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brick style

One of the most little-studied buildings of an architect E. Y. Mesner in Odessa at the current address 5, Lermontovskiy Lane has been preserved perfectly well, but it is not known to the general public because of a very bad field of view from the street.

Type of building: mansion
Style: Art Nouveau, brick style, pseudo-Gothic style
Architect: E. Y. Mesner
Date of construction: 1913 (?)
Status: not detected


General view General view Main wing Side wing

According to reference books of Odessa homeowners during the first half of the 1910s, the building was located on a site owned by E. Y. Mesner. Hence, the construction is nothing but the own house of the architect. Boundaries of the sites are not very clearly marked, and the likelihood of errors in attribution is big enough. The property of Mesner borders sites of Radbil (no initials) and P. W. Klein, but the buildings located on them have not reached this day.


The mansion in 5, Lermontov Lane has stylistic similarity with another building in the neighboring area «Otrada», probably also designed by E. Y. Mesner — an apartment house of E. Fesenko (the authorship is ascribed to L. F. Prokopovich in some sources). The apparent likeness of two houses is, first of all, in brick fasciae, rounding bow-shaped window openings and high Gothic gables with lancet niches, and initially unplastered facades (in accordance with fashion trends of «brick style» at the beginning of the XX century).

The mansion of Mesner is a small one-storey (with a basement) building, moved back deep into the site and the L-shaped in plan. The fence from the lane side was irrevocably spoilt over the past century by reconstructions and installation of a high solid metal gate, but one of the sections, fortunately was preserved, allowing us to form an idea of the lost. A lattice of the preserved section is a fine example of retrospective Art Nouveau of the 1910s, an implementation subtlety of a flowing tissue from a single profile impresses especially.
Against the background of a large number of blind spots in the history of the house there is a possibility that the remaining fragment of the fence does not belong to the house number 5, but to an adjacent site, which structures have not reached these days.

Site fencing

General view of the preserved section Lattice fragment Fastening of the

A utility wing (belonging Mesner’s site remains in doubt), outgoing by the side of the building at the building line of the lane was preserved in a highly distorted and reconstructed state. One of its walls, which window openings are now boarded up, preserved ornaments of Obrist typical for Art Nouveau in piers.

Utility wing

General view Ornament of Obrist

The house itself was preserved best of all. It almost was not touched by reconstructions, and the façade has reached these days in virtually unchanged state. A compositional dominant of the wing, parallel to the building line, is a massive in proportions risalit, of two windows axes width, shifted almost to the edge of the facade plane and topped with a high gable — the only detail that is visible from the street.


General view Gable Niche Niche One of the details, flanking the gable One of the details, flanking the gable

A small terrace on a high pedestal with a stone balustrade adjoins the risalit from the right. Further, right next to it, a porch with an entrance to the house, preserved the original door of eclectic style with oblong glazed openings in the leaves, was arranged. In the pedestal of the terrace a large semi-circular basement window, which, together with the balustrade and terrace creates a spectacular and picturesque composition, is located.

Terrace and porch

General view Section of the terrace balustrade Porch

Entrance door

General view Lower part of the leaf A fragment of a lattice of the leaf glazed opening

The interior decoration of the mansion was almost lost. Almost square in plan, a small entrance hall leads to two habitable rooms on both sides. The house is decorated with a great restraint: stucco decor is almost completely absent, and most of the decorative elements are made of brick. The gable is crowned by an original weather vane (one of the few remaining in Odessa since pre-revolutionary times), and large figured chimneys, enriching the silhouette of the building in no small measure, are clearly visible on the lean-to roof.

Weather vane

One of the flues

On the whole, despite being located in the prestigious area ​​«Langeron», the mansion can be attributed more to the low-cost and not respectable housing. However, a modest one-storey building has a memorable look and appears to be a durable and reliable construction.



References and Archives

  • Article about the house in Antique blog


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.


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


In February 1920, power of the Bolsheviks was established in Odessa, and in October 1921, a special committee withdrew church registers of births, which had been conducted since 1820. Spreading famine gave rise to the confiscation of many church treasures from the Evangelical Lutheran parish of St. Paul by the province executive committee on May 3, 1922.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

However, the really difficult times had come to the community with the beginning of large-scale repression of the 1930s (so-called «Great Terror»), when about 8 million Soviet citizens, among them priests and the religious of all confessions of the country were annihilated on unjust charges. Friedrich Merz, who served as a vicar in Odessa in 1916-1919, was lost in 1931 at the Solovetsky camps. The last pastor of Odessa parish Karl K. Fogel was arrested July 4, 1937 and executed by shooting on October 27 of that year; the church choirmaster and organist, professor of Odessa Conservatoire and concertmaster of the Odessa Opera House Theophilus D. Richter (the father of the eminent Soviet pianist of the twentieth century Sviatoslav Richter) was shot with the other 23 members of the «German» church in October 1941, shortly before the entry of the German and Romanian troops in Odessa.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

