Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => The Alexander Palace => Topic started by: mansotogracia on August 02, 2006, 09:09:36 AM

Title: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mansotogracia on August 02, 2006, 09:09:36 AM
Does anyone knows for sure how the restoration works at the Alexander Palace are going?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 02, 2006, 02:46:49 PM
Somewhere among these threads you can probably find the answer. In a nutshell, the palace is still under the jurisdiction of the Russian military, and is in the process of being officially transferred to the Tsarskoe Selo Museum. Once that is complete, the restorations will start, but it will be a slow process, I am sure. It may be 10 years or more until it is fully restored (structurally).
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mansotogracia on August 02, 2006, 07:36:23 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. I read that same information some time ago in this forum.  The thing is that I came recently from a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg and it made me very sad to see the Palace's actual condition, it seems lost in time and that the only people that care about it are us.  Precisely the ones that can't do much about it.  I just hoped for new information.  Thanks again.

Maria

PD: Excuse my grammar, but English is not my first language. Thank you.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: vladm on August 03, 2006, 04:22:23 PM
it seems lost in time and that the only people that care about it are us.  Precisely the ones that can't do much about it.

Maria,
Unfortunately, you couldn't be more right about, folks who cared about AP. According to my information, until 2010 in Pushkin town, will be injected over $1 billion, I believe from that sum, GMZ "Tsarskoye Selo", will have about 50% of the money (roughly $100 mln per year), a side from that, Palace officials created club (for a reason - luck of funding) - "Friends of Tsarskoye Selo", and we know, quite few of private donations, streaming to this place. However, every single dollar, booked already for some tasks. 
But, I have not seen, single formal announcement about plans to restore AP, especially in particular time frame (I can read Russian, and am I reading formal press releases, regarding 2010 Tsarskoye Selo 300 years' anniversary).
Now, one of the possibility, to speedup restoration, exclusion Alexander Palace, in to separate organization from GMZ, this way museum will have separate budget, and management, and the most surprising thing, it is doable, if significant forces will lobby to the government.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobAtchison on August 05, 2006, 05:59:51 PM
Someone is talking about creating an international petition to plead for the restoration of the Alexander Palace and I think it's a good idea.  This might do some good.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Jim_Wilhelm on October 25, 2006, 03:41:03 PM
Someone is talking about creating an international petition to plead for the restoration of the Alexander Palace and I think it's a good idea.  This might do some good.

Can't we have some more information, please? Who is talking about creating this petition? How can we help? Does this petition exist yet? If it does, how can we sign it? Please...anybody.

Jim Wilhelm
Albuquerque, NM USA
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 25, 2006, 05:13:26 PM
Someone is talking about creating an international petition to plead for the restoration of the Alexander Palace and I think it's a good idea.  This might do some good.

Can't we have some more information, please? Who is talking about creating this petition? How can we help? Does this petition exist yet? If it does, how can we sign it? Please...anybody.

Jim Wilhelm
Albuquerque, NM USA

I am one of the people talking about it. Once we have the information, it will be posted here, don't worry!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Jim_Wilhelm on October 27, 2006, 10:08:11 AM
I am one of the people talking about it. Once we have the information, it will be posted here, don't worry!

I can't help it, Lisa.  Thanks to you and to Bob and to Rob I have become obsessed with this place. I'm saving what little money I can to go over there and see it before it crumbles into dust.

Jim Wilhelm
Albuquerque, NM USA
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Venois on November 02, 2006, 01:13:20 AM
The authorities have already found a building where the military offices will move. Very soon these officies will eventually leave the palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Jim_Wilhelm on November 02, 2006, 10:31:43 AM
The authorities have already found a building where the military offices will move. Very soon these officies will eventually leave the palace.

Thank you Venois. I think they're looking for a way out of there before the building collapses. Sorry, not feeling optimistic today.

Jim Wilhelm
Albuquerque, NM USA
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Venois on March 20, 2007, 12:12:19 PM
Today Russian billionaire, Shalva Chigirinsky, the one who is investing into reconstruction of the New Holland island (Norman Foster's project) donated $1 million on the restoration of the Alexander palace. It's been said that the restoration process should be completed by 2010.

Venois.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Arleen on March 20, 2007, 01:16:24 PM
This makes me really HAPPY!! 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mansotogracia on March 21, 2007, 01:18:48 PM
Hi!

I haven't been able to visit the forum in quite some time and read this makes a very happy return!!! ;
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on March 22, 2007, 04:15:20 PM
So,it would be interesting to see what exactly would be restored ,in what shape...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on March 22, 2007, 06:36:23 PM
It seems this announcement has left us all speechless!  Has anybody been able to get more details? 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TheAce1918 on March 22, 2007, 08:21:50 PM
I am one of the people talking about it. Once we have the information, it will be posted here, don't worry!
I have become obsessed with this place. I'm saving what little money I can to go over there and see it before it crumbles into dust.


I know what you mean.  It would be awful that such grand places are in danger.  I have hopes though, if several ancient ruins can stand time, then so can the palaces!  I can only dream about these places, visiting them is not even remotley close to possible at the moment.  :'( 
I always have stressed the importance of heritage...and in this case not just Russian/European heritage...but human heritage as well.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobG on March 23, 2007, 07:08:34 AM
Tsarskoe Selo

Private person donated $1 million on the restoration of the Quarenghi interiors in the Alexander palace.



Does this mean that Nicholas and Alexander's changes (the Maple room & the New Study) will be restored to the Concert Hall?
It seems a shame to destroy the history of the most important residents of the palace.  Their "lifestye" is probably far more important historically than the Quarenghi interiors.

BobG

I posted this in another thread where I learned of the generous donation.  Does anyone have more details on Vladimir's "restoration of the Quarenghi interiors" and what this means?

Bob G
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Venois on March 24, 2007, 02:58:48 AM
It is also being said that some day soon (very soon probably) the Military ministry will give the keys of the Palace as well as Kitchen building to the museum. That's true that this $1 million will be spent on restoration of the "Classical Quarenghi  interiors".

It is also worthy to note that usually Russian cultural officials try to restore interiors to their "golden age" version. It is also true that there is no much Quarenghi interiors in St. Petersburg.

Anyway it's a good news.


Venois.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on March 25, 2007, 07:37:06 AM
Prince Youssoupov would probably be blessed with joy at the hearing of this news,in his memories it underlines the fact he hates the new changes of Alexandra Feodorovna...

Personally,I'm in two minds,this is interesting artistically speaking to recreat it and if it could gather atttention on the palace it would be half the battle...if they could recreate the art nouveau interiors of Alexandra I think it would be great too,it could give the impression that nothing have chnaged from the revolution,that the palace is still a place of life...not only a museum ...anyway, it 's a good news to me!

So,I think that the blue boudoir would be bring to a new life,quite interesting!
(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/blueboudoir.jpg)
Would the billiard room restored,too?All of theses are not news pics ,it's extracted from the forum.
(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/br8.jpg)
(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/br1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on March 25, 2007, 09:07:09 PM
Details of the donation by S. Chigrinsky of the New Holland Company. The restoration of the AP will be of the period c1796.

http://www.restate.ru/news/25298.html

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Janet_W. on March 26, 2007, 01:30:04 PM
I'm very glad to read the restoration will be going forward. Still, as Vassili has mentioned, I'd like to see at least a few of the rooms restored to the way they looked when Nicholas, Alexandra and the children occupied them. I realize Alexandra's decorating style was (and is) scorned by many; still, the reason so many people have wanted to visit the Alexander Palace in recent years is due to that palace's last Romanov residents.

It is a thorny decision. I am a docent at an historic house in Southern California--yes, there are a few places that have escaped demolition in our area!--and while we focus on the property's most famous resident, we also tell the stories of the original homesteaders and of the family who occupied the property in the years before it was acquired by the county.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on March 26, 2007, 03:25:02 PM
The new restoration will be of the period 1796?!

Just another way for the Russian government to pretend that the last Romanov Emperor did not exist.

Douglas
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on March 26, 2007, 04:40:23 PM
PRECISELY, Douglas.   It is the life story of the Alexander Palace which is of interest to the majority of people.  The Alexander Palace evolved through each generation - a major part of its appeal.

This is why I find it impossible to jump up and down with joy at this news.   I can imagine what the rooms will look like.   In actual fact they would be better to leave them as they are - take down the partition walls and clean the place up.   That would be fine.   The Quarenghi Rooms (with the exception of the Concert Hall, of course) remain remarkably intact.   

The most important thing to be done is to secure the fabric of the building.   My fear is this will be skimped in order to 'renovate' (there is little or no understanding of restoration) the Quarenghi rooms which will probably only ever form soul-less exhibition space.   

If they want to attract world attention, they could begin the internal restoration with the Childrens' Rooms.   These were simply adorned and furnished and could be easily replicated.

But no.   I fear life will never be breathed into the Alexander Palace again.   Its nothing more than a cynical attempt to tart up this masterpiece to play a minor role in the tercentenary celebrations of Tsarskoe Selo

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 26, 2007, 05:50:12 PM
Since very few original artifacts from the AP have survived, I am afraid it will never be the same... I would almost prefer that they just cleaned it up/fixed it up and left it alone. Because "restoring" it will take away the remnants of authenticity it still has... I have very mixed feelings about this "restoration"... I think what they may end up with is a Disney World version of a structure that once was and its history...  :(
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Janet_W. on March 26, 2007, 05:51:39 PM
I love it--"tarting it up"!  ;D

It seems as if they'll bring in a truckload or two of antique furniture. But the Hermitage and other museums and palaces feature this type of thing by the mile. In the case of the Alexander Palace it's the story of the people that compells most people to visit. And as a visitor I would want to know about the beginnings of the palace, its generations of inhabitants, and then what happened to the palace and grounds after the revolution . . . how it morphed into a museum, survived (just barely) German occupation, and so forth. But the importance of Nicholas, Alexandra, and especially their children cannot be underestimated. The world needs to continue to build rather than destroy, and what better symbolizes life renewing itself than children? Remembering the stories of the five sheltered but ultimately doomed Romanov children is a powerful reminder that repression, terrorism, revolution and war are not the answers. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on March 26, 2007, 08:25:25 PM
Tsaria, Janet and Helen A.:

I like all of your ideas.  The best thing to do is to at least restore what remains.  The exterior, the rest of the roof and grounds are in need of some serious repair.   Yes, take down the partition walls and repair the flooring.

Janet's idea of restoring the childrens rooms is  a wonderful idea.  But I wonder if even that is beyond the cold calculating eye of the official Russian mentality about the 'past'.

There are tons of old paintings in storage that they could fill the whole palace in a day. 

The palace is truely haunted by it's past.

Douglas
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on March 27, 2007, 04:20:26 AM
The Alexander Palace is the SUM of its parts - from the day Quarenghi first put pencil to paper, to the day Catherine the Great greeted her grandson on the steps of the colonnade with bread and salt to the present day occupation by Russian Armed Forces - believe me there are some characters who have 'worked' there for over thirty years.

As to contents - most of those dating from the Nicholas II period were either destroyed or sold off around the world.   Would present-day owners be prepared to return these to their rightful home?   If I had something, I most certainly would do so.   I would feel privileged.   There should be a worldwide appeal - to the US in particular.

However, the real problem is much more local.   The known whereabouts of the former contents of the Alexander Palace, are within a radius of less than 20 miles of the place.   They are hidden away at Pavlovsk, the Hermitage, the Ethniographic Musem, Gatchina, Peterhof - the childrens' toys are at Zagorsk.   Now, wouldn't that be a good start for the Childrens' Rooms.  It is easy to locate the childrens' books and drawings in private ownership in the UK.   It requires little imagination - but none of THEM are prepared to give up the smallest artefact.   There is a huge problem with curators who regard objects in their care - not as items they hold in trust - but as their own possessions.   

About seven years ago, the World Monuments Fund (British Branch) donated £10,000 to TSM to enable them to draw up a list of contents of the Alexander Palace at the time of the removal of the last Imperial Family to Tobolsk.   Believe me, every single item was recorded - the contents of every drawer and every cupboard.   The ledgers alone are daunting - massive bound volumes.   Unfortunatley this seems to have been little more than a 'paper' exercise.   For the last few years there has been ongoing cataloguing as part of a restitution programme.   Trying to be positive, either, or both, of these may yet yield fruit.

The problem is that so much 'imagination' will be employed, the character will be 'restored' out of the palace and its inexplicable beauty and mystery will be lost forever.   

You know, I would almost prefer it would just fall down.   To my mind it would be prefeable to let it remain a memory rather, than, as Helen writes, be given a brand new life as some grotesque, Disneyesque money-trap.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on March 27, 2007, 04:30:47 AM
The more I think of what is likely to become of the Alexander Palace, the angrier I am getting.

Bob has devoted his life working towards a sympathetic restoration of this irreplaceable building.   For seventeen years, I have been endeavouring to do the same thing.   In Russia both of us have been regarded as crazy because of this shared passion.   I fear we have failed, but at least we have tried - in our own ways - to maintain pressure and heighten awareness of the plight of the Alexander Palace.   

Sadly, we both can envisage exactly what will happen.

tsaria

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on March 27, 2007, 11:39:16 AM
Tsaria,

My lacking english don't able me to say everything I would like to express but I would say that the restoration is the beginning of a recognition,evereything is not lost who would think in the 7oies during the soviet area that Kolomenskoye's palace would be reconstructed however it is incredibly what would happen,things and mentalities change and could change for the Alexander palace!

Since very few original artifacts from the AP have survived, I am afraid it will never be the same... I would almost prefer that they just cleaned it up/fixed it up and left it alone. Because "restoring" it will take away the remnants of authenticity it still has... I have very mixed feelings about this "restoration"... I think what they may end up with is a Disney World version of a structure that once was and its history...  :(
Helen,
There is always a fear in a restoration to create a fake but the argument of Disney world is a bit "irritating",in  the case of the "Grand Versailles"(300 millions euros )project in France it was always used ,for the Hohenzollern palac in Berlin,for the Tuileries project...and for any reconstruction it must be said!If you take the case of the Catherine palace precisely ,the actual state is a "mix"between the 19th century state and the 18th ones .Moreover,in the throne hall the fresco of the ceiling was placed there by restorators whereas it has never been put there before .Nobody asserts that the Catherine palace was a sham version of the old palace.
Anyway,the interiors are mostly lost so everything has to be reconstructed!One may wonder in what style and shape.

I hope that Russians would come to the awareness of what of their remainings imperial treasures they are on the verge to lost.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: koloagirl on March 27, 2007, 02:28:48 PM
 :)

Aloha all!

Just to put my feelings down about this (and they are just that, my selfish feelings about this wonderful place) --- when I first saw this thread I was so thrilled -- "restoration" of the Alexander Palace -- it sounds so wonderful and is such welcome news after seeing such sad pictures of the current state of the Palace.

But as I read along, I became more dismayed -- I too think of the Alexander Palace as directly tied to the last Romanovs who lived there -- pictures of the children growing up there come to mind and happy times (as well as sad) that they all spent.  To "restore" it back to the 1796 period would destroy all vestiges of the last Romanovs IMO -- I too would rather see it very simply "restored" back to Nicholas II's time -- even without furniture and all the other embellishments.  I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I'd rather see it fall apart eventually rather than see it tarted up -- it is after all a National treasure and it would be just one more tragedy to see it crumble into dust.

Sadly as with all things, politics enters into it and it seems that the "sharing" of what remains of the furnishings, etc. is just not possible given the current attitudes. 

How very sad.


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 27, 2007, 03:58:51 PM
Helen,
There is always a fear in a restoration to create a fake but the argument of Disney world is a bit "irritating",in  the case of the "Grand Versailles"(300 millions euros )project in France it was always used ,for the Hohenzollern palac in Berlin,for the Tuileries project...and for any reconstruction it must be said!If you take the case of the Catherine palace precisely ,the actual state is a "mix"between the 19th century state and the 18th ones .Moreover,in the throne hall the fresco of the ceiling was placed there by restorators whereas it has never been put there before .Nobody asserts that the Catherine palace was a sham version of the old palace.

Vassili,

I am so sorry my post irritated you. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "Disney World", which seems so objectionable to you. What I meant to convey was that in the end there may be nothing authentic left about it, as there is nothing authentic about the Catherine Palace. It would be such a shame, especially since right now the AP is intact and has a lot of authenticity left about it, unlike the CP, which was pretty much destroyed...They certainly did a wonderful job restoring the CP, but it isn't authentic - no matter how you look at it. But they would have to take what still remains of the AP and take away its authenticity by "restoring" it.. Of course this is purely my opinion and doesn't have to be yours or anyone else's.

