Commercial Buildings

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the majority of large-scale construction projects were for palaces, churches, and buildings to house the ever expanding apparatus of the Russian state. As the 19th century progressed, however, and particularly in the first decade of the 20th century, it was private enterprises - banks and shops - that had amassed the funds to commission large and lavish buildings for their premises. Often more progressive in their tastes than their counterparts in the public sector, they pioneered modern architecture in the city, often shocking public taste at the time, but providing us with lasting monuments to life in St. Petersburg in the final decades of Tsarist Russia.