.746194&spn=0,0&output=embed

Based on the data presented in the reference book of Odessa house owners 1900s, the site number 10 belonged to (at the time of the construction of the house) a certain P. Mavromatis, who owned a shop on Grecheskaya Street under the high-sounding title «Grocery and colonial trade Mavromatis». A mansion of a merchant A. Beyul had been located on that place before (1849, architect. A. Zhalobinsky) and despite the fact that it had been demolished more than a century ago, it was indicated at this address in the reference book by V. Pilyavskiy, but about the house of  Mavromatis there were no  words.

Extensive, four-storey, having along the exterior facade 9 window axes and going deep into the site, the house was building within two years, from 1906 to 1908. When the building was completed the city adorned with one of the best examples of brick residential architecture.

The exterior facade of the building is made in the «brick style» with elements of German Renaissance, and has a considerable likeness to the house of Y. M. Teper on 6, Osipov Street (1901, architect. A. B. Minkus, F. A. Troupyansky), but unlike the latter, brick is not plastered here and the silhouette is devoid of catchy accents.
In addition, there are no any stucco mouldings on Mavromatis’ house and all decorative plastic parts are laid out directly from the brick.

The main emphases of the facade are a dual Renaissance window on the top floor and the entrance portal to the entrance hall, located on the central axis of the window. If one compares the house, for example, with the brick buildings of the architect W. P. Klein, a building designed by A. B. Minkus does not give rise to feeling of weight and ruggedness, owing to high, narrow windows, a small relief of the brick decor.

The exterior facade is symmetrical; three central axes of the window are singled out by a shallow risalit and separated by pilasters. The central axis is double. Risalit pilasters on interstorey level (3-4 floors) are decorated with typical for the style, forged agraffes.

Main facade, decoration details

Agraffe on the pylon (others are similar, but without a circle) Ground floor window Semi-basement window Flag holder Flag holder flute Double windows of the first floor, over the portal

Agraffes are seen also between the windows of the wings and on the pylons flanking the facade, and are located at the same height. It is worth mentioning here that the agraffes use two types of patterns. On the pylons they are X-shaped, from two semi-circles enclosed in a circle, the rest are without a circle. Pylons on the level of the third and fourth floors are supplemented with niches, and the central risalit is crowned by an attic.

An attic segment corresponding to the central axis is higher than its side parts, and plays an important role in the silhouette of the house.

The layout of the building as a whole is symmetric. The main four-storey wing is supplemented with U-shaped yard wing of the same height. The wings form a nearly square in shape, enclosed courtyard.
To the four-storey yard wing, along the axis of the site, a three-story U-shaped one is attached, thus another smaller courtyard is formed. A pass to the first of the courtyard from the street is carried out through an arch located to the left of the main entrance portal.

The arch has flat vaults, supported by austere pilasters. The house gate was dismantled, but the original transom has been preserved and has a similar pattern with balconies fencing of the exterior facade.

Passage arch and the main entrance portal

General view of the arch and the portal General view of the arch and the portal Arch Tethering post
Gate transom Gate transom fragment Balconies fencing made in the same vein as the gate and the transom Balconies fencing
Arch view from within (a view from the courtyard side) Arch view from within (a view from the street  side) Arch finish Sign plate in the arch

Communication between the courtyards is carried out through the arch, arranged symmetrically in the center of a four-storey courtyard wing. Both courtyard wings are built of traditional shell limestone, their facades are very restrained in decoration. Windows are marked out by simple and massive casings, balconies and railings are made using a rare pattern, although its various options are common among Odessa buildings of eclecticism period.

Courtyard facades, a large courtyard

Four-storey wing, a view from the passage arch from the street Four-storey wing, a view from the front window of the main facade Apartments and garrets windows
Back facade of the exterior wing Back facade of the exterior wing Main entrance windows A window of the main entrance
Balcony fence Balcony fence

Entrances to the four-storey wing are located in two corner hollows between its wings, windows illuminating them are arranged in the same place.