K. Fogel, the last pastor of the Lutheran Church

Public liturgy in the Lutheran church stopped in 1938, the same year the cross from the spire of the church was removed. During the Romanian occupation of Odessa the Church of St. Paul was again opened on 7 December 1941, the service was held until the end of December 1943. The celebration in Odessa parish in this period was carried out by the Lutheran pastors of the German community in Romania. In such a short period, a total of about twenty pastors, to some extent, contributed to the restoration of church traditions in the city.
After the war the building was given Popov Institute of Communications, which main building rose up close to it. The temple was used as a warehouse for a long time, and later — the gym. The apse was equipped with toilets and showers for athletes, and a laundry was attached to the outside of the building, that led to the destruction of the foundations due to the ingress of water and wastewater.

Lutheran Church in postwar times

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

General view from Popov Institute of Communications side

The choir were equipped to practice cycling, wrestling and gymnastics. As a result, deep cracks appeared in bearing structures of the temple. The Lutheran Church destruction continued for decades — slowly but inevitably the building was perishing.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Cracks and other extensive damages of the façade, photograph 1975

In the early 1960s, the Institute leader’s plans to demolish the dangerous structure for the construction of another student’s dormitory became known to the public at large. In 1965-1966 a fierce struggle for the preservation of the church of St. Paul broke out. Not only the State Security Service of the cultural heritage of Ukraine, but also the leading intellectuals of Odessa and students from various higher schools protested against the demolition of the church. Through their vigorous resistance, it was success in cancellation of the planned explosion of the long-suffering building.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Roof fragment, photograph early 1970s

In 1971, the Regional Union of Architects applied for identifying the building of the church of St. Paul in the category of architecture monuments and its preservation (it was only in 1979).
Meanwhile, in the church there were systematic restoration works: in order to use it as an organ and concert hall. Public at large supported this project with donations.

When this goal was almost achieved, the fire at night May 9, 1976 almost completely destroyed the building, leaving only the stone case. Almost completely interiors and partially lap structures were lost. Rumors about a deliberate arson have not been ceasing in the city until now.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Fire at night May 9,1976

Lutheran Church after the fire

General view, the end 1970s General view, the end 1970s General view, photograph 1978
Steeple, photograph by N.Dutsenko at the turn of 1970s and 1980s Right-side facade  and altar towers, photograph by N.Dutsenko at the turn of 1970s and 1980s Main entrance portal, 1978 Altar part and apse, 1978 Side facade, portal and outward walls
Interior columns and beams charring during the fire Choir

Only in 1987, the reconstruction of the building was resumed. Raised funds, of course, were enough only to carry out anti-damage measures in the ruins of what was once the Lutheran church. And everything again reached a dead end.

Restoration Plan, developed by the Kiev Institute for Protection of Monuments (1989)

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Title page

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Church and parsonage (nursing home) conversion plan in the Concert Hall and Music Center

The building was becoming dilapidated disastrously fast, turned into a dangerous shelter for the homeless and persons of doubtful lifestyle.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

A view of Lutheran Church to the centennial celebration in 1997

A fragment of the facade ruins (the second half of 1990s) A fragment of the facade ruins (the second half of 1990s) Laid windows of the lower tier (the second half of 1990s) Main entrance portal (the second half of 1990s) Windows of the utility services room (the second half of 1990s) One of the small semi columns (the second half of 1990s)
Church interior, a view of the laid apse, 1989 A view of the main entrance from the apse Lobby Stabilizing steel structure in the apse

References and Archives


Cruel fate fell to one of the most significant objects of historical center of Odessa — St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Passed all stages of the Soviet struggle against the «opium of the people», being more than once on the verge of collapse and demolition, the temple has risen almost from ashes.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

 Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church. Tourism in Odessa.

General view

Type of building:
Religious cult structure (Lutheran Church)
Administrative (Parsonage)

Neoromanticism brick (Lutheran Church)
Eclecticism (Parsonage)

F. C. Boffo, G. I. Torricelli (Lutheran Church, the  old building)
G. K. Shevrembrandt, H. Y. Skveder (Lutheran Church, the new building)
A. E. Sheyns, A. I. Bernardazzi (Parsonage)

Date of construction:
1824-1828 (Lutheran Church, old building, not preserved)
1895-1897 (Lutheran Church, the new building)
1897-1899 (Parsonage)
2000-2002 (Parsonage, reconstruction for hospitable home)
2005-2010 (Lutheran Church, restoration and reconstruction with restructuring of the altar)

Architectural monument of national importance (Lutheran Church)
Historical monument (Parsonage)







References and Archives