On 26 May, it was 140th birthday anniversary of Voronezh architect Mikhail Zamyatnin. He is the creator of the “House with an owl” and other historic buildings.
It is hard to believe that the talented Voronezh architect, Mikhail Zamyatnin, who created nearly all landmarks of the city, was forgotten after his death. Nobody even knows where he was buried. Fortunately, his creations have survived to the present day: the building of the city administration, the regional court house, and the “House with an owl”. The project of the former printing house of the Kommuna newspaper is also attributed to the architect. However, the documents that could prove it did not survive. All in all, there are over a dozen buildings that were designed by Zamyatnin. All of them are cultural heritage sites and are protected by the state.
Before the revolution, Mikhail Zamyatnin worked as a city architect. After the revolution, from 1918 he was the chairman of the committee for government-owned facilities and the head of the Voronezhglina trust.
‘Zamyatnin continued building houses in Voronezh. Interestingly, later, in Soviet times, his projects were used to create buildings in the pre-revolution style, for example the purple house in Dzerzhinsky street,’ said the expert of Voronezh history, Olga Rudneva.
The most famous building by Zamyatnin is the “House with an owl” located in 12 Alexeyevsky street. The architect built it for himself in 1912. One of its floors was occupied by the family of the architect, and the two other floors were rented out. In 1918, when bolsheviks took power, Zamyatnin of his own free will gave the house to the regional communist party committee and Komsomol. The balcony was often used as a tribune for political speeches. The architect moved into a small one-storey building in Ordzhonikidze street (the house did not survive, the Voronezh Duma is now located there).
During the Great Patriotic War the “House with an owl” was badly damaged. It was reconstructed in 1952. Now it is a residential house. Although the house does not stand out among the other houses it is well-known by Voronezh citizens thanks to the sculpture of an owl under a balcony. There is also a tradition, that if people in love kiss under the sculpture before their wedding, their marriage will be a happy one.
The building in 10 Plekhanovskaya st. that has been occupied by the city administration since 1990s was also designed by Mikhail Zamyatnin. The house was finished in 1915 and was occupied then by Volzhsko-Kamsky commercial bank. After the revolution, it was the building of the recruitment office. During the war, the house was badly damaged as many other building in the city centre. Inner walls, and a part of the façade were destroyed. During the reconstruction, the rooms of the building were changed but the façade was fully recreated.
In 1911, on the request of the regional businessmen Nikolai Klochkov and Wilhelm Stoll, the architect built the eye hospital (22 Revolutsii 1905 goda street.). Now it is the building of the regional ophthalmological hospital. However, in recent times, a third floor was added to the original two storey building and a new building was also attached to it.
‘The businessmen gave the hospital to the city by way of a grant and Zamyatnin received the Order of Saint Anne, 3rd class,’ said Olga Rudneva. ‘It was a generous gift. It is hard to imagine any millionaires of today to build a huge building in the city centre and give it to the city as a gift.
There are five more houses by Zamyatnin that survived to the present day in the city of Voronezh:
The academy of music at the address 41 Revolutsii avenue.
The building of the Gentry land and Peasants’ land bank at the address 41 Ordzhonikidze street. Now it is the building of the investigating committee and the court house.
The house of the merchant A.F. Petrov at the address 19 Friedrich Engels street. where now antituberculosis dispensary is situated.
The house of the chamberlain M.M. Somov located at the address 21 Friedrich Engels street.
The house of Z.N. Ivanova, the daughter of the Court Counsellor, located at the address 3 Nikitinskaya street. It is now a residential house. This house is special because Zamyatnin made a skylight in the roof of the building to provide natural light in the hall. However, at some point in recent years it was painted over.
The house of the merchant N.T. Shuklin located at the address 56 Revolutsii avenue. The former cinema “Uvechny voin”. Now the cinema “Proletary” is adjacent to this building.
Information for this article was provided by the following websites: http://www.moe-online.ru/news/view/363804.html