Windows illuminating the corner entrances

Over the passage arch into the second courtyard there is a back entrance (now not in use), facing a three-storey wing. Back entrance staircase starts on the first floor, and from the courtyard (bypassing the arch) there is a simple narrow metal ladder.

Four-storey wing facade from the small courtyard side

General view Landing fence of the entrance to the fire escape staircase Landing fence of the entrance to the fire escape staircase

An eentrance to the three-storey apartments is located in the center of the back wing, and in the corners between it and the side wing there are open fire escapes preserved original railings somewhere.

Three-storey wing

General view Fire escape (left-side) Fire escape (right-side) Fire escape railings fragment Original in a form and fence balcony

Three-storey wing, the entrance door

General view Leaf lower fragment

On the facade of a three-storey wing there are balconies of original in plan trapezoidal shape. Balconies fences of both courtyards wings are identical in pattern.

The front wing has only one entrance and seven large apartments for rent, the most comfortable and expensive in the house. The decoration of the entrance hall has been preserved for the most part.

Main entrance portal

General view Decorative door grating Door grating fragment

On the floor of the vestibule formed by two authentic doors, a concrete mosaic landing with a greeting «Salve» (/ / lat. / / Welcome, hello, good health).

Main entrance hall, concrete mosaics

Title Ornament on the lobby floor Corner part of the lobby landing Landing in front of the entrance flight of stairs Landing between flights of stairs Pattern of the landing between flights of stairs Patterns of the floor landings

The remaining floors and landings are also made of concrete mosaic with decorative patterns (some of which are quite rare), and steps — from marble. Railings quote a pattern, common in Europe at the end of the XIX century, but rare in Odessa.

Main entrance hall, railings

General view of the flight of stairs Fragment of the flight of stairs Fragment of the flight of stairs Fragment of the flight of stairs Baluster

Entrance hall windows and apartment doors have been preserved on the whole and quite restrained in decoration.

Main entrance, doors

General view General view Decorative detail

The staircase is spanned by a plafond with a spectacular panel.


General view Panel Panel Coving fragment

Lobby vaults are strengthened by beams on massive pilasters, but devoid of decoration.

Lobby general view

Entrance halls at the corners of a four-storey courtyard wing are smaller and oblong in shape. Illumination is implemented by windows arranged in the corners between the wings and a glass lantern above the staircase. Landings are made of concrete mosaic, stairs — of marble, and the lower area near the entrance is ornamented. Railings pattern is very rare, it is likely that the similar are not found anywhere else. On each of the landings there are entrances to the apartments, that is quite possibly due to floors different level of back and side wings.

Entrance hall of the courtyard four-storey wing

Concrete mosaic near the entrance(only lower landing is decorated) Entrance flight of stairs Railings Railings

In the entrance hall of a three-storey wing reasonably priced metal stairs with iron fencing balusters are installed. The stairs preserved the manufacturer sign — «Machinery and iron foundry of V. Restel». A balusters pattern is not unique, but it is hardly widely-spread.

Entrance hall of the three-storey courtyard wing, railings

General view of railings General view of railings from the landing of the first floor Railings of a flight of stairs Horizontal railings Horizontal railings Central fragment of the baluster Baluster fragment A fragment of the baluster between flights of stairs

Entrance hall of the three-storey courtyard wing, the stairs

Steps Trademark of V. Restel’s plant

** Entrance hall of the three-storey courtyard wing, a door **

General view Apartment number plate

The entrance hall is illuminated by a large rectangular window located over a narrow and high entrance door.

In general, the building appears to be durable and quite expensive owing to the execution of the apartment building, with a well thought-out layout and a high degree of rationality in the design approach.

In addition to the architectural value of the house it is also a historical value. On the facade there is a memorial plaque with the following content:

«In this house from June 1996 to October 2004 Alexander Ivanovich Mayorov, Hero of the Soviet Union, fighter pilot, committed 315 combat flights during World War II lived.»



References and Archives

  • «The architects of Odessa». V. Pilyavsky
  • «The Architecture of Odessa. Style and time». V. Pilyavsky
  • «The buildings, structures, monuments of Odessa and architects». V. Pilyavsky
  • An article on building in a blog Antique