Azov-Don Bank Building
The building was designed by Fyodor Lidval, a Russian-Swedish architect who produced some of the finest examples of Northern Moderne, a style that combined Art Nouveau sensibilities with the severe forms of industrial neoclassicism and building materials suitable to the harsh northern climate of Scandinavia and Northern Russia. In the case of the Azov-Don Bank, his designs emphasized the classical, befitting the building's proximity to the magnificent arch of the General Staff Building.
Construction was carried out in two stages. The section of the building closer to Nevsky Prospekt, with its massive four-column portico, was built 1907-1909 on the site of the Belle Vue Hotel, which had counted Ivan Turgenev and Jerome K. Jerome among its guests. The bank then acquired the neighboring building, which Lidval reconstructed 1912-1913 to produce a single asymmetrical facade faced in grey Karelian granite, with sculptures and bas-reliefs by Vasiliy Kuznetsov.
The bank's vast operations hall was the first place in Russia to be equipped with an automatic telephone system, and for many decades was used by Petersburgers and foreigners to make intercity and international phone calls. It is now home to a microbrewery and pub, which is worth visiting just to look at the impressively preserved interiors.
|Address:||3-5, Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa|
|Getting there:||On leaving the metro, turn right and then left onto Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa. Cross Nevsky Prospekt, and it is the second building on your left.|
|What's nearby?||Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad), Nevsky Prospekt, Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad), General Staff Building, Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa, Wawelberg Building|