Tuesday, February 21


The well known Ukrainian architect, Ukrainian SSR's Honoured Artist, Aleksey Nikolayevich Beketov was born on 19 February (3 March) 1862, in Kharkov, in the family of Nikolay Nikolayevich Beketov - the founder of physics and chemistry, the member of Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Father's brother Andrey was a scientist, too: he had become known as Darwinist botanist, he was a Corresponding Member and an Honourable Member of Petersburg Academy. Aleksey Nikolayevich passed his childhood in communication with the Mechnikovs and the Alchevskiys families.
Location : Kharkov
Country : Ukraine
Address : Davina 25, "Quiet’ Downtown.
Aleksey Nikolayevich received an excellent education. At the same time he attended M. D. Ivanova-Rayevskaya's Artist School and after that in Petersburg Arts Academy. His education was topped with the dissertation thesis completion, which in 1894 brought him the title of Architecture Academician.

Beketov died on 23 November 1941. He left us about one hundred various buildings, and one of the most magnificent of them is the building of Kharkov research institute of microbiology and immunology named after I. I. Mechnikov.
The first Beketov building, which decorated Kharkov, was the Commercial School. After this work, which brought success to the novice, the young architect constructed a whole series of bank buildings. The projects were ordered by the leaders of the roughly developing Kharkov business and industry -- today's buildings of the Automotive Technical School, The Houses of Techniques, the Puppet-Show and others.
According to the status of Petersburg's Academy of Arts, an architect with 3 years construction experience could choose an item and work on a project to receive the rank of Academician of Architecture. Beketov decided to take on the project of a public library with 1.5 million volumes, with reading halls, an art gallery, storehouse and numismatic hall. Beketov completed this grand work in only 9 months. In 1894 the Scientist Soviet gave him the rank of Academnician. The building of the library can be called a gift to Kharkov of "a perfect creation.
The creative works of Beketov were noticeable not only in Kharkov; his buildings also decorate Belgorod, Dnipropetrovsk, Simpheropol and other cities - but the most monumental buildings he built are in Kharkov. During his life he completed 64 different architecture projects and all of the buildings were individual masterpieces. Here, in his native city, this outstanding architect ended his life.
Buildings Created By Beketov1889 - Medical office (Poltavsky Shlyakh, 12)
Darvina (Darwin) Street was established in the mid-19th century and was initially called Sadovo-Kulikovska, as named after its landlords, the Kulikovskys, who owned vast lands in this area. When the massive construction started here, as the Technological Institute was being built, they sold most of their land to the city. In the early 20th century a range of mansions was built in the street, including the Governor’s Mansion and Governor’s Office.
The buildings in Darvina Street have been well preserved and are of special interest for those fond of old architecture.
Built in the style of Neorenaissance, 9, Darvina Steet is a former house of merchant Ryzhov (designed by V. Velichko, 1912). This is one of the few mansions of the city which preserved its initial outlook. During the early years of Soviet power, it housed the Extraordinary Commission for Fighting Counterrevolution, Speculations and Sabotage. Later it became home to the All-Ukrainian Society of Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. Since 1934 it has become the House of Architects.
Situated next to it is a former mansion of English Consul Charles Blacky, now housing the House of Artists (designed by V. Gaush, 1911).
13, Darvina Steet is a mansion previously owned by D. Alchevsky, biology professor of Kharkiv University. The designer (A. Beketov) described the style of the building as Mauritanian. It used to house the Society of Working Women Mutual Help, the first mixed gymnasium for boys and girls and now it is home to Ukrainian-British College.

Further on, the architectural complex of the street resembles that of a small European town. 21 and 23, Darvina St. were designed by A. Beketov in 1901–1903 in the style of Neorenaissance. A very interesting building designed in the style of Modern by V. Rzhepyshevsky for a stage director N. Sinelnikov was built in 1914. Close to it (31, Darvina St.) is the house designed by V. Velichko for his family. At the end of the street there is a mansion designed by A. Beketov in 1912 (37, Darvina St.). Besides A. Beketov, painters M. Pestrikov and N. Samokish used to live there at different times.
Buildings by Beketov.
1893 - Lenin House of Culture (Sovnarkomovskaya, 13)

1893 - Law Academy (Pushkinskaya, 77)

1896 - Secondary School N1 (Darwin, 1)

1896 - Arts Museum (Sovnarkomovskaya, 9)

1896 - "Znaniye" Society (Nezavisimosty pl.)

1896-1898 Autotransport Technical College (Nezavisimosty pl., 28)

1896-1899 - Technical House (Nezavisimosty pl., 26)

1899 - Medical Society (Olminskogo ul, 11)

1900 - Scientists' House (Sovnarkomovskaya, 10)

1891-1901 - Korolenko Library (Korolenko, 4)

1902 - Court Offices House (Rudneva pl.)

1906-1907 - Puppet Theatre (Nezavisimosty pl., 24)

1912 - Arts Museum (Sovnarkomovskaya, 11)

1913 - I. I. Mechnikov Institute (Pushkinskaya, 14)

1914-1915 - KhSKhM SKB (Pushkinskaya, 84)

1914-1916 - KhIMESKh (Artyoma, 44).


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