I wrote a little about the "autheticity" aspects of restoration of places such as this in my thesis, specifically the AP and the CP. You can read more of my thoughts on this subject, if you like, right here: http://www.geocities.com/mushkah//HistoricalMuseums.html  I hope it doesn't irritate you even more!  8)  ;)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on March 27, 2007, 06:05:59 PM
Vasilli - these are very difficult discussions in any language.   Congratulations you on your willingness to participate in this discussion in a foreign language.

Restorers and conservationists all over the world have an on-going debate on the difference been 'restoration' and 'conservation'.   It can be very, very difficult to know where to draw the line.   The temptation to 'improve' can result in a conservation disaster.

Of course it is not the business of foreigners to inflict opinions on the Russian approach to this dilemma, but sometimes it is worthwhile to look and learn from other peoples' experiences.   Although admiring and respecting the brilliance of the art and craft which has gone into the recreation of the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace, to be frank, it does appear to have been created only yesterday.   There is no atmosphere of age or history to be found in this room.   Much the same criticism can be levelled at the entire Catherine Palace.   I agree with Helen, the Catherine Palace has been virtually rebuilt.   The sheer scale and sumptuousness of its interiors are awe-inspiring.   The commitment, bravery, skill and artistry of the men and women who recreated this Rastrelli and Cameron masterpiece against all the odds have my total admiration.

The Alexander Palace is a very, very different proposition in a totally different time and circumstances.

I hope you are correct, Vasilli, and the restoration of the Quarenghi rooms are only just the beginning.   However, before they even begin on the Quarenghi rooms, a major decision has to be made.   This concerns the original Quarenghi concerthall.   If this is to be recreated, Alexandra Feodorovna's Corner Salon will  be destroyed.   Nicholas II's Formal Study will be destroyed.   There will be nothing left from the reign of Nicholas II except his Reception Room - formerly a dining room.   Whether the politicians like it or not, this is the period which is likely to attract both Russian and foreign visitors in vast numbers to the Alexander Palace.   Quarenghi's Garden Enfilade does not require restoration.   What it needs is conservation.   Done properly this can be even more demanding and expensive than a restoration.   Meanwhile, the roof over the Quarenghi rooms is - and has been for a number of years - in danger of collapse.   Fortunately recent winters have been comparatively mild.   Any serious accumulation of snow could spell disaster for the Quarenghi enfilade.

If I may express my impression of Helen's reference to 'Disney World' - I feel she used this expression in a metaphorical rather pejorative sense and I can find it very easy to agree with her.   To achieve a successful restoration which retains historical integrity demands huge restraint on the part of the restorers.   To reiterate, it also  is also carries a much greater financial burden.

I respect your optimism, Vasilli.   It is my dearest wish is that we see it realised.

tsaria           
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sarushka on March 27, 2007, 06:10:10 PM
Vassili,
I am so sorry my post irritated you. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "Disney World", which seems so objectionable to you. What I meant to convey was that in the end there may be nothing authentic left about it, as there is nothing authentic about the Catherine Palace. It would be such a shame, especially since right now the AP is intact and has a lot of authenticity left about it, unlike the CP, which was pretty much destroyed...They certainly did a wonderful job restoring the CP, but it isn't authentic - no matter how you look at it. But they would have to take what still remains of the AP and take away its authenticity by "restoring" it.. Of course this is purely my opinion and doesn't have to be yours or anyone else's.

I wrote a little about the "autheticity" aspects of restoration of places such as this in my thesis, specifically the AP and the CP. You can read more of my thoughts on this subject, if you like, right here: http://www.geocities.com/mushkah//HistoricalMuseums.html  I hope it doesn't irritate you even more!  8)  ;)
I may be exposing a fair amount of my own ignorance, but here goes....

For those of us who aren't well-versed in the nuances of restoration, can you be more specific about what threatens the authenticity of the AP's proposed restoration? Are you concerned about the authenticity of the materials, the workmanship, the style -- or all three, and possibly more? Or are you only referring to the furnishings and accoutrements themselves? If so much of the original palace items are missing, what elements of "authenticity" are still at risk of being destroyed during this restoration?

According to the dictionary, there is certainly more than one type of autheticity:
- "not false or imitation"
- "conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features" or "made or done the same way as an original"

I generally view the phrase "authentic reproduction" as an oxymoron, but I do have to concede that to my mind, an item made of the same materials, using the same process, and built to the same specifications as the original does have a certain type of authenticity about it -- that of the second definition. It would seem to me that in the case of the Alexander Palace, the first definition is simply not possible. If the originals are gone, destroyed, or irretrievable, what more authenticity can we hope for than painstaking recreations?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 27, 2007, 06:30:09 PM
Sarushka,

This is why I was saying that I have mixed feelings about the restoration of the AP and would probably prefer they just maintained it and left it alone.

I talk about this exact thing in my "Historical Museums..." paper, in this part:


The Concept of Authenticity

"Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing"

-Anonymous

During the interview, P1 (Deputy Director of Research of TS Museum) pondered several times on the idea of complete restoration of the AP: should it be restored to its original pre-Revolutionary state? Ultimately she answered her own question, reasoning that since many of the original items from the AP no longer exist, it would be difficult to retain the aura of authenticity if exact restoration is attempted, what will be achieved would be purely reproductive, lacking any authenticity. Although an attempt to restore the palace to its exact original state may give people the feel of what it really looked like, the exact restoration is not really desirable since it will lack authenticity in the direct historical sense - something which can never be achieved at the AP. Alas, most of the items from the palace no longer exist and there is no real collection that can be used as part of restoration. The few rare items from the AP that survived the revolution now belong to another museum. They have, however, on at least one occasion had been able to borrow these items for a temporary exhibition.

Some visitors do not realize that the items displayed are not original items from the palace, and not even analogues. The displays in every room of the temporary exhibit have floor to ceiling black-and-white backdrops against each corresponding back wall, with pre-WWII images of each room and the items that it used to hold. When asked to elaborate on these backdrops, P1 stated that these were created before she assumed her present position and did not know what the goal behind this type of an approach was. She felt that the curators took a "theatrical" approach, but she is unsure what they were going for. Originally the idea was to show through these black and white images what these rooms looked like prior to WWII, providing there were at least 2 or 3 original items available for display. But as more objects were acquired by the museum - not the originals but analogues, the rooms began to look less and less like the photos, and the backdrops no longer worked effectively. (P1) Most museum visitors agree that the backdrops are ineffectual - they add nothing but distract from the exhibit.

According to P4 (Expositions Curator), the black and white backdrop approach started out with a temporary exposition at the AP that displayed items that were strictly inherent to the AP - mainly personal belonging of Catherine II, which included lots of paintings. Then the black and white backdrop was created and at least one or two items displayed on this photo had to be included in each exhibit. The furniture used in the displays of the Alexander Palace was built for a film set. The movie, "Romanovi: Ventzenosnaya Sem'ya"("Romanovs: the Imperial Family") was filmed on location at the palace, and in return for allowing this, the film studio donated the furniture to the palace to use in their exhibit. The film portrayed the private life of the last imperial family viewing them not in the political light, but as just an ordinary family. Because the furniture was given to the palace, the exhibit at the Alexander Palace was created. Without this furniture, there would be too few items to exhibit, as each room only contains 2-4 original items or analogues from the contemporary time period. Hence the museum display literally became part of a movie set, where historical reality became fluid and the displays are a form of story telling based on a script.

In contrast to the CP, the AP was not changed drastically from its original design, but things were added, particularly in the east wing where the servants' quarters were from 1896 then from 1903. (P1)


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Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 27, 2007, 06:49:27 PM
...can you be more specific about what threatens the authenticity of the AP's proposed restoration? Are you concerned about the authenticity of the materials, the workmanship, the style -- or all three, and possibly more? Or are you only referring to the furnishings and accoutrements themselves? If so much of the original palace items are missing, what elements of "authenticity" are still at risk of being destroyed during this restoration?

I wasn't referring to the furnishings of course, since those are not authentic/original to begin with, but to the entire "feel" of the place, after they get their hands on it. I don't really know how to explain it... The TS museum curators/administrators seemed to agree with this perspective. The idea of restoration is not to make something look "pretty" but to preserve its historical value in as much of its orginal form as possible. If the latter is not going to work, then what is the point of the former... I feel that physically restoring the AP, especially to its original 18th century form, would be sort of like taking the London Bridge apart, transporting it to Iowa (?) and putting it together again with some extra stuff to fill in here and there. It just wouldn't be the same, would it?  ;) (BTW, this is actually what they did - although I am not sure if it was Iowa).
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sarushka on March 27, 2007, 07:08:55 PM
Yes, I read the Concept of Authenticity section of your article before I posted, but it didn't really answer my questions. I can definitely see the trouble with the current display, but I'm not so clear on your view of the potential restoration. We don't seem to be getting our points across to one another effectively, so let me ask this in a different way:

What, in your view, would an ideal restoration/conservation of the AP involve?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Janet_W. on March 27, 2007, 07:12:17 PM
Psst, Helen! London Bridge is standing up in Arizona, not Iowa!  ;)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on March 27, 2007, 07:39:52 PM
The 'restoration'  will go forward and I  wonder if anyone's opinions will really matter.

Maybe someone will build a replica of the Alexander  palace in Iowa and make it exactly like it was during the era of Nicholas II.

Believe me,  stranger things have been done.

I visited an exact replica of the Oval Office of President Reagan in California.  It was haunting.  The exact same furniture, carpets, everything. And yes, it is actually oval- no corners in the room at all.  This is for psychological reasons naturally.

Douglas

 ;)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on March 27, 2007, 11:07:17 PM
It seems like a lot of this donated money would have to be spent on replacing the right wing roof and repairing whatever structural damage the leaking gutters have caused.  If this is the case, there wouldn't be a whole lot of cash left to destroy any of the original interiors.  I would love to see the interiors (minus the partitions) even if their present state is poor.  I want to know that the doors or floors or whatever, are the actual ones the IF touched and used, not a recreation.  It seems like I read sometime ago that the doors are not the originals.  How about the baseboards, windows and also the exterior light fixtures at the entrance to the left wing, are they original or from Home Depot?  I am remaining optimistic about this gift to the palace!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on March 28, 2007, 05:02:55 AM
The area of the Alexander Palace which was virtually destroyed were the rooms occupied by the last Imperial Family.   What remains is the Empress' Corner Salon (the light fitting is not original to that room, but is from the Parade Rooms - TSM have the other two): a reconstructed - but with original elements - Nicholas II's Formal Study:  Nicholas II's Reception Room - virtually in its entirety - including its original panelling and ceiling - with the exception of furnishings - the wallcoverings and drapes are original to the room, as are the drapes in the next door room - Nicholas II's 'Working Study'.   The ceiling in what during the last reign was a space divided to form Alexandra Feodorovna's dressing room/bathroom/lady-in-waiting's room/ mezzanine wardrobe/Grand Duchess's Dining Room, has its original ceiling intact.   In all other rooms, not only are the original furnishings, paintings and decorative pieces missing, in the case of the Maple Room and Pallisander Room, accesses have been reconfigured.   None of the plaster mouldings, doors or timber work survive.

The 'Quarenghi rooms' have all their plasterwork intact, the faux marbre lined walls are intact, pillars and pilasters likewise, original fireplaces in situ, in the Portrait Hall the original hangers for the portraits are still in place.   The doors to the Semi-Circular Hall are not original.   The French doors and windows of this room survive - the family's last exit route from the Alexander Palace.

I have been in part of the Right Wing.   From what I saw, the original plasterwork survives.   The rooms are disposed as they were in 1917.   I have been told that the original fireplaces survive, certainly in the English suite and in Ella's rooms, as do the fireplaces on the upper floor.   However, the Right Wing has its own very costly, and unlikely to be addressed problems.   Decontamination.   

Perhaps not of interest in general, but an area which I found particularly fascinating was the basement.   Here it is possible to see the intricacies of the structure, and it remains unchanged, including the services.   The basement appears completely sound and dry.

So, at least I can confirm that the Alexander Palace stands on a firm foundation.   Chimneys have previously been removed.   The entire roof structure (including the 'new roof' over the Family Wing) requires replacement - this probably includes the roof timbers - all door and window lintels, window cills, door and window frames gutters, downpipes, ballustrade must be replaced: the entire plaster should be removed - it is 'bossing' due to water penetration between plaster and brick - bricks regrouted and plaster replaced using original lime plaster render and the entire structure repainted.   These are the priorities and should be achieved before work on the interior of the Alexander Palace is addressed.   The costs, even Russian costs, for this work alone will probably be of the order of a minimum of $25,000,000.   

Like Sarushka, I have a problem with 'authentic reproduction'.   This is a contradiction in terms.   When it comes to any work on the interiors, I can see the attraction of restoring (please God, preserving) the Quarenghi rooms.   All the elements are there and costs will not be prohibitive.   I have already expressed my concern vis-a-vis decisions regarding Quarenghi's Concert Hall.   

The Family Wing is an altogether different proposition.   Excluding areas previously mentioned, this would require what probably can only be termed 'authentic reproduction'.   The costs are daunting and the will is questionable.   However, the Maple Room alone is virtually irreplaceable.   Despite what the purists might say - which was really criticsm for criticsm's sake, and fundamentally anti-Alexandra  - the Maple Room was probably the most unique room in the whole of Europe - probably the world.   It was the finest example of Art Nouveau/Style Moderne/Jugendstil ever created.

Only after the structure is made sound, should work commence on the interiors.   Whether this is how it is priorised, we will have to wait to see.

tsaria   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 28, 2007, 08:07:36 AM
Psst, Helen! London Bridge is standing up in Arizona, not Iowa!  ;)

Thanks, Janet. I knew it was one of them places out west  ;)  ;)  ;).
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 28, 2007, 08:10:03 AM
The 'restoration'  will go forward and I  wonder if anyone's opinions will really matter.

They won't matter one bit.

Maybe someone will build a replica of the Alexander  palace in Iowa...

Or maybe Arizona  8)  ;)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: hikaru on March 28, 2007, 08:38:16 AM
I think that the restoration plan must depends on the buisiness plan.
It depends on the fact ,how the Museum / Ministry of Culture is planning to use this palace and how to earn money from this.

For example: Now the Hermitage (Winter Palace)'s color is marine blue.
But in 19th century it was yellow. In the beginning of 20th -dark red.
We have forgotten about it and  all of us think that blue marine is better than dark red.

Personally, I believe, that the Alexander Palace will be the Memorial of the family of the last Emperor as well as the memorial of all Silver Age Epoque.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on March 29, 2007, 09:04:20 AM
Helen,

I'm sorry once more my english did express as well my thoughts I was not really irritate even if this argument ("dISNEY WORLD")to my point of view is not a real one...Your page does not irritate me at all and to be true ,I must own up that I've all print your thesis some months ago given the fact I found it so much  interesting.I'll see if you post some new things but it take sme quite a time to read into english...

I think that at last thanks to both (your explanations and those of Tsaria )I understand more clearly the situation;thanks .

Personaly ,to pursue the joke I would be more interested by a replica of Alexander palace in the style of Quareghi if the model could still be restored in the art nouveau style...

Tsaria,
It's probably a bit exaggerating of my own (perhaps was it already been pos in the website but I did not see it)could you post some pics,watercolors of Quarenghi interiors and next to it the Nicolas II interiors to face more closely the differences?
If you do not have time to post with a written explanation,please send me.
Thanks in advance,
Vassia
P.S/At last, who decided all the sudden to recreate Quarenghi interiors,who takes the decision the donater or Tsarskoye's curator?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on March 29, 2007, 10:38:26 AM
The more I read on Alexander palace the more fascinated I become...frankly,there are a century restoring Marie Antoinette Trianon in Versailles into his past magnificience could not been even thougt (during 3rd Republic)whereas it is the case nowadays,there is still a glimmer of hope...

The case wof the Maple room (http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/mapleroom5sf.jpg)
in the Alexander Palace makes me think to the Nancy's school known for his art nouveau work :most of the furnitures disappered up to now and even the Majorelle house ( pilaster of art nouveau design in western europe) felt into neglect...Russian do not realize for the moment being what this ensemble represent probably will they be ashamed some years later of what they lost.

I've find this image of the musis room of Quarenghi(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/ConcertHallpre1907.jpg) it must have been quite huge to gathers the space of Maple room,Mave rooms,Alexandra Feodorovna's Corner Salon ,Nicholas II's Formal Study !

Is this the Quarenghi's Garden Enfilade ?
(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/Alexanderpalacecorridor.jpg)

Architecturally the mountain hall seems to be from the classic style, is this the design of Quarenghi and as a matter of fact included in the would be restored rooms for 2011?(http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/mountainhall2vh.jpg)

Is the project for the restoration of Quarenghi rooms really decided or does it remains a chance to save Alexandra's rooms?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on April 05, 2007, 01:21:34 PM
Private person donated $1 million on the restoration of the Quarenghi interiors in the Alexander palace.

Does this mean that Nicholas and Alexander's changes (the Maple room & the New Study) will be restored to the Concert Hall?
It seems a shame to destroy the history of the most important residents of the palace.  Their "lifestye" is probably far more important historically than the Quarenghi interiors.
BobG

I posted this in another thread where I learned of the generous donation.  Does anyone have more details on Vladimir's "restoration of the Quarenghi interiors" and what this means?
Bob G

Sorry for the long silence. Yesterday when I opened this page I was glad to see this interesting discussion.
Of coarse one million is nothing for the palace. You may remember that the restoration of the 1st Antichamber cost $5 million! I think $1 million is a cost of the project of the restoration.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on April 05, 2007, 01:28:51 PM
Does this mean that Nicholas and Alexander's changes (the Maple room & the New Study) will be restored to the Concert Hall?
It seems a shame to destroy the history of the most important residents of the palace.  Their "lifestye" is probably far more important historically than the Quarenghi interiors.
BobG

Bob! It is very strange idea. I have never heard that anybody in Tsarskoe Selo museum wants to recreate the Concert Hall. It is impossible. It sounds like to destroy the Catherine Palace therefore we want to recreate first small palace of Catherine I, wife of Peter I.
We never see this Quarenghi interior. It was one of the Nicholas II mistake, one small mistake in the huge list of his mistakes.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Arleen on April 05, 2007, 02:28:43 PM
I for one will grieve if they distroy what is left of Alexandra's/Nicholas' rooms to bring back the music room.  At least one could walk through what is still there and conjure up the way they looked in, say 1910....

I am interested in what you said about the basement, Tsaria.  Imagine being allowed to go thru that space!  Please tell us everything you remember as being down there.....Is Nicholas I's old personal kitchen still there?  Is it broken up into rooms?  I am at least glad to know it is DRY and not deteriorating like the rest of the building, maybe that will help keep the building standing until all the infighting about WHAT they are going to restore and what not.  Is the bottom of Alexandra's elevator still there?  I have a million questions.....

Tsaria, I am glad you are such a good friend to the AP and the Russian people and have access to these things!

Arleen
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on April 25, 2007, 02:53:56 AM
I was at Alexander Palace in late January this year. What really struck me as needing urgent attention was the side of the Palace not open to tourists. It is really in an appalling state. What you can see inside is interesting for what it is. They really are struggling to get tourists there. All the tours go to the Catherine Palace which is truly magnificent but unless I had asked my guide I would have never been taken to the Alexander Palace. I am pleased to know that money has been donated. I hope this will be spent on the roof and the restoring the outside of the non-open wing. It is in a sad and desperate state. As for eventual restoration of the interiors do not panic as this will be done very well indeed. I visited Pavlovsk, Peterhof and Gatchina. Now Gatchina really needs attention. It is remarkable though what is happening there. Sadly nothing has yet been done about the wing where Alexander III and Marie Feodorovna lived. I dream that this will be done one day as this is where Nicholas II grew up and spent so many happy years with his parents, sisters and brothers.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on April 25, 2007, 02:09:35 PM
Strangely, despite the desperate state of the exterior, the interiors of the rooms on the right side have, unlike the Imperial wing, largely, survived.   The roof and paintwork of the left wing (family wing) make that area appear a bit fresher, but the actual fabric of the entire building is in a serious state of decay..

tsaria

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on May 19, 2007, 02:54:49 AM
I agree Tsaria. The real issue is getting the tourists to the Alexander Palace so they pay the entry fee and therefore help in the restoration of the building. Sadly at the moment most tourists bypass the Alexander Palace completely and only go to the grander Catherine Palace. This is the really major problem. Of course the Catherine Palace is superb but it is more a vast empty museum. I hope the Alexander Palace becomes more a tourist destination. Where are all the fans of Nicholas and Alexandra's time requesting visits to the Alexander Palace I ask myself?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 19, 2007, 02:59:21 AM
Wait, the Alexander Palace isn't yet restored?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobG on May 19, 2007, 05:07:01 AM
When I was visiting Tsarskoe Selo, I had to insist that my tour include the Alexander Palace.  The company wasn't really interested, and didn't have the "script" for the AP, so they were reluctant to include it.  I wonder if the museums "tip" the tour guides for the numbers of people they bring, and the AP doesn't have the resources to "encourage" the tour guides to bring people there? 

Clearly, in its current state and without including any of the Parade rooms on display, the tour of the AP is only of interest to true N&A fans.  Once the palace is restored, it will hopefully begin to attract crowds.

BobG
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pookiepie on May 20, 2007, 01:16:49 AM
 (http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r248/vassiliv/Russia/mapleroom5sf.jpg)

wow, i love that balcony. that would be an awesome library up top (i love fantasizing about what kind of liabrary i would have if i had a lot of $$ :) ). are there any more pictures of it, or something similar?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on May 20, 2007, 07:28:32 AM
Sounds like Bob the Builder is looking for a contract.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 20, 2007, 09:02:00 AM
Sounds like Bob the Builder is looking for a contract.

tsaria
lol Right you are! ::)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: LisaDavidson on May 20, 2007, 10:17:23 PM
Wait, the Alexander Palace isn't yet restored?

Correct. The only restoration that was done was completed prior to the second world war. After WWII, many of the items that were sent from the AP to escape the advancing Germans were never returned to it - they were sent to other palaces. The Germans did much damage to the palace, and the Russians lacked resources (including money) to bring the palace back to where it was before. Restoration funds went to the grander places such as the Catherine Palace.

Bob Atchison was able to get inside the AP several times when it was under Soviet control, and he hoped to find a way to restore it. In the mid 1990's with the popularity of the internet growing, he launched this site to draw attention to the plight of the palace. In that effort, he has succeeded.

However, there remain many obstacles to the restoration, none of which have been overcome sufficiently to get the actual restoration done.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 20, 2007, 10:38:25 PM
Wait, the Alexander Palace isn't yet restored?

Correct. The only restoration that was done was completed prior to the second world war. After WWII, many of the items that were sent from the AP to escape the advancing Germans were never returned to it - they were sent to other palaces. The Germans did much damage to the palace, and the Russians lacked resources (including money) to bring the palace back to where it was before. Restoration funds went to the grander places such as the Catherine Palace.

Bob Atchison was able to get inside the AP several times when it was under Soviet control, and he hoped to find a way to restore it. In the mid 1990's with the popularity of the internet growing, he launched this site to draw attention to the plight of the palace. In that effort, he has succeeded.

However, there remain many obstacles to the restoration, none of which have been overcome sufficiently to get the actual restoration done.
That's why I thought this website was made. It's a wonderful thing Bob's doing, trying to restore the place that Nicky and Alix loved so much. I hope it can be restored to its former beauty. I've seen footage of the palace from 1995 and it looks in pretty bad condition from the outside.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Petrushka on May 24, 2007, 11:30:28 AM
Apologies for throwing my tuppenny bit in but.....

Any restoration to the Palace will have to take into account a myriad of opinions and ideas.  Undoubtedly we, as people fascinated by the last IF would love to think 'our' part of its history is the most relevant (myself included).  However, architecturally and to an extent historically, other issues and periods can be viewed as more valuable.
In my humble opinion the majority of the restoration currently on view is rather disapointing and constitutes more of an exhibition rather than any attempt at real restoration.  In many ways the areas that have been 'restored' feel like badly composed 'prop rooms'.  I am absolutely not being critical as I am well aware of the constraints (specifically financial) placed on any works undertaken.  But we need to be careful not to polarise our own agenda.  You only have to see the beautiful Catherine Palace to realise that with the right resources and the right rationale restoration is possible irrespective of the current condition (look at the pictures of the shell that was left after WWII).

I have only visited the Alexander Palace once and it was the culmination of ten years dreaming - some might say obsession.  Again from a personal view, I didn't need the room dressing or the props - for me it's about being there - sharing the space and the inumerable pictures I have in my head of what took place in that beautifully decadent building.
I would be happy if the building was made secure - the roof repaired and general maintenance regularly attended.  In this way the building would remain safe, the spaces complete and our imagination can do the rest.

Not to mention it would keep the visitor numbers low ........
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vassili_Vorontsoff on May 27, 2007, 09:44:25 AM
I do not understand anymore,Vlad told that no federal source spoke of this restoration,hence this would happen or not?



Bob! It is very strange idea. I have never heard that anybody in Tsarskoe Selo museum wants to recreate the Concert Hall. It is impossible. It sounds like to destroy the Catherine Palace therefore we want to recreate first small palace of Catherine I, wife of Peter I.
We never see this Quarenghi interior. It was one of the Nicholas II mistake, one small mistake in the huge list of his mistakes.

Vassili
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Nemos on June 14, 2007, 11:39:36 AM
(http://s.foto.radikal.ru/0706/8a/31ec97f65cfbt.jpg) (http://foto.radikal.ru/f.aspx?i=ad3beae25b27417d9c138dcb156db501)

Скорее всего крест поставлен к круглой дате.
Most likely the cross is put to round date.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: covenant on June 14, 2007, 12:11:08 PM
Here's one of the many photographs I took documenting the exterior condition of the Alexander Palace. I beleive this photograph fully describes alot thats wrong with the palace.
(http://www.silentasylum.com/forimg/GH7E5022-2.jpg)
I was quite shocked to see the palace in this condition when I went last July, it's also quite sad the bridges in Alexander Park are crumbling apart too. I'm going back to Tsarskoye Selo a few times around the 19th July to take some more photographs for my 3d model, so i'll update my photo documentation on the condition of the exterior then; though i'm somewhat doubting any improvements?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Nemos on June 14, 2007, 12:29:21 PM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom/356.html
Памятный крест поближе.
The memorable cross is closer.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: covenant on June 14, 2007, 12:38:21 PM
Wow, when was this cross added? I thought I had missed it until I saw where it was located!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on June 14, 2007, 06:50:35 PM
Very nice! That must be a recent addition! I have never heard of it before today.
Very well done!  :)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: viv rosendahl on June 16, 2007, 11:38:11 PM
I visited the Alexander Palace on June 13th. I was on a
separate tour from St. Petersburg to the Catherine Palace, and
I asked the guide if we could make a whistlestop at the AP.
It was about 4.30 pm and the exhibition was closing, so I only saw
the palace of the outside. It is indeed in a sorry state and I
couldn't help thinking that there is a haunted atmosphere to it!

Apart from our small group, there were only a couple of other
visitors there; strange really, considering the vast number of
visitors I had seen at the Catherine Palace.   

I was surprised to find the memorial cross at the side of
the driveway to the palace. Does anyone know who
arranged for this memorial?? 

Viv
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on June 18, 2007, 01:53:08 PM
Interesting photographs of the Alexander Palace in 1944

http://victory.rusarchives.ru/index.php?p=31&photo_id=628

http://victory.rusarchives.ru/index.php?p=31&photo_id=629

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Arleen on June 18, 2007, 02:34:11 PM
What wonderful pictures Vladimir, tho terribly sad.  Thanks for posting them.  I guess the second one is the graves of the German soldiers?  I wonder when the Russians tore down the monument?

Nicholas' office torn up so terribly is awful.....so they had to remake the stairs from scratch when they remodeled?  The marble colums sook forlorn......

These are really interesting photos.

Arleen
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on June 18, 2007, 03:04:27 PM
Thanks Vlad, for posting the link. 

The German monument's location could be found by using the photograph.  That may be near the exact spot where the soldiers are buried.

Yes,  sad to see the wood stairs ripped out from the wall.  Now they have been replaced but what a stupid thing war is. Now we have to fix everything.  Nothing was really accomplished by all of the angry destruction.

Douglas
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on June 20, 2007, 02:22:04 PM
I wonder when the Russians tore down the monument?

I think it was made immediately after photographing.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Venois on September 20, 2007, 09:13:13 PM
Just a few weeks ago the palace's curator told me that last summer putine visited the palace and assured the staff that the military will leave  before next Christmas.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 21, 2007, 08:14:42 AM
Interesting photographs of the Alexander Palace in 1944

http://victory.rusarchives.ru/index.php?p=31&photo_id=628

http://victory.rusarchives.ru/index.php?p=31&photo_id=629



Wow, these are incredible, thank you, Vladimir!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on September 22, 2007, 02:57:49 AM
Yes thanks Vladimir. Those photos show the shocking brutality and destruction caused by the Nazi Germans. Thank goodness they were defeated.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TOMBO on November 21, 2007, 01:42:44 PM
I  BELIEVE THAT THE PALACE WOULD GENERATE MORE INTEREST AND TOURISM IF IT WAS RESTORED TO LOOK EXACTLY LIKE IT LOOKED THE DAY THE IF LEFT FOR GOOD.   THE PALACE AT VERSAILLES AND THE HOFBURG PALACES  IN VIENNA AND INNSBRUCK LOOK THE WAY THEY WERE WHEN MARIE ANTOINETTE AND FRANZ JOSEPH LAST LIVED THERE.  TOURISTS ARE THRILLED  SEEING THE ROOMS AS THEY WERE WHEN THE ROYAL FAMILIES LIVED THERE.   THE CURRENT EXHIBITION ROOMS IN THE AP ARE STERILE AND CLEARLY FAKE LOOKING.   THE MAUVE ROOM IN THE AP IS ONE OF THE MOST HISTORICALLY FAMOUS ROOMS IN ALL OF RUSSIA.  IT WOULD BE SAD IF IT WILL NOT BE EXACTLY RESTORED.  GRANTED THE EXPENSE WOULD INCREASE DRAMATICALLY, BUT I THINK IT WILL BECOME A MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION.  HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD RUSH TO SEE THE AP AS IT WAS IN THE 18TH CENTURY?     JUST SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT.      CZARTOMII@AOL.COM
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on November 27, 2007, 01:18:24 PM
From this article, Ivan Sautov states that the remaining areas of the AP (right wing, mezzanine, basement) used by the military will be transfered to the State Museum at the end of the year.  He also states that the walls etc in the ceremonial rooms have been removed and are now similar to prewar state of layout.
http://www.arendator.ru/articles/1/art/17103/pg/12/

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on November 27, 2007, 02:27:03 PM
The Russians are slow to realize they sit on a tourist goldmine at Tsarskoe Selo.

Reminds me of the British.  A lot of Brits can't stand the royal family but they realize that the RF brings in millions and millions of tourist dollars.  Far more than the RF costs the government.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on November 27, 2007, 05:06:37 PM
Reminds me of the British.  A lot of Brits can't stand the royal family but they realize that the RF brings in millions and millions of tourist dollars.  Far more than the RF costs the government.

No, I don't think you can compare the Russians to the Brits... The Russians do know how to exploit their former royalty for $$$, the problem is that the money ends up in the wrong pockets...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Petrushka on November 29, 2007, 09:47:27 AM
Douglas, no disrespect but as has been said many times, we are a minority group (admittedly comparatively large).  Our interest is very much centred on the Russian monarchy - more specifically the last IF.  In my experience Russians are not hugely interested themselves and if Russia is to truly tap into the vast incomes tourism can bring, then it needs to have wider appeal than just Romanov addicts. 
The Catherine Palace will always be the significant draw at Tsarskoe because it is impressive in size and a beautiful spectacle which conjures up everything a tourist would like to associate with the Tsars - rich Rococo covered in gold and screaming opulence.  For the majority of us forum users a far more poignant and tangible link with the last IF is more appealing. 
The Alexander Palace is not really significant in terms of design/beauty/scale/historical context - as much as I and most of the forum would like to think it is.  It will never be a massive tourist draw.  It's charm and significance is almost entirely based around Nicohlas & Alexandra, OTMA & A, Rasputin etc.  I adore the place, I would go back every year if I could, but plainly speaking to the vast majority it's not Giza, The Colosseum, Versailles or even Peterhof.  I love it just the way it is, simple, without crowds or fuss and that makes the IF far more tangible than some recreation.  The only caveat being the desperate need to repair and maintain the fabric of the building as it stands.
As always I've waffled rather - so please excuse me that.  We should always remember that we have a very specific interest and that to the vast majority of people the IF are a complete unknown.  The Alexander Palace is not the answer in terms of creating a tourist hotbed - and I very much hope it never will be.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on November 29, 2007, 09:51:10 AM
I love it just the way it is, simple, without crowds or fuss and that makes the IF far more tangible than some recreation. 

I agree. I personally find the CP kind of gaudy and if it weren't for the history behind it I would have no interest in it...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mansotogracia on January 07, 2008, 06:45:11 AM
Hi everybody and Happy 2008!

It's been a while since I asked for any news of the restorations works on the Alexander Palace. I know that some work has begun, but I wonder if real progress has been made and if somebody has any photos of those works. Also I would like to know, if there is any plan to work on the Children's Island or other places of the Alexander Park? Thanks for any information.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 07, 2008, 07:46:30 AM
There are a lot of plans, but money.. First of all the museum wants to restore the facade and the roof.
Last month one person (a citizen of StP) donated $168 000 for a bridge in the Alexander Park.

My last photo of the AP:
(http://i026.radikal.ru/0801/23/e1b0c8282bcdt.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i026.radikal.ru/0801/23/e1b0c8282bcd.jpg.html)

large version: http://i040.radikal.ru/0801/ca/13d446022012.jpg

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mansotogracia on January 07, 2008, 08:35:15 AM
Thank you very much for the info. Money...that little detail....
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on January 07, 2008, 05:43:13 PM
I noticed the broken window in the last picture.  I assumed even though the palace is in urgent need of repairs, that at least all the windows were intact, guess not?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 08, 2008, 11:33:02 AM
It is not the broken window. It is the window with old paint.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: I am_Tatianochka on January 08, 2008, 03:16:51 PM
There are a lot of plans, but money.. First of all the museum wants to restore the facade and the roof.
Last month one person (a citizen of StP) donated $168 000 for a bridge in the Alexander Park.

My last photo of the AP:
(http://i026.radikal.ru/0801/23/e1b0c8282bcdt.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i026.radikal.ru/0801/23/e1b0c8282bcd.jpg.html)

large version: http://i040.radikal.ru/0801/ca/13d446022012.jpg


What does it say around the picture? 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on January 08, 2008, 05:22:44 PM
While people often say that the Alexander Palace will never be the tourist draw that the Catherine Palace is, what it could be successfully similar to when it is restored is the Cottage at Peterhof. The Cottage (and its nearby Gothic Chapel) will never have the traffic that the big Palace at Peterhof does, but has people visiting it, and there is ongoing work to improve it and the gardens around it. The Cottage is not the cash cow for Peterhof that main palace ensemble is---but it doesn't need to be in order to justify its place in the scheme of things at Peterhof.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 08, 2008, 05:30:18 PM
I cannot tell you the wording on the memorial stone.   It was discussed in depth, and sadly at times rather bitterly, elsewhere on the Palace thread, Tatianochka.   Please don't think you are going from one contentious issue to another.   These are perfectly legitimate questions and you obviously are keen to learn about the Alexander Palace.   As you will have observed it is a huge subject which can, from time to time, engender some hot debate.   

That's the thing about the Alexander Palace.    It remains every bit as controversial today as it was during the reign of the last Emperor.

To return to the restoration of the Palace - Russia's coffers are overflowing with boundless bounty from their oil and gas reserves - not to mention their gold, diamonds and countless other precious minerals.   Money is not the issue here.   There can now be little doubt that the reason it is political rather than economic.   The money being spent on the roof and facade is cosmetic in preparation for 2010 and the tercentenary of Tsarskoe Selo as well as a limp attempt to make sure the building does not physically collapse.

One would hope that when and if the day comes when a restoration is attempted, they will not use the cheap, modern render (it should be lime plaster - there is no modern equivalent) and finishes which we can see in the photographs which Vladimir so kindly posted of the Farm Palace at Petergof.   Sadly the external appearance of the Farm Palace reminds me of the many russified restaurants which are springing up everywhere around St Petersburg.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 08, 2008, 06:07:53 PM
While people often say that the Alexander Palace will never be the tourist draw that the Catherine Palace is ...


IMO, if they market it the right way, it can be... or at least as you mentioned, as successful as some of the smaller palace/museums. It's all in how it's promoted!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on January 08, 2008, 11:02:30 PM
However it is "marketed", it does not need to be a cashcow anymore than the Cottage is or the Farm will be. Personally speaking, I would much rather the Alexander Palace after restoration be like visiting the Cottage instead of the Catherine Palace or the big palace at Peterhof. 

The church cupolas at the Catherine Palace and the Peterhof big palace are being redone to correct the errors of the initial restoration done in Soviet times. While I am glad it is happening, I am also sad that the cupolas are being tweaked and/or rearranged while the Alexander Palace's building fabric is crumbling. It seems to be an issue of priorities rather than money, and I hope that the AP's roof doesn't collapse while it waits for its turn to rise from ruin.

For a building with a beautiful architectural and historical pedigree, it certainly has not received its fair share of restoration attention or rubles. Hopefully the tide has turned and is now running in a more positive direction for the Alexander Palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 09, 2008, 08:18:58 AM
Unfortunately in Russia, the proverb "money talks" is truer than anywhere else... The AP will benefit proportionally to how much money it brings in (as we see with CP, etc). Hence, better "marketing" will mean more tourists, more tourists will mean more money, more money will mean more upkeep... It's not idealistic, but it's realistic, alas... :-(
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 09, 2008, 08:37:12 AM
We were with Dr Ivan P Sautov when he received the news that President Putin had ordered the requisite amount of solid gold bars be deposited in a St Petersburg bank for, not only the regilding of the cupolas, but also for the caryatids of the facade of the Catherine Palace which Empress Elizabeth had originally gilded with solid gold, but which Catherine II found too gaudy for her taste and had them painted bronze.   

I thought at the time that if the value of the gold could be exchanged into cash and the will to preserve the Alexander Palace, even as it stands, how much more worthwhile that would have been.   However, the Ministry of Culture and TSM administration have, for the last almost twenty years that I know of, had a totally ambiviilent attitude to the restoration - preferably PRESERVATION - of the Alexander Palace.   Dr Sautov's thesis was on the subject of Giacomo Quarenghi.   I find his cool attitude towards the Alexander Palace bewildering and think this is as a result of the debate about whether the Palace be returned to the Quarenghi original, the NIcholas I variant, or to the 'homlieness' of Nicholas and Alexandra.    For years the presence of the Navy was an excuse - an excuse which need no longer apply.

I have been down this road a number of times, and, like Bob Atchiston, taken interested parties from the west to visit the Alexander Palace with a view to establishing a restoration programme.   On site this was always met with interest - never excitement - and we were always looked after with the most impeccable hospitality over a period of days - even being permitted to visit most of the Alexander Palace including the basement and the attics, but almost as soon as we leave, any enthusiasm seems to evaporate.

It is a Russian matter.   I know a Russian gentleman who was willing to put up the capital for the restoration - with certain qualifications.   This generous gesture was left on the table.   There must be reasons.   Cash from tourism is no longer relevant.   

Perhaps we have to accept the fact the the future (or the hsitory) of the Alexander Palace does not feature in the plans of the Russian Government, the Department of Culture or the the majority of Russian citizens, for the time being.   It certainly fails to excite imaginations as can be found amongst us.

tsaria   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 09, 2008, 08:41:11 AM
Gatchina also needs a great deal spent on it. It is a fabulous palace. Sadly it too is left off most tours. It is true there is a lot of money in Russia today. It is also true that there is a great demand from many different sectors for its usage. Restoring buildings that will only be musuems is not high on the list of priorities. I wonder whether if Russia were still under the Empire whether it could continue to afford to upkeep everything that was once under Imperial Patronage? It was costing a huge amount under the last Tsar and creating a situation where more pressing concerns were being neglected. This is one of the reasons why Alexander III cut the number of eligibles for the position of Grand Duke and Grand Duchess. The costs were getting out of hand.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 09, 2008, 08:48:47 AM
Well, they must have their own reasons which we will probably never know, and which may or may not make sense to us. In the end, it will be up to the TS Museum as to what is ultimately done with the AP. Perhaps if there was more general tourist interest in the palace, there would in turn be more interest on the part of the administration to preserve or restore it... Maybe it's Catch 22. There is no interest because the place is a wreck and it's a wreck because there is no interest. Who knows... In the meantime, I am starting to wonder if 10 years from now we'll be seeing the same types of photos of the AP - only more decrepit... :-(
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 09, 2008, 09:03:52 AM
I know what you mean Helen. I guess perhaps those who are interested in the Alexander Palace are perhaps mostly from the west and perhaps not in Russia itself. Certainly Nicholas II is not remembered all that fondly in Russia. He is seen more as an inept ruler who presided over the complete and utter collapse of the Russian Empire. I know my personal guide would not have bothered with the Alexander Palace unless I had made a particular request to go there and it really is a very short walk indeed from the larger Catherine Palace. It would appear Russians are more interested in those who actually were major movers and shakers like Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Alexander I is also quite admired and even Paul I is mentioned in connection with Pavlovsk and the St.Petersburg Palace where he was murdered. It is interesting to note that the Rospha Palace is still in ruins.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 09, 2008, 09:55:23 AM
If I were to analyse the situation, I would say shame could be at the root of the deliberate avoidance of addressing the condition the Alrxander Palace.   I think the restoration of the FACADE in time for 2010, tells us everything.   The Alexander Palace is a 21st century Potemkin 'village'.   The Family Wing was repainted in time for the G8 summit the summer before last - just in case world 'leaders' glimpsed it through the trees.   The same applied to the painting of the Classical Kitchen in Dvortsovskaya Ulitsa at that time.

In the early 1950s, the Alexander Palace became a top secret military establishment.   Its role I still cannot address here.   With the collapse of communism and the possibility of foreign visitors able to accesss previously restricted areas, (Gatchina is another case in point) the few outsiders who knew of the existence of the Alexander Palace were disturbed by its condition, but not in a position to do anything.   

Still a military establishment, its role had been greatly downgraded.   Throughout the 90s when capital investment would have resulted in increased tourist numbers, there was no capital available to invest and the authorities were undoubtedly ashamed of the condition of this work of architectural genius.   That is why tourists from the endless buses which pass by the gate are not even told of its existence.   They might ask question.   They might want to see it.

The greatest shame of all, of course, is what happened to the last family to occupy the building.   The 'battle for the bones' might be almost at an end, but the legacy of shame perhaps is not quite so easily overcome.

The Alexander Palace would have been infinitely easier to restore than the virtual rebuilding of the Catherine Palace in the wake of WWII.   The damage to the Alexander Palace was relatively insignificant.    Yet the Soviets chose the infinitely more complex and much more expensive option.   We all know the reason why - and it hasn't anything to do with architecture.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 09, 2008, 10:03:04 AM
The Alexander Palace is a 21st century Potemkin 'village'. 

That's great point, tsaria. This is how things are done in Russia... and probably always will be.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 09, 2008, 10:30:41 AM
Perhaps you are right Tsaria although I have always thought the Catherine Palace far more beautiful than the smaller Alexander Palace. It is far more impressive and always has been. In fact I find the Alexander Palace quite austere in its classical severity and that has nothing to do with its last occupants. It simply was never meant to be a major palace. Even in the reign of Nicholas II it was the Catherine Palace that was used for major events. The Alexander was mainly a family home.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 09, 2008, 11:53:07 AM
The north facade of the Alexander Palace with its twin colonnade of the Corinthian order is a work of architecural genius - reputed never to caste shadows.   But what shadows have been caste over this place.

My personal preference is for the austerity and regularity of neoclassical architecture.   I am not particularly attracted by the overblown fussiness of the rococco.   As a Scot, my instinctive preference should lie in the Catherine Palace and the contribution of Charles Cameron and his Scottish artisans.   Their work of course can best be witnessed in the exquisite beauty of the neo classical Cameron Gallery.

tsaria 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on January 09, 2008, 02:40:18 PM
Tsaria, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the restoration of the Alexander Palace is a Russian matter that will be solved internally in Russia. And to tackle the restoration of the Catherine Palace and other Imperial residences for the last sixty years while turning a blind eye to the Alexander Palace speaks for itself as a reflection of governmental, social and cultural priorities.

That Cameron's masterpiece should be falling to pieces while the Michael Castle has and is being beautifully restored is hard to reconcile in my mind at least. Perhaps the Alexander Palace will be restored when all else in the vicinity, including Catherine the Great's chicken coops, has been returned to original glory.

I am now convinced the AP will be restored only after, like an old battered car surrounded by BWMs and Mercedes at an elegant famliy party, it becomes a source of embarassment...or rather a larger source of embarassment.

Perhaps in some odd way the fact that nothing much as been done since the repairs made after World War II could benefit the restoration of the Maple Room, as the farther one gets from the hey day of Style Moderne the more it is appreciated. (Remember the Metropolitan Museum declined the gift of a collection of Faberge in the very early 1960s due to it being not of artistic merit...and the curator advised the owners to liquidate their collection to boot.) The Style Moderne ornamentation that was ripped off the Singer Building on Nevsky Prospect during the Soviet Era was being restored in the autumn of 2006. Or if the restoration is started in earnest in the official rooms and the other wing, by the time the restorers get to the wing inhabited by the last Tsar and his family the way to proceed will be have become clearer to the Russians and in the mean time the roof and outside facade would have been properly restored and be weather tight.

The Alexander Palace has a wonderful and unique architectural and historical pedigree. I hope I live long enough to see this treasure finally taken care of with the care it deserves---with as much care as the Cottage has has been shown.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on January 09, 2008, 04:30:50 PM
As the recent alterations made to the Catherine Palace church and the Peterhof palace church, as well as the alterations to the interior of the Cottage at Peterhof to reflect Tsar Alexander III's wife Maria F's tenure there (her bedroom and sitting room on the second floor were restored to their appearance in her time in conjunction with her reburial in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul) show, restoration like everything else has its ebbs and flows. Even if the Alexander Palace is not restored initially to reflect its time as the home of the last Tsar, it does not rule out future alterations and/or restorations when that might in fact be done. I would love to see the palace restored to reflect Nicholas and Alexandra's teneure there, but most of all I hope for a sound roof and walls and windows and doors as soon as possible to return this Cameron gem to at least its proper outward appearance.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: viv rosendahl on January 09, 2008, 06:55:19 PM
I have only been to St. Petersburg once; last June on
a package tour with a lot of sights squeezed in. 
However Tsarskoe wasn't included.

Anyway, together with some companions I decided to go
to Tsarskoe/Pushkin on the one afternoon off. This was
arranged by our chief Russian guide and presented no
problem. An English speaking guide was provided, and we
were told that we would be given a tour of Catherine Palace.
Fine.

However some of us knew about the Alexander Palace,
and I decided to deal with it when we had been to the CP.
I asked the guide we could make a short stop at the AP en route
back to "Piter", and she agreed somewhat reluctantly.

We spent about 15 mins, there, at the front of the
building and  had a look at the now infamous memorial (!)
while the guide told us what she knew. Fine.

The next morning the chief Russian guide got wind of our
whistlestop and asked me why we wanted to see the AP:
"There's nothing to see there!", she said.

I said, "oh yes, there is! There's quite a story to the AP",
which she dismissed, saying that there were far more
important and interesting places to see in the St.
Petersburg area.

Now, this seemingly innocent exchange told me,
that (some of) the Russians don't want to know about
the AP! It represents a period of their history, which is best forgotten.
It is associated with it's last incumbent, who brought their country to
the brink of catastrophe during his reign.

IMO The best thing that could happen would be  for the
Russians to accept this era as a part of their history and
heritage. However it must happen at their pace!
Some day they might be able to present a restored
AP to the tourists, telling the story of Nicholas II
and the events of 1917-18 as it was.

If they opened up a restored AP to the tourist industry,
without including every aspects of its history,
they could risk being accused of profiteering on the tragedy
of the last IF.

IMO there is still some thinking to do! 

Viv
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 10, 2008, 04:35:16 AM
Viv's account of her visit to the Alexander Palace and the attitude of her Russian tour guides, is a perfect summation of the psychological block which seems to exist between Russians - authorities at least - and the very existence of the Alexander Palace - never mind its restoration.   It is so much more than indifference.   There appears to be an active antipathy.

The Alexander Palace is a very resilient building having survived, even in its present state, thus far.   Hopefully the character of the palace and the echoes of its occupants will outlive the current resistence to its existence.   Who can say what the future holds.   The building might be left to rot and collapse.   On the other hand, as each year passes, the cost of restoration soars.   One consolation - they cannot destroy the history... and the memories.

tsaria

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 10, 2008, 07:16:48 AM
I know what you mean Tsaria. I guess I might have been privileged as I had my own driver and guide when I went to Tsarskoe Selo and it was in winter when few tourists are around so you tend to get what you want. The Alexander Palace is quite run down compared to the Catherine Palace. Most tourists do not go there although there are staff inside the Alexander Palace who are there to sell tickets to tourists and staff in the basement cloakroom as well. Considering the period of time that has passed, the damage caused by the Germans during world war two and also the poor reputation of the last real occupants, I was amazed so much has actually survived and of course some is fake in a bid to try to give some sort of impression of the place. I think all is not lost by a longshot. People have to want to go there if anything is to change. Most of the package tours never go there. Until that attitude changes the importance of the Alexander Palace for tourists will not change. It is the independent tourists who are inconvenient who want to see and investigate the place. Perhaps people need to be more daring and not book on the convenient tours that leave most places of for non-captive tourists off the map. Gatchina is rarely visited by tour groups. The Yelagin Palace is another. Gatchina is fascinating as restoration is continuing and can be seen in progress unlike Pavlovsk where most has been done.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on January 10, 2008, 09:54:59 AM
Like Dimitri I was fortunate enough to have arranged my time in Russia as an independent tourist, and did my own itinerary. The first day my guide looked at where we were going during my stay and she said "No one goes to these places you are going to." It was not meant as a compliment. I often found myself to be the only person or one of a handful of people at a site. Which was wonderful instead of being a crammed sardine in a tourist trap.

Like others, I only hope that the Alexander Palace continues to be strong enough to stand on its own until the help it deserves as an architectual treasure arrives for it. 

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on January 12, 2008, 04:26:37 PM

I am now convinced the AP will be restored only after, like an old battered car surrounded by BWMs and Mercedes at an elegant famliy party, it becomes a source of embarassment...or rather a larger source of embarassment.


NAAOTMA - I absolutley think you are correct here.  While not an expert on Russia today, it's always been my sense that the level of interest and depth of concern for those things associated with Nicholas and his family was much broader and deeper outside of Russia than within.  So while many of us have/do have romantic thoughts of days younder, many Russians - especially those leaders who hold the purse strings and make the decisions on how money is spent - are less than interested in him, his family and what he meant.  Tourism is no cash cow compared to oil revenue.  So I'm guessing your right - sad as it is - that the building will never be restored the way the proverbial we would like it to be until there is absolutley no choice.  And should there be someone more conservative than Putin be in charge than I wouldn't be surprised if the building is let to fall in.  Afterall - Putin and his ilck might look up to Peter the Great, but they won't even look at someone as "weak" as Nicholas II, let alone invest in preserving it.

Opinion only and you know what they say about opinions...
dca
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 12, 2008, 08:58:51 PM
It's worth noting though that guides do point out where what remains  of Nicholas II and Alexandra, three of their daughters and also the servants murdered with them are buried when you visit the St.Peter and St.Paul Cathedral. The St. Catherine Chapel is quite different from the rest of the Romanov graves and as such is perhaps more special. It is calm and cool. The other tombs appear quite austere.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 12, 2008, 09:02:59 PM
I think the issue that is often forgotten is that there is so much left to restore and not just the Alexander Palace. There are also places that did not survive at all which Nicholas and Alexandra spent time in such as their Dacha at Peterhof. At least something is left of the Alexander Palace. I hope that further exhibitions of items relating to Nicholas II and his family will be displayed. It is difficult to find anything left from his childhood home at Gatchina where he lived with his parents Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna. Only the shell of that part of the palace exists. I hope that Gatchina will be further restored and made a major place for tourists to visit as its gardens are quite magnificent.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: viv rosendahl on January 13, 2008, 04:21:01 AM
(...) I  should there be someone more conservative than Putin be in charge than I wouldn't be surprised if the building is let
to fall in.  Afterall - Putin and his ilck might look up to Peter the Great, but they won't even look at someone as "weak" as
Nicholas II, let alone invest in preserving it.


I think you're on to something, DCA!

There's one thing that puzzles me however:
The family wing is open for visitors for a few hours every day (if I
remember correctly! They were are about closing when I was there, 
so I didn't make it). My question is: Why bother when the AP is not included in the
standard curriculum for tourists? What's the point? 

It makes me wonder whether the authorities some day might say:
 "We've kept the AP open, but the tourists never showed up!
Let's close it and let nature take its toll".
 
Or on the other hand: If the Russians really want to airbrush the AP out of their history,
I wonder why they didn't opt for the "Ipatiev-house" solution and set a demolition squad
on the place a long time ago?

Maybe they actually do want to keep the AP for the posterity; however
they have yet to reconcile themselves with this particular troubled
period of their history! As I said previously, this process should happen
at their pace! It's basically an internal affair.

Like Dominic Albanase, I think that the acute problem for the Russians is
that Nicholas II was a weak ruler. They don't like weak rulers,
so why create monuments for them?

At the end of the day, I do hope that the authorities are
considering what to do about the place, how to restore it
(Quarenghi-mode or not) and how it best can be presented to the
outside world with their historical integrity intact!

Viv   

 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 13, 2008, 07:50:23 AM
The AP is kept open as there is interest from people wanting to visit the place. They also charge people to enter. It is a place for exhibitions and as such it is not too bad considering the terrible vandalism committed to it by the Nazi Germans. Give it some time. Sadly so much was destroyed although a lot has been saved thankfully by quick thinking and evacuation of items to Siberia before the German invasion.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on January 13, 2008, 11:31:29 AM
I suspect all the reasons we've outlined are right - and maybe more that we haven't come up with yet.  We all agree however, we'd like to see it preserved, restored and saved.  Thanks for keeping us in the loop Dimitri and others.

dca
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 13, 2008, 02:11:39 PM
I was privileged to be invited to the official opening of the Family Wing.   This was carried out by Mikhail Schyidkoi because the then Governor of St Petersburg was ill at the time.  Schvydkoi, at the time, was Head of the Culture Channel - he is now depute minister of culture.   With due respect to both these gentlemen - one now deceased - neither would appear of sufficiently high profile if a real intent to actually DO something about the condition of the Alexander Palace had been planned.

The opening of the Family Wing came about quite simply.   Gleb Panfilov before he embarked on producing the film 'Last Days of the Romanovs', wrote to Ivan Sautov asking permission to film in and around the palace.   As discussions progressed, Panfilov volunteered to restore the New Study as close as possible as it was during the last days of occupation, at his own cost.   Effectively, with the exception of the panelling - walls and ceiling, the fireplace and stove, everything you see today in the New Study was a film set.   Because he planned using the exterior of the family wing to reconstruct Nicholas II's homecoming, post abdication, the exterior of the family wing was painted.   TSM decided to clear up the remaining rooms in the Wing.   The Reception Room was virtually intact.   The other rooms were painted and used purely as exhibition space.   Later they introduced the enlarged photographs of the original spaces.   

TSM do not possess much in their collection which can be associated with the last reign.   What you see there is just about it.   The carpet, tapestry and portrait of Alexandra Feodorovna, the huge painting of Cossacks returning to camp, have been returned to the Corner Salon.   (The piano did not original to the Alexander Palace.   The chandelier was came from the one of the halls in the enfilade.   (Another is in the former Roman Catholic church, almost across the road from the AP, used as a concert hall by TSM,   nowadays, mass is again being said in the church).   There is also Alexandra Feodorovna's desk - as restored by Anatoly Kuchumov, a few wardrobes, some book cases, the paintings, the Sevres candleabrum, the uniforms and clothes, as well as some pieces of Copenhagen porcelain, the remaining busts of the children of Nicholas II and Sandro Mikhailovich's wedding night 'costume'.    Alexei's christening robe and cushion were later additions.   These were under restoration for some considerable time.   Most of Nicholas' uniforms are on display - his Royal Scot's Greys overcoat (which is not exhitibed) carries an interesting, contemperoray, label - ' The wardrobe beneath the dining room'.   The last Imperial Family did not have a dedicated Dining Room.   The only thing I can think is that NIcholas received this honourary colonelcy at the time of his marriage to Alexandra Feodorovna from his recently acquired grandmother-in-law, Queen Victoria.   In those days, what later became Nicholas' Reception Room, was used as a Dining Room.   For a time A nurses uniform was displayed which pupported to have belonged to Alexandra Feodorovna.   TSM had this on loan from Pavlovsk.   I am absolutely certain it did not belong to the Empress, rather to her daughter Tatiana.   By that time in her life, Alexandra was not as slim as tis fit the dress.   It has subsequently been returned to Pavlovsk - where most of what remains of the artefacts which originally belonged to the Alexander Palace, can be found.   (The majority of the surviving, female, clothing is in the Hermitage).

Like Bob, I first visited the interior of the Alexander Palace long before the Family Wing was opened to the public and have been there regularly - best of all with NO tourists!   The staff who work there are committed to the Palace - even as it stands.   But by far the most committed and knowledgeable person about the Palace and its last occupants is a member of the naval staff.   He will be devasted when (and if) the navy are relocated in St Petersburg.   

The cost of reconstructing of the fabric of the Alexander Palace, vast thought it may be, is small when compared alongside locating, purchasing and/or reproducing its contents.

I think Dominic's interpretation of the reason for lack of interest is valid - to a degree.   Russian authorities (certainly pre the discovery of vast oil and gas reserves) were fully aware of the value of the tourist - as well as becoming recent members of that, rather overworked expression - 'the global village'.   They do not live in isolation.   It was public pressure which brought about the internment in the Catherine Chapel of the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul - Nicholas and Alexandra, almost officially, once again an Emperor and Empress.   If  DNA evidence proves beyond doubt that the remains discovered earlier this year in Pig's Meadow do indeed belong to two of the Imperial children, we'll see representatives of the remaining European monarchies, diplomats, churchmen and every breathing Romanov gathered together in the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul - probably for the last time.

tsaria

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 13, 2008, 02:38:32 PM
By way of a prelude -

The remaining Romanovs love nothing more than to visit the Alexander Palace - where they are treated AS royalty, and where they have been known to fall to their knees weeping as they kiss the door handles - in particular those of the French doors in the Semi-Circular Hall.

I am not aware of one of them doing anything - in any way - to contribute towards either heightening awareness of the desperate peril of the fabric of the building or anything whatsoever of a practical sense towards the restoration of the Alexander Palace.

Perhaps at least part of the answer to the general lack of interest, sympathy or understanding of the plight of the palace, lies in this observation.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 13, 2008, 03:19:33 PM
Pardon me if I am a tad skeptical about  the Romanovs playing theatrics at the AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Arleen on January 13, 2008, 04:27:41 PM
I m so grateful to you Tsaria for all of your knowledge and comments about the AP restoration,  it adds so much for me.

I can see the current GD Marie V and her mother kissing the doornobs, I can picture that rather easily.  Its her job so to speak to keep the candle burning and before the public eyes.  Unfortunately she should "put her money where her mouth is" and do everything she can to inspire the Russians to restore and maintain the AP, that is her job also as head of the Romanov's, as she feels she is.

Arleen
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 13, 2008, 05:30:08 PM
Sorry you are skeptical Robert.   Why should I lie?    Why you should doubt my relating a fact?

I am not saying ALL Romanovs who visited the Alexander Palace behaved in this manner.   I cannot reveal who - apart from the fact that it was more than one.   (AND I am not the only person on this Forum who knows this to be fact - and I don't think his word would be doubted).

Thank you Arleen for your warm words.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mr_harrison75 on January 13, 2008, 05:50:13 PM
Don't worry about it, mister Hall is a bit grumpy these days...  ;D  ;)

It's true that a little support about the Aleksandrovski dvorets coming from the Romanovs would help, though...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on January 13, 2008, 07:39:35 PM
Of the surviving Romanov extended family, do they have any wealth or power to influence the authorities as to the fate of the Alexander Palace? 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: mr_harrison75 on January 13, 2008, 07:48:16 PM
As far as I know, I don't think they are wealthy, though I'm sure they are still well off, but they could use their influence and their name to make something happen...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 13, 2008, 09:17:35 PM
Me grumpy? Not at all, just a bit realiistic, I think.
 I just find such theatrics  opprotunistic from people who have absolutely no historical or familial connection to the place. Kissing doorknobs? Really?  Give me a break here.
 We are discussing  the AP itself. Not the personalities that are trying to capitalise on it, are we not?


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 14, 2008, 05:35:20 AM
Within the contest 'Alexander Palace Restoration' - the attitude and behaviour of the Romanov diaspora is, at the very least, interesting and certainly relevant to this topic, Robert.   Additionally, it is a bit uncomfortable to find the implication that one is a liar posted on a public internet forum.   Anyway, I have such a soft spot for you, Robert, that I won't hold your skepticism against you, because I know you genuinely find such a thought far-fetched - as indeed did I - but I do know this to be a fact.

The one member of the Romanov family who maintains an annual contact with Tsarskoe Selo and who, within St Petersburg museum authorities is regarded to be the only possible, appropriate heir, is Georgi - great grandson of Tsar Alexander II and Ekaterina Yurievskaya.   He visits St Petersburg every year at the time of the anniversary of the wedding of his illustrious great grandparents.   A small, private memorial service in their memory takes place in the Cathedral of the Catherine Palace - where they married - but even he drives straight passed the Alexander Palace without as much as a glance.   

This I do know first hand, Robert, because I have been there with him.

In so far as the general Romanov indifference towards the the Alexander Palace is concerned, when they are there en masse. irrespective of personal economic circumstances, they should be lobbying the Russian authorities.   Believe me, the Russians treat them as royals.   Everything imagineable is laid on for them.   Everyplace is thrown open for them.   It really is 'red carpet' treatment.   On one occasion they joined together to mount a magnificent photographic exhibition in the Tauride Palace.

If they really had any real interest - apart from turning up at various re-burials to be feted, I'm sure they could apply pressure to have something done about the condition of the Alexander Palace.   I know how hard I've tried for almost two decades.   Like Bob, whose efforts are truly remarkable, I do not have even the most tenuous genetic link.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 14, 2008, 06:41:43 AM
Well time will reveal all no doubt.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 14, 2008, 12:58:51 PM
Tsaria, I have no doubt that what you say is true. I just find it bizarre behavior on their part, that is all.  My Russian friends are a  lost less rarefied than yours, I am afraid, and think very little, if at all, of the Romanov family.  And interest in the AP itself is minimal.  Restoration ? Why ?  To them, Gatchina and Oranienbaum and the Alexandria Park  "cottages" are a  much higher priority. I imagine these may offer better enjoyment to Russians and tourists alike.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 14, 2008, 01:21:02 PM
I was privileged to be invited to the official opening of the Family Wing.
I was there also. I remember there were 100-150 people, navy officers. Sautov was ill. Shvydkoy donated small vase to the museum.
Where did you stay during the meeting in front of the wing?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 14, 2008, 01:26:21 PM
Like Dominic Albanase, I think that the acute problem for the Russians is
that Nicholas II was a weak ruler. They don't like weak rulers,
so why create monuments for them?
He was not a weak ruler.
He was DEADLY weak!

why create monuments for them?

Why some Russians do not like NII?
There is very simple way to understand it.
Imagine the same situation in your country today.
For example:
Mr Bush – a weak president (sorry, it is my imagination). But he rules only 8 years.
Image that he rules 22 years. War, victims, catastrophic problems in economic and (in the end) US decays on different parts.
Is he a hero for the Americans? No.
Is he a hero for foreign people? Why not. (For Latin America, Cuba or Arabs.)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Arleen on January 14, 2008, 03:18:54 PM
Very well explained Vladimir.  (We will be thrilled to get rid of Mr. Bush here and could NEVER understand any tourists wanting to visit anything that pertained to him!)

I have a very dear Russian friend and she could care less about the Romanov's and she laughs at me for my great interest in them. She cannot understand it at all. 

Compaired to the other palaces the AP is very little, I can sort of understand the Russians not caring to restore it.  There is no comparison to the Winter Palace or Catherine Palace, or etc.  We are obsessed with THE IMPERIAL FAMILY and that is why we are so keen to see it as it was in their days of living there.  Their ghosts are there even......

Arleen
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: viv rosendahl on January 14, 2008, 03:23:50 PM
Vladimir,

I do think I understand why Nicholas II is not being held high in the esteem of the Russians,
and also, that it may be one of the reasons why Alexander Dvorets is low-priority
regarding restoration and preservation.   
 
My point is that I hope that the Russians will reconcile themselves to the
Nicholas II- chapter of their history some fine day.
It will take time, I understand that too!

There are so many great palaces near St. Petersburg, and I'm glad to hear that
they are being restored, funds permitting. Each of them tells a story, some of these
stories being more illustrious than others! 

Today the AP seems to be perceived by most Russians as the ghostly reminder of an inept and tragic ruler,
I can follow that! What I could hope for - as a foreigner with a general interest in the Romanovs - is that it would
be preserved as a small part of the great Russian heritage for better and for worse.  No country whatsoever has a history and
heritage without bad times and bad rulers!.
But whoever they were or whatever they managed to mess up, they are still a part of a particular 
national history. 

And at the bottomline, there is more to the history of Alexander Palace than Nicholas II and his family.

Viv   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 14, 2008, 06:41:22 PM
I was privileged to be invited to the official opening of the Family Wing.
I was there also. I remember there were 100-150 people, navy officers. Sautov was ill. Shvydkoy donated small vase to the museum.
Where did you stay during the meeting in front of the wing?
[V/quote]

Vladimir - what a coincidence.   I have photographs of it somewhere.   You are right, IP was in hospital with his first heart attack.   But the Mayor (was it Sobchak at the time) wasn't there either.   Afterwards, we spent a lot of time with Mikhail Shvydkoi because of our mutual professions in the media - even discussing possible joint projects.   (We share a mutual friend in Vladimir Posner)   I don't remember the vase and certainly don't recall having seen it since.  I wonder what they have done with it?   I'm pretty certain it isn't in the AP.

We were at the foot of the steps, if I recall correctly, slightly to the right of the door.   Unusually, I do remember what I was wearing, but I doubt that would help you make an identification!   I'll have a search for these photographs.

Malinki mir.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 14, 2008, 08:01:06 PM
Whatever any of us think, there are countless reminders of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna in Russia. If you visit the Armoury Museum of the Kremlin in Moscow you are reminded of them. It is fascinating to see clothes from Nicholas II and Alexandra on display there. They are part of a much wider picture. It is an incredible tragedy that Alexander III died so young. Nicholas might just have learned more if his father had lived longer. Certainly the country would have avoided many disaster if Alexander III had lived longer. He knew to keep Russia out of wars. That was her only hope for survival.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: LisaDavidson on January 15, 2008, 02:53:49 PM
Whatever any of us think, there are countless reminders of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna in Russia. If you visit the Armoury Museum of the Kremlin in Moscow you are reminded of them. It is fascinating to see clothes from Nicholas II and Alexandra on display there. They are part of a much wider picture. It is an incredible tragedy that Alexander III died so young. Nicholas might just have learned more if his father had lived longer. Certainly the country would have avoided many disaster if Alexander III had lived longer. He knew to keep Russia out of wars. That was her only hope for survival.

What ifs of history are very tricky. I do think that Nicholas and Alexandra's desire for privacy (or a more private life) may have been less of an issue had they not had the rulership of Russia to deal with. However, I think there was also a chance that the monarchy may have collapsed completely in 1905 had there been a different ruler - such as Alexander III.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 15, 2008, 05:43:06 PM
Well there is no evidence of that. I doubt he would have become involved in a disastrous war.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: LisaDavidson on January 15, 2008, 10:38:32 PM
Well there is no evidence of that. I doubt he would have become involved in a disastrous war.

dmitri, there could be no evidence of that - we were speaking hypothetically! And, if you want to continue this conversation, let's do it on another thread and not on one that's supposed to be about the AP restoration.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 16, 2008, 12:41:19 AM
by all means
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 25, 2008, 03:01:14 PM
My photo of the official opening of the Family Wing.

(http://i047.radikal.ru/0801/93/afb58ef14a57.jpg)

It will be interesting to see your photographs, Tsaria.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: anitchkov on January 25, 2008, 06:12:41 PM
I am so glad the palace is being restored.  I walked around the outside of the palace in 1986 and was so distressed at its condition.  When I went up to the door there was this military person sitting at an old wooden vintage WW II desk with an old goose necked lamp, so I assumed that it was being utilized as some sort of government building, but the condition was deplorable.  However, even walking around the unkept grounds, I could see why the Imperial family sought refugee there, it was exceedingly peaceful. It was a very moving experience for me.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 28, 2008, 12:24:24 PM
We must have been standing within a few metres of each other, Vladimir.   I'll try to find the pictures which echo yours.    I had forgotten it was Nicholai Nagorsky who stood in for Ivan Sautov who was in hospital recovering from a heart attack at the time.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 28, 2008, 02:05:40 PM

(http://i026.radikal.ru/0801/10/2219b5c4ae51t.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i026.radikal.ru/0801/10/2219b5c4ae51.jpg.html) (http://i007.radikal.ru/0801/0d/dc12aec8553et.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i007.radikal.ru/0801/0d/dc12aec8553e.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 29, 2008, 12:42:06 PM
Quote
(http://i007.radikal.ru/0801/0d/dc12aec8553et.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i007.radikal.ru/0801/0d/dc12aec8553e.jpg.html)

You can see Minister of Culture Mikhail Shvydkoi (with a box in his hands),
Mayor (Gubernator) of St Petersburg Vladimir Yakovlev and
deputy director of the TS museum Nicholai Nagorsky.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2008, 12:49:45 PM
Hi Vladimir, for some reason I can't see any of the images you posted :-(
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 29, 2008, 01:02:12 PM
Strange. It is very popular photowebsite www.radikal.ru
Where do you live?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2008, 01:06:44 PM
I think that perhaps there is a firewall at my work computer for this site.... :-(
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on January 29, 2008, 01:18:58 PM
How is that?
Do you  waste your gold working time for the photos from internet?

Du bist grundschlecht! :-)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2008, 03:50:46 PM
How is that?
Do you  waste your gold working time for the photos from internet?

Du bist grundschlecht! :-)

  I'm afraid I do...  LOL
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alixz on January 30, 2008, 09:06:06 AM
My husband and I are contemplating a visit to St Petersburg in November.  I have been in touch with a tour company, but we will be on our own with a driver and translator.  No buses, thank the Lord.

I emailed to ask if, on the day we visit Tsarskoe Selo, we would be allowed to visit the Alexander Palace.  I asked if it would be open to tourists.  I also asked a lot of other questions and this is one question that she did not answer.

I, too, like the austere architecture of the AP as opposed to the glamour and size of the Catherine.

I have looked forward to this trip for so long and I am almost afraid to go.  To see the reality of the Nazi destruction and also the destruction of age and time puts me off.

Our trip will include the Hermitage, the Fortress, Peterhof, and Pushkin as well as a couple of churches.  On  the one hand, I am very excited, but on the other afraid of feeling too sad because of all that has been lost.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 30, 2008, 09:10:54 AM
I emailed to ask if, on the day we visit Tsarskoe Selo, we would be allowed to visit the Alexander Palace.  I asked if it would be open to tourists.  I also asked a lot of other questions and this is one question that she did not answer.

I think there is one day of the week that the AP is closed, it may be Tuesdays, but I can't remember for sure. All other days they are open until 5 or 6, I believe... It would be pretty safe to assume they will be open on the weekend,  as long as you get there early enough.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Belochka on January 30, 2008, 03:51:43 PM
The Palace is indeed closed on Tuesdays. Other days it remains open until 5 p.m.

Margarita
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 30, 2008, 07:29:44 PM
Yes this is quite normal practice to have one day where a museum is closed. In many cases it is a Monday. It gives staff time to deal with cleaning and organisation of exhibits. It is a very sensible practice.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on January 31, 2008, 05:40:28 AM
The palace is also closed for an additional day once a month.   This is for 'hygiene'.   I cannot immediately recall which day, but an up to date guide book should help.   Alternatively call the palace.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: dmitri on January 31, 2008, 07:05:39 PM
Yes perhaps people forget that in its heyday the Alexander Palace would have had all sorts of different people cleaning and keeping the place in order even when the imperial family were in residence. There would have been lots to do. I doubt whether the imperial family would have been down on their knees polishing and scrubbing.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: charley on February 01, 2008, 04:41:18 PM
   At Alexander Palace, I would love to see period photographs of the family enlarged and placed right in front of the location they were originally taken, inside and outside the palace. They do this technique at some of the historic sites and battlefields around the country. It is so exciting to look at all the details of the photgraph taken in the 18oo's and then looking ahead at the same spot. You can easily imagine how everything was at the time of the photograph. They could do this inside and ouside the palace. I am sure aside from the run down condition, alot of the sites look the same.
   I think if I was going there, I would defintely have some original photographs with me to put me in the right frame of mind when I went to the palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Venois on February 01, 2008, 08:26:34 PM
As a Russian I would like to say that I would doubt that Nicolas II as well as the family in general are in a low esteem in Russia right now. They are saints of our church and at least intellectuals still regard them more as martyrs than as weak initiators of 70 year long time of troubles.

Uneducated mass of the population (which, I must admit is in the majority in Russia as well as in the rest of Europe), is more careless and ignorant than sincerely negative about the last Czar. The subject of Nicolas II is very complex and it is much easier to claim that he was a treacherous dweeb than to prove that he was actually quite well as a ruler and as a man.

I also think that Potemkin's villages is a nice legend which is constantly being overused both by then foreigners as well as by the Russian opposition. Isn't that good that the facade of the palace is going to be restored? The roof? I think this is the first thing to do. Now, when we have a strong confirmation that the military are going to leave soon we can contemplate and think about how to restore the palace.

I think there is a strong commitment from the Russian government to restore the country to its imperial glory. Of course, they mix Russian and Soviet empires together, which is a mistake, in my view. But anyway, the whole restoration budget only of the city of St. Petersburg (including environs) is 260 million euro.  This is more than the whole restoration budget of France. They've restored Russian coat of arms insignia on the Senate building recently. They are going to restore the Alexander Palace too.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on February 01, 2008, 11:36:22 PM
Greetings Venois:

What a delightful post.  As usual it is the intelligencia that have a more reasonable view of reality.  It's the same here in the USA. 

As for the roof of the palace, the left side appears in aerial photos to have been covered with a light blue material.  I am not sure if this is an actual new roof but it appears to keep out the rain. As of this writing I am not sure if the right side has been thusly covered also.  Maybe someone has more current information concerning the right side roof of the AP.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on February 02, 2008, 05:51:04 PM
PS:

As well as every Tuesday, the palaces are closed the last Monday of each month.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: strom on February 20, 2008, 11:32:37 AM
Douglas, no disrespect but as has been said many times, we are a minority group (admittedly comparatively large).  Our interest is very much centred on the Russian monarchy - more specifically the last IF.  In my experience Russians are not hugely interested themselves and if Russia is to truly tap into the vast incomes tourism can bring, then it needs to have wider appeal than just Romanov addicts. 
The Catherine Palace will always be the significant draw at Tsarskoe because it is impressive in size and a beautiful spectacle which conjures up everything a tourist would like to associate with the Tsars - rich Rococo covered in gold and screaming opulence.  For the majority of us forum users a far more poignant and tangible link with the last IF is more appealing. 
The Alexander Palace is not really significant in terms of design/beauty/scale/historical context - as much as I and most of the forum would like to think it is.  It will never be a massive tourist draw.  It's charm and significance is almost entirely based around Nicohlas & Alexandra, OTMA & A, Rasputin etc.  I adore the place, I would go back every year if I could, but plainly speaking to the vast majority it's not Giza, The Colosseum, Versailles or even Peterhof.  I love it just the way it is, simple, without crowds or fuss and that makes the IF far more tangible than some recreation.  The only caveat being the desperate need to repair and maintain the fabric of the building as it stands.

Well, I have read that the A Palace was considered by architectural historians to be the masterpiece of Quarenghi --a man of many masterpieces.  Personally, I think it beauifully solves problems of lighting in large buildings before electricity while introducing an entirely new kind of footprint.  It may be that the Russians have not yet adjusted to the role of the former dynasty in their history and culture not to mention the culmination of that influence during the time of the last Emperor.   
As always I've waffled rather - so please excuse me that.  We should always remember that we have a very specific interest and that to the vast majority of people the IF are a complete unknown.  The Alexander Palace is not the answer in terms of creating a tourist hotbed - and I very much hope it never will be.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: strom on February 20, 2008, 11:50:24 AM
Whatever any of us think, there are countless reminders of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna in Russia. If you visit the Armoury Museum of the Kremlin in Moscow you are reminded of them. It is fascinating to see clothes from Nicholas II and Alexandra on display there. They are part of a much wider picture. It is an incredible tragedy that Alexander III died so young. Nicholas might just have learned more if his father had lived longer. Certainly the country would have avoided many disaster if Alexander III had lived longer. He knew to keep Russia out of wars. That was her only hope for survival.

It is known that A III did not only ill prepare his son but ill prepared the nation for the horrors of the new century.  N II tried his best to not only rise to the occasion of his accession but correct the mistakes of his father.  Finally, it is mute.  There is destiny at play for both father and son --and grandfathers too.  The nation needs to remember and revere the dynasty.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alixz on February 20, 2008, 09:53:49 PM
This has taken us completely off topic, but Nicholas II did not "rise to the occasion" and try to "correct the mistakes of his father".  Rather he announced that he would "preserve the autocracy as did his unforgettable dead father."

I have never seen AIII as "unforgettable" but obviously Nicholas did.

As to the restoration of the Alexander Palace, I know that we here, although we seem like a large group, are not that large at all.  We want to walk where the last Imperial Family walked and lived and try to capture some of the essence of that time which just might still be floating there.  The Alexander Palace has more of that for us than does the Catherine.

I don't really care about the Amber Room restoration.   And, although, I would go to see it, I would much rather walk through the unrestored rooms of the Alexander.  I would be trying to catch history not gaze at material gaudiness.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on February 21, 2008, 09:06:51 PM
I agree with Alixz, the Alexander Palace has much more appeal to me because it seems authentic and not a recreation.  I want to see the real walls of the playroom and the real railwork around the semi circle balcony, etc.  I'm glad that Russia has rebuilt and restored the buildings that they have, but when I look at the pictures of the damage after WWII, I realise that a lot of what we are not seeing today is not the original building at all or just parts of it are.  Until recently, I had no idea so many buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alixz on February 21, 2008, 10:36:53 PM
FA has a banner that says that the original Amber Room may have been found in a cave in Germany.

Take the link and read it!  It is very exciting to think that, after having been buried for over 60 years, that what the Nazis looted may have been brought to the surface.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that, because the Amber Room was originally created by a German, Hitler and his archaeologists would believe that it belonged to Germany and should be returned there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vladimir_V. on February 24, 2008, 01:13:51 PM
Another my photo of the official opening of the Family Wing

http://i050.radikal.ru/0802/e7/93acd0cc17fc.jpg

http://i029.radikal.ru/0802/68/c9cca8fc3949.jpg

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on February 24, 2008, 01:32:16 PM
Vladimir

I have no idea what I have done with my photographs - one day I'll find them.   Yes, we approached by Danini's gates, so we must have been somewhere behind the dignitaries, but out of shot in your photographs.

Its sad to see poor Nikolai Nagorsky.

ChristineM
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on February 24, 2008, 07:29:18 PM
Its nice to see a shot of the palace gates from that angle.  By the way, who is Nikolai Nagorsky?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on February 25, 2008, 08:41:54 AM
Nikolai is the smaller, dark haired gentleman - camera right in Vladimir's photographs.   He was first deputy director of Tsarskoe Selo Museums at the time.   Unfortunately when the Family Wing was officially opened, Ivan Petrovich Sautov, Director of Tsarskoe Selo Museums was recovering from a heart attack and therefore was unable to be present.

A few years ago Mr Nagorsky left TSM to become Director of the historic churches of St Petersburg - St Isaacs, Kazan, Saviour of the Spilled Blood, St Nicholas, and etc.   About a month ago, Mr Nagorsky died very suddenly.   He was 62 years old.

ChristineM
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 29, 2008, 09:05:48 PM
Restoration of the Alexander Palace will begin next year re July 29, 2008:
http://bia-news.ru/news/64801

The building has been transfered and is now in process of moving out from right wing, basement, mezzanine. The next year will include budget financing and the restoration of the roof.

Joanna


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: halen on July 29, 2008, 09:44:45 PM
That is terrific news.

Louise
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 30, 2008, 04:53:01 PM
From what I understand in that article, they're planning on restoring the facades of the palace too? I'm so pleased- it would be great if the rest of the front of the palace matched the family's wing's newer paint.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on December 03, 2008, 10:50:59 AM
Translation of Article concerning the restoration of the AP.


Alexander Palace Restoration to start in 2009
 
Restoration of Alexander Palace, located in Tsarskoe Selo, will begin next year.

 Beginning in 2009, the subject-project will be included in the budget financing and engineers will start working on the restoration of the palace roof, BIA said. Beginning in  2010, specialists will begin restoring facades of buildings.

. Recall that the building was recently transferred to the museum and officials are now processing  the documents.

Earlier, the right wing, mezzanine and basements were in the maintenance and control of the Military Institute, Office of Maritime Engineering, so the museum could not begin the restoration work at the palace.

. Alexander, useful or New Palace was begun in 1792 by order of Empress Catherine II and presented as a gift for the marriage of her grand-favorite son, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (the future emperor Alexander I), the great Princess Elizabeth.

In May 1796, the last year of Empress Catherine II, the palace building was finished, and 12 Jun, 1796 Grand Duke Alexander P. and his wife moved into  the New Palace.

. The design of the  Alexander Palace belongs to the famous Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi. In a subsequent restructuring of interior finishes and Alexander Palace attended by such famous architects as Vasily Stasov, Andrew Shtakenshneyder and others.

 The palace is a somber and elegant two-storey building with  wings on each the sides. At the center of the main northern facade -is  a magnificent and dramatic colonnade , consisting of two rows of columns.

   Quote of the forum Citation Forum
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 03, 2008, 12:11:28 PM
This will be a very long process, exterior work depends on the sesons, as it virtually comes to a halt during winters.  The interiors must be assessed as to what can be done with them.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on December 03, 2008, 07:13:25 PM
Anybody have any pictures of the Navy moving out of the palace?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on December 11, 2008, 06:46:58 AM
I am new to the forum, but have been an avid reader of all the posts virtually every day for years.As a result I have built up an extensive collection of most of the books available on the I F and the palaces, and continue to be fascinated about everything related to Russian history.
My particular "quirck" is with what went on behind the scenes in the Imperial residences. I have always wondered why there are no pics of the interiors of the Winter Palace or Alexander Palace kitchens,or those at Livadia. Does anyone have any ? I know that there are pics on the forum of the exterior of the Alexander Palace Kitchens, and have decided that when I visit the Palace, I am simply going to knock on the door and ask to be let in ! Dont know what response I will get. Nothing venture, nothing gain.
Also does anyone know what the pond between the palace and the kitchen building was used for ? I have a suspician that this was a sort of natural " sewerage" system.
Pavlov       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobG on December 11, 2008, 09:28:00 AM
There wasn't a pond BETWEEN the palace and the kitchen building.  There was a pond between the kitchen building and the Catherine Palace.  I'm not sure that it would have been for sewerage, but more for landscaping.
BobG
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on December 14, 2008, 03:43:08 PM
The Kitchen Pond on a map is somewhat deceptive as it is quite wide. It starts very near to the rear left side of the AP where the fence is today, then loops around close to the kitchen building itself and joining the canals surrounding the gardens of the Chinese Theatre etc. I have often wondered with all three large ponds surrounding the AP how the tunnel from the kitchen to the AP was not flooded as it is very close to that one pond.

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on December 18, 2008, 04:53:16 AM
Hi Joanna, yes there is so much water around, one wonders if there was flooding, perhaps in the basement of the palace as well. I have found out since, that there was a sort of sewerage plant at Tsarskoe.
However, I still think that perhaps in earlier times the ponds were a sort of natural filtering system. Maybe thats why typhoid and other water born diseases were so prevalent. The Winter Palace always had a problem, and when I was there last, I went around sniffing for the legendary " bad odour" which one reads about. I was quite dissapointed when I smelt nothing !! One gets so involved in all of this that even smells from a century ago seem romantic ! But then everything about Russian history has become an obsession.

I cannot wait for the day when someone does something about renovating the " front" rooms of the Alexander palace, that beautiful enfilade, and all those wonderful soaring pillars !!. It will just take ones breath away. (and they must sort out the magnificent chandeliers)
These halls are, and were, more or less unchanged since the palace was built. Its the other part that would be a problem. I know this has been discussed before, but it would be difficult to decide in what style to renovate them. Personally, I think that they should be done up in the same "gemutlich"  Alexandra style.  I think that so many Russians are identifying with the Romanovs now, that we need to see how they lived. There is nothing left in the Winter Palace or anywhere else, that reflects their "personal" style. So even if many people think that Alexandra's taste was "hausfrau", the fact is, that is how it was. It would be refreshing I think to see the private side of their lives, juxtaposed in proximity to all the usual Russian Palace splendour of marble and gold. But I guess that just  my opinion.
I think that although all the restored palaces are breathtaking, one can get visual indigestion after a while.
If the rooms of Alexander III had survived at Gatchina, we would have seen a more personal side. Although they were wonderful, I still cant imagine why anyone would want to live in those small cramped. low ceilinged little rooms. ! And lets face it, as wonderful as they looked,and reflected the taste of the IF at the time, some of them were really awful, and stuffed with some weird stuff. Maybe they were also a tad fed up with the gilt and marble, just down the hallway ! Just my opinion.
So yes, I may be shot down in flames for this, but I think a bit of their personal life should be reflected in the restoration of the Alexander Palace. What is there now is just so depressing, and seems such a half hearted attempt to re-create the feeling, that its almost not worth it.And of  course we all realise that it all boils down to the MONEY. What upsets me though, is that so much is spent on other Palaces like Pavlovsk, which is stuffed full of gorgeous things, and the Alexander Palace is falling apart. I think it needs someone in Russia with a lot of influence to champion its cause. I know Bob has dedicated his life to this project, which is wonderful, butI think that the Russians have to WANT to do it themselves.   If they can spend all those Millions on "overrestoring" the Konstantinovsky Palace ( I think it looks a bit Las Vegassy actually), why dont they just have something left for our sleeping beauty ? Its so sad.                   
       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 18, 2008, 11:19:04 AM
If the Russian people think anything at all about the Romanovs,  N&A are certainly the least of their concerns.  But that is another topic altogether.  The ones I know are far more interested in Peter I [the Great]  perhaps Catherine II [ her expansionism] and of course, Alexander I, for whom the palace was built.  I would go with the historical heritage and like to see the palace  returned to his era.
 Naturally, this all take A LOT of money, and that seems to be in short supply now, everywhere.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on December 20, 2008, 02:03:56 AM
Yes Robert, of course the money is even more of an issue now, is'nt it ? And you are right about Catherine and Peter the Great, but I do sometimes think that many Russians have become more "sensitized", and fascinated by their recent history, and there is more interest in them than before. So maybe we will see a restoration of the Mauve Drawing Room one day. ( even if they only do one room from that era) Many people will no doubt regard it as a memorial to Alexandra's questionable taste. Perhaps Felix Youssupov will turn in his grave ! He had some choice things to say about it.

Does anyone have any idea how much of the original palace furniture is in storage, or farmed out to the other palaces.?
I know that the people at Pavlovsk, are reluctant to hand things back. I wonder though if, once the control of the Alexander Palace changes to a different museum authority, they won't be forced to hand it back ? Or they get into a "tug of war" situation, that goes on forever. It does belong to the Russian people after all, but I think the museum authorities are perhaps a law unto themselves. Of course one dreams of an Alladin's cave somewhere filled with glorious stuff, just waiting to be moved in. I wonder if there are store rooms somewhere ?
It would be sad if, when the restoration happens, there is very little of the original stuff to put in it. What is there at the moment is not going to make a palace museum. So one can only hope so. 
         
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on December 20, 2008, 12:41:56 PM
Pavlov, I had linked to a Russian article on the Tsarskoe Selo Museum complex conference in November where it was stated that they are in talks with Pavlovsk for the return of furniture, articles belonging to the Alexander Palace. I think it is too early in negotiations to reveal final status especially as the timeframe for restoration of the interiors is a few years away.

A few thoughts on the restoration:

As there was just the bare bones of the palace c1796 when completed, waiting for drying out, problems with basements, etc. and Alexander I did not reside there after becoming Tsar, the important eras are of Nicholas I and Nicholas II. Alexander II lived in the Zubov Wing for decades and Alexander III imprint was minimal as Tsarevich.

Of the left wing, to revert the Maple Room to the Music Room of Quarenghi would entail gutting the second floor. The museum is using the second floor as restoration studios and would not want to lose this critical space so it may be a moot issue. Nicholas II suite does have original wood panellings, stairs, etc that would be a starting point to restore to that period. Of Alexandra's suite, they have remnants of wallpapers for the bedroom, the corner drawing room is easy to convert to include the Marie Antoinette painting etc with elements from other periods. The arguments for the left wing are doable if there is a committee consensus.

Of the parade rooms, they have already removed the walls and all periods would be easy to represent as they were kept in a similar style.

I think it is the right wing that would attract controversy. To recreate the English Suite may be a sticky point. But the other rooms would most likely be in the Nicholas I period as the watercolors of the 1840s, 50s are detailed which does make sense.

Joanna

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on December 20, 2008, 01:30:07 PM
Thank You for the info Joanna, I think the restoration of the palace is going to be a combination of Nicholas I & II, perhaps.  To do anything else would perhaps be too radical, structurally. As you say, they would have to remove the mezzanine floor which was put in to cater for Alexandra's new rooms, to get it back to the original Quarenghi design.  Its a unique restoration situation is'nt it ? A combination of late 18th century and late 19th, early 20th century interiors. I dont think any of the other palace restorations, had the same problems. Perhaps the Marble Palace to a certain extent, but they managed to restore things and combine these same periods,a bit anyway, did'nt they ? One has the original 18th century Orlov halls ( they must have been freezing), and some of the 19th century rooms of the Kontantinovichi. Grand Duke Vladimir's palace is another example, perhaps. Although one must remember that the St Petersburg palaces did not suffer the same fate as Tsarskoe Selo, and that everything was essentially "left" as it was.
Whatever they do, one just wishes they would get on with it as soon as possible, and not "over" restore. or create too much of a museum atmosphere.
I am very glad to hear that negotiations are underway regarding the return of the furniture etc. I hope it works though, even if Pavlovsk may suffer a few losses. I have wonderful books on Pavlovsk, and I sometimes look at all those gorgeous things and wonder which of them belong in the Alexander Palace !. They have so much.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on December 23, 2008, 10:42:24 AM
I think a combination of Nicholas I and II styles would be a pretty sensible thing to do. With all the work that would need to be done for changing the Maple Room back to the Quarenghi design would entail, it seems that the easiest solution would be to restore the palace in both styles. Personally, I'd hope that the family's wing would be done as it was while they lived there, but for the left wing and parade rooms, Nicholas I's style would be just fine for me. The watercolors show that it was a beautiful living space.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on December 24, 2008, 04:59:18 AM
Yes, I think thats how its going to end up. Were the watercolours you refer to  done by Hau ? ( I think that was his name) He did fantastic watercolours of Gatchina. Are they on this site ? I have seen something similar, but only of the rooms in the N & A wing, before the changes were made.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on December 24, 2008, 01:38:38 PM
I'm not sure which artist did the watercolors I've seen of the palace from Nicholas I's reign, but it could be E. Hau, L. Premazzi and I. Volsky.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on February 04, 2009, 07:27:08 AM
 I know this question has probably been asked here somewhere before, but I still wonder about the state of the other palace wing. I recently saw an aerial view of the building, and the roof over that area looks absolutely awful, and at the point of total collapse. i would imagine it leaks quite badly and subsequent damage must occur. However one may be pleasantly surprised, who knows ?
Does anyone actually know what the actual state of the palace is, on the other side ?     
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on February 04, 2009, 05:39:25 PM
The Left side of the ALexander palace has already been repaired with a new roof of sorts. 

The Right side of the palace roof [formerly occupied by the Navy] has a temporary fix for this winter.  Apparently they are going to do a more finished repair of the right wing roof this coming spring or summer [2009].

I know this question has probably been asked here somewhere before, but I still wonder about the state of the other palace wing. I recently saw an aerial view of the building, and the roof over that area looks absolutely awful, and at the point of total collapse. i would imagine it leaks quite badly and subsequent damage must occur. However one may be pleasantly surprised, who knows ?
Does anyone actually know what the actual state of the palace is, on the other side ?     
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 04, 2009, 06:03:22 PM
Any information on the interior, Douglas? I am more intersted to know what, if anything is left of the original. Perhaps it has fared better than the family wing.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on February 04, 2009, 06:13:40 PM
Any information on the interior, Douglas? I am more intersted to know what, if anything is left of the original. Perhaps it has fared better than the family wing.

That's good question, Robert.  I really don't know the answer now but if I read anything about it,  I will post right away and notify you by PM.

I would imagine that the ceilings of the second floor have suffered considerable water damage.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on February 06, 2009, 06:47:34 AM
Thank You. Thats great news. At least this shows that they care. ( a bit) !!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Cathy on February 07, 2009, 07:39:16 PM
.. Were the watercolours you refer to  done by Hau ? ( I think that was his name) He did fantastic watercolours of Gatchina. Are they on this site ? I have seen something similar, but only of the rooms in the N & A wing, before the changes were made.

Watercolours by  Eduard Hau - Study of Nicholas I 1860, the Bedroom of Alexandra Fiodorovna 1861,
   "            "   "  I. Volsky     - the Dining Room 1856,
   "            "   "  Luigi Premazzi - the Crimson Drawing Room 1863, the Billiard Room 1854, 
   "            "   "  Anatoly Yar-Kravchenko - the Bedroom of Alexei 1931, the Rooms of the Grand Duchesses 1931,
   "            "   "  Yury Neprintsev - the Playroom of Alexei 1931, Bedroom of the Younger Grand Duchesses 1931.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on February 08, 2009, 09:10:26 AM
Very interesting, thank you. I wonder if they will use any of these as points of reference when they eventually get round to restoring the interiors of the palace ?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: rosieposie on May 01, 2009, 10:42:37 AM
I looked at the interior photos & videos of Laura Mabee's visit to AP recently and I had a discussion with her and she agreed with me that the AP today for tourists doesn't feel like the AP that we have become accustomed to from looking at photographs of the IF.

The rooms are barron, with bits and pieces of furniture some copies of original and most are likely not from the palace.   Some items that did belong to the IF are still there today and are display.   Many rooms on show have horrible blown pics of what the room used to look like.

However we forget that after 92 years since the abdication the palace has had so many changes.   Walls being knocked down, some built in different rooms.   The Nazis occupation and they also vandalized the palace.   

To me in my opinion the AP on the outside looks like a neglected shell of what used to be grandur on the inside it reminds me of a Sims house.

At least they kept the set from Romanovy,  according to Laura it is the only room in the wing that resembles anything like it used to when the IF lived that.    I also have say that who ever wrote the captions on regards of how "Disgusting" that the set is in the palace on the AP site.  It is rather insulting considering how most of the rooms look like nothing to when the IF lived there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on May 01, 2009, 01:21:22 PM
Whatever happened to the International petition for the restoration of this palace ? It is going to collapse very soon if nothing is done. Look at the pictures of Ropsha, it was not that long ago that this building was still standing with everything intact. Now there is nothing left but an empty ruin. Is the Alexander palace going the same way ?
I am beginning to think that there is a hiden agenda for not restoring this building. Even relatively insignificant historical buildings in the area are being restored. Maybe on a smaller scale, like the llama pavilion, or the Imperial family's cathedral. There are thousands of cathedrals in Russia to restore, but only one Alexander Palace !
Every now and then someone on this forum reveals that they have set a date for restoration, and we all sigh with relief, but nothing actually ever happens ! Has the Navy left ?
When one looks at the structural neglect alone, it must be astronomical. The Russians are not known for total restoration from the foundations up, other than the post WW2 rebuilding of Pavlovsk, Peterhof etc, but rather for temporary measures. Even when offered the money to do so, they seem to prefer to patch things up. Thats the way it has always been done. The Winter Palace is a perfect example. They have been offered money in the past by big foreign corporations to restore the Winter Palace properly, but have declined because they prefer cosmetic, temporary, Potemkin style renovations. That is the way things have always been done in St Petersburg for hundreds of years.
We can talk about this endlessly on this site, but I think the Russian powers that be should be ashamed of the way they have neglected this beautiful building. It is a very important part of their history, and an architectural masterpiece, not only for Russians, but for the whole world.

Its a disgrace, and I cannot understand why the Russian government has spent hundreds of millions to turn the Konstantinovsky Palace into what looks like a Las Vegas Hotel, while they ignore this very important part of their history. One can argue endlessly about the fact that at least the building was restored, whatever they have done, but personally I think it is an insensitive and ghastly restoration. It was not done for historical reasons, but to impress foreign visitors.
Even if they dont perhaps like the fact that the last Imperial family lived in the Alexander Palace, there are still enough historical reasons left to do something. So what if they bear a grudge ? It is no reason, in my opinion for allowing a  building of International Architectural merit to collapse. As I have said before, less important buildings have been restored.
I, for one, just cannot understand it.
My apologies,  but when I look at the photographs of this building, and the appalling way in which it has been allowed to lapse into decay,it makes my blood boil !!.
   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on May 01, 2009, 08:29:35 PM
Whatever happened to the International petition for the restoration of this palace ? It is going to collapse very soon if nothing is done. Look at the pictures of Ropsha, it was not that long ago that this building was still standing with everything intact. Now there is nothing left but an empty ruin. Is the Alexander palace going the same way ?
I hope not. While the interior appears to have been pretty much gutted of its original features, the exterior remains (at least somewhat) an image of what the palace used to be, albeit in a very rundown condition. I want to see the palace in person, but at the same time, I'm a little afraid of what that might do to my image of the palace. Seeing it's sorry state in pictures is completely different than seeing it in person.
Every now and then someone on this forum reveals that they have set a date for restoration, and we all sigh with relief, but nothing actually ever happens ! Has the Navy left ?
This has been one trend that I've noticed as well. I don't understand where all of these dates keep coming from and where they go when nothing has been done. I think the Navy has moved out--or perhaps that was just another date that hasn't happened yet.
When one looks at the structural neglect alone, it must be astronomical. The Russians are not known for total restoration from the foundations up, other than the post WW2 rebuilding of Pavlovsk, Peterhof etc, but rather for temporary measures. Even when offered the money to do so, they seem to prefer to patch things up.
The same has been done to the Alexander Palace, such as in the temporary repair of its roof. It frustrates me too that even if they do have a grudge towards NII, they can't get past it and realize what a treasure the palace in itself is. When you bring up examples of other lesser buildings that have been restored in Russia, I can't understand why such money can't be raised for the AP as well.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: rosieposie on May 02, 2009, 02:08:56 AM
The article of Bob's in the Reader's Digest was from 1993.   It mentioned that the goverment powers at the time agreed to a full restoration of the palace.  16 years later it is still in it's neglected state.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on May 02, 2009, 04:25:25 AM
Thank you for your kind responses. I think people on this forum are going to run out of things to say about this subject soon. Restoring the Alexander Palace is a bit like flogging a dead horse is it not ? I have been reading this forum for years now, although i have only recently become a member, and I think I can see a slight shift away from what is one of the main purposes of this forum. The Alexander Palace. There seems to be nothing really leftto say about the subject other than frustration and anger.
 
There seems such a huge disparity between the money and care that is lavished on other historical sites, in comparison to this building. 100% to zero.
I think its reached the stage where nobody cares what style they resore it in. As long as they restore it.( Sensitively and not like the Konstantinovsky Palace please)
Maybe someone will get a wake up call and do something when the collonade collapses, which looks as if it could be quite soon!

I think the Russians have such a singularly wonderful culture, which survived the awful years of communism, and I therefore find this neglect very sad, and out of character.  Perhaps another reason for the non restoration could be that the Alexander palace does not offer tourists enfilades of gilt, mirrors and huge chandeliers. Neither does it have fireworks and fountains like Peterhof, or associations with Peter and Catherine the Great. It does not have the tourist " WOW" factor, which brings in the big money.
 
I dont know if any of you have seen a movie called "Russian Ark", which is one continuous unbroken 'tour' of the Winter Palace, through different historical time zones, featuring costumes and moments in history, with hundreds of cast members. It is very interesting and beautifully done, although the script is appallingly bad. The views of the interiors of the palace are absolutely wonderful, and breathtaking.

But what interested me was an " extra " bit added on at the end of the movie, in which two elderley museum workers talk about the palace and how it has affected their lives for the last 50 years. Both of them have dedicated their lives to the palace, and care more about the palace than anything else in the world. One of them has the opportunity of living in America with her children, but has declined because she cannot leave The Winter palace. It has become her life.
Perhaps the Alexander Palace needs a few dedicated Russians like this to champion its cause. Pavlovsk has less historical associations than the Alexander Palace, but has made it as a popular tourist destination, perhaps because it is just one of the most gorgeously beautiful buildings in the world. It also had curators like Anatoly Kuchumov and Anna Zelenova, who literally picked up the pieces after the war and fought for decades to get what they wanted to restore it. They even took on Stalin to get the palaces restored. They loved Pavlovsk and also dedicated their lives to it.

I think that if we had people like these today, things would have turned out very differently for our beautiful yellow palace at the bottom of the garden.

Perhaps the Alexander palace has ended up in the wrong historical time zone, with a different generation of Russians who dont care as much. Perhaps greed and money has taken its toll, as it has on the rest of the world.   

I have droned on long enough.

       
   
But it has huge sentimental value, and a sadness and beauty which speaks loudly to a few of us. Many people dont see or understand this. It is so sad.

 

       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on May 02, 2009, 12:27:50 PM
To me it's not so much the outside of the AP that should be repaired but what the INSIDE could be. 

The inside could be a magical place of how the IF lived if it were restored to how it was in 1917.  There are certainly lots of photos that could be used to re-create it. 

Maybe they could start with one room per year and work from there.  In a few years they could at least make the left wing into an amazing vision of an era.

There certainly are tons of period furiture and живопись
 in Russia to fill several palaces.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on May 02, 2009, 02:35:41 PM
I think that a major part of the problem is that most tourists probably don't even know about the AP. I definitely agree that this may be in part because of the relative simplicity of the palace when compared to Pavlovsk or the Catherine Palace, because you're right, Pavlov, that to most visitors the AP doesn't have that "wow" factor. We may see that factor in our own little way, not by gilded mirrors and fantastic chandeliers (though the palace did have some of these in its glory days), but in the simple beauty of the palace itself.

For me, while I find the other palaces beautiful for their lavish ornamentation, they don't mean so much to me as the AP. I find it much more appealing because it's more homey and represents the last imperial family. I'm not saying that I'm venerating them, but I do find them tremendously interesting as a family. And it would be so wonderful to me if the palace, inside and out, was restored to its condition from when the family lived there. Even if it was just the left wing!

Douglas, I think you have a good point about taking the restoration one room at a time. It would take a few years to complete, but at least the restoration would be getting somewhere. One room each year is more feasible than taking on the whole palace at once.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on July 16, 2009, 12:03:41 AM
I was looking on the site  "http://www.ntv.ru/news/136625/video/"   on the topic of    "В Царском Селе грядет тотальная реставрация", and this video was posted in July of 2008, but as I watched it, it looks like it is showing one of the parade rooms in the AP that is undergoing restoration.  I don't speak Russian, so I have no idea what they said, but somebody check it out, please.  I don't know how to post a direct link, but I copied and pasted the following:   

http://www.ntv.ru/news/136625/video/


http://217.106.225.7/news/spb/20080722/TV_CH6_0722_1000_PUSHKIN_T90.mp4

[flash=480,388,http://www.ntv.ru/swf/vp.swf?link=http://www.ntv.ru/vi136625/&id=136625&num=3]

As always, apologies if this has been previously posted.   Thanks,  Tracy
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 16, 2009, 08:59:50 PM
Thank you for the video. It looks like you're right. Can anyone figure out which parade hall is shown?

From what I understood of the poor Babelfish translation of the article, it sounds like the navy is still occupying part of the palace and complicating the restoration.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on July 17, 2009, 01:53:12 AM
Well, that video was 2008, so maybe that is why it is saying the navy is still there.  Also, I noticed if I just cut and paste this phrase
 "В Царском Селе грядет тотальная реставрация",  you will find that video more easily and in the "hits" you have the option of having a Google translation instead of the Babel. 
I have marked as a favorite site for Russian translation  -    (PROMT translator)      http://www.online-translator.com/text_Translation.aspx.   
It seems to work well, but you can only translate 3000 characters at a time.   
I'm really hoping someone here can figure out which parade hall room is shown in the video.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on July 17, 2009, 02:57:03 PM
It's the Mountain Hall.  And the next scene is looking from the Mountain Hall through the Portrait Hall to the archway into the Semicircular Hall.  The problem is that I cannot tell if the partitition that was installed over the opening into the Semicircular Hall is being installed or removed.  It appears that it is being installed, which would not make any sense if this is a restoration underway.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 17, 2009, 09:01:58 PM
Do you mean the construction that can be seen around the columns? Could it possibly be put up for protection as they restore the rest of the room?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on July 17, 2009, 10:53:30 PM
Is there a way to capture a picture from the news video and paste it here?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on July 18, 2009, 09:56:14 AM
yes, there is a way to capture anything on the screen.  Take a "Screen Shot".

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/tips/screenshot.mspx

The link is above is how to do that.  Save the image, add it to a photo site and then post it here on the AP site.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 18, 2009, 11:49:39 AM
Here we go:

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall5.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall5.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall4.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall4.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall3.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall3.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall2.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall2.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on July 18, 2009, 12:25:07 PM
Great photos...!  It appears that restorers have removed the false walls that blocked off the parade rooms.  We can even see the old columns that were hidden by the temporary walls.  Does this signify that things are underway in restoring the AP?  One can only hope.



Here we go:

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_hall.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=hall.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on July 18, 2009, 01:43:15 PM
That's great that you posted the pic's!  Could someone post some old pics of the rooms so I could figure out exactly the part of the room the photo is showing?   this video is a year old, so hopefully much more has been restored since then.  Where do the cherubs on the floor belong?   Lastly, the chandelier, is it original to the palace? 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 18, 2009, 06:12:52 PM
Here are a few views of the Mountain Hall.
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/th_FILE1744.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/?action=view&current=FILE1744.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/th_mountain8.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/?action=view&current=mountain8.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/th_mountain3.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Mountain%20Hall/?action=view&current=mountain3.jpg)

And I think these show some views of the Portrait Hall and entrance into the Semi-circular Hall.
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_untitled-1.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=untitled-1.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_billiard3.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=billiard3.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_semi2.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=semi2.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_1000242.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=1000242.jpg)

I'm not sure where the cherubs come from in the room, but if the pictures are labeled right in my photobucket account, the original chandelier can clearly be seen and is much more ornate.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Michael HR on July 19, 2009, 06:35:53 AM
Wonderful to see that work is being done on the parade rooms. I plan to visit the AP and would love to see then and to stand at the doors in the semi circular room from where the family left the palace for the last time and to say a small prayer on their behalf.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexander1917 on July 19, 2009, 10:27:54 AM
some views of the Alexander Palace July 2009

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2535.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2531.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2535.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2536.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2537.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/IMG_2538.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on July 20, 2009, 09:41:13 AM
This is a miracle, i never thought I would live to see the day when at last they are doing something !
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 20, 2009, 10:59:10 PM
Excellent! Though it's interesting that they're working on that wing again before touching the other.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Michael HR on July 23, 2009, 07:10:10 AM
Hoorahh!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on July 23, 2009, 05:49:43 PM
simply amazing - I never thought I'd see it.

Of course, the devil is in the details.  Here's hoping the work is not done 'on the cheap'.

wonderful to see...

dca
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexander1917 on July 23, 2009, 06:01:41 PM
I suppose (as I asked our guide) that this works have nothing to do with our wish to save the "home" of our dearest IF....Both palaces are conected as "tsraskoe selo palaces" and there is the forthcoming 300 years celebration in 2010   the new loge shos this as 1710-2010...etc....BUT they DO SOMETHING!!!!!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on July 24, 2009, 05:58:12 AM
Yes one is greatful that at last something is being done, but after the initial exitement, I must say I also hope that this is not going to be a " Potemkin Village' patch up job !

One can only hope they are doing it PROPERLY and that the contents of the building comes back when they are finished.

I wonder who is footing the bill, in these hard times !.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexander1917 on July 25, 2009, 08:00:41 AM
Yes one is greatful that at last something is being done, but after the initial exitement, I must say I also hope that this is not going to be a " Potemkin Village' patch up job !

One can only hope they are doing it PROPERLY and that the contents of the building comes back when they are finished.

I wonder who is footing the bill, in these hard times !.

I think the russian state pays the bill...as investion to the 300 years celebration.. similar to the 300 birthsday of st. petersburg 2003
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 25, 2009, 01:34:46 PM
A tender was placed last March to close for the finalization of the restoration of the exterior of the AP.

On June 30, 2009 another tender was initiated which closes on August 3rd for a survey of the AP:
http://www.i-tenders.ru/index.php?tendershow=798553

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on July 26, 2009, 08:52:08 AM
Another exciting thing about this is that we are all, FINALLY, going to see what era they choose !

Any guesses ?

I think its going to be as close as possible to the original, classic style, with very little, if any, N & A.

I think that if they do any N & A it will only be the mauve boidoir.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 26, 2009, 12:25:21 PM
There may be the idea of restoring the AP in three sections - the left wing in the period of N&A, the parade rooms would encompass all the reigns as very little was changed throughout, and the right wing in the period of Nicholas I. The right wing rooms had minimal changes between NI and AIII. The stag chamber (dressing room) retained the sofa/bed enclosure with the door to the bathroom c1840s as the Grand Duke's bedroom and AIII as dressing room. Similar is the bedroom of NI's wife Alexandra Fedorvona and AIII's Maria F. The English suite may be replicated to a degree as previously the contents of one room was removed to the Chinese theatre. Of the right wing, in the latest book on the AP last year, to quote the changing attitudes: "...All the work in the palace was carried out under the guidance of Alexandra Fedorovna, who lovingly improved her home, arranging things in the state rooms and dwelling apartments not so much according to the rules of interior art as drawing upn her considerations of comfort. Until recently such approach was criticized, but on a closer acquaintance with the life of the imperial family in the Alexander Palace it becomes clear that cosiness and warmth were more important for Nicholas II and Alexandra Fedorovna than fashionable decoration..."

There has also been an increase in archival searching/publication on the interiors of the AP for the TS State Museum to draw on for identification/replication. For example, the furniture house of Melzer F & K of which this article describes forty pieces of furniture for the Palisander Room, thirty items for the Mauve Room, etc.
http://www.brwmagazin.ru/index.php?type=special&area=1&p=articles&id=29&print=1

Interesting article on the locations of Melzer's factory in StP:
http://ifominov.narod.ru/histori4.htm

Joanna

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 27, 2009, 07:20:04 PM
Thank you for those websites, Joanna. And what you say makes sense. I could see the AP being restored in those three sections. It would be a way to make some sort of compromise between those who prefer the AP from NI's time or from NII's reign. But I guess we'll have to wait and see, though hopefully we'll hear something official on what they plan to do.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on August 04, 2009, 07:13:33 PM
Another exciting thing about this is that we are all, FINALLY, going to see what era they choose !

Any guesses ?

I think its going to be as close as possible to the original, classic style, with very little, if any, N & A.

I think that if they do any N & A it will only be the mauve boidoir.   

I don't understand why they wouldn't attempt to restore the N&A wing of the palace to the way NAOTMAA had it. It would be ridiculously inconvenient in my opinion to tear down all the walls and partitions N&A erected during their personal renovations, and try to return the entire thing to the way it was beforehand (ei. the huge ballroom that took up most of that wing until the children's floor was installed along with many of NAOTMAA's rooms). The structure is there, so why not work with it? Besides, they have already tried redecorating (shabily) rooms such as the Tsar's Formal Reception Room and the New Study (in which, mind you, the entire staircase, balcony railings, and fireplace had been torn out by Nazis, and then later reinstalled). It doesn't make sense for them to go and waste all that effort by just tearing it all up again (which I personally don't think they'll do). If they've tried recreating a few rooms, I don't see why they wouldn't try doing the rest.

But of course, the attraction of Tsarskoe Selo is its grandeur, so maybe the English chintzes and lemonwood furniture of Alexandra's design really aren't of any concern to officials during this sudden renovation D :
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on August 05, 2009, 04:47:58 AM
The thing with this restoration is that the authorities have never faced a project like this before. The past restorations were either total recreations of mainly 18th and early 19th century interiors, so yes, they could have a problem with the chintzy Maples " look", preferred by the Empress. ( I have decided to refer to her more respectfully, even although I dont really like her)

I personally dont think that the average person in Russia is ready yet to make an effort to recreate anything for N & A, so it will be very interesting to see the end result. Perhaps they will do something for the tourists, they must be aware of the fact that many " westerners" are fascinated by the last Imperial family. So if they do a mauve room and make an effort, the tourists will come. Hopefully. I dont think the average person has ever heard of this room, anyway. So perhaps they would have to do something more of N&A.

Many tourists go to Peterhof just for the fountains, and the fireworks. Most of them dont care about the interiors or the architecture, or the history. They could just as well be in Disney World.  Its sad but true that the Alexander palace will not attract thousands of tourists if it is just done up as another beautiful Russian palace, filled with grand furniture, mirrors and gilt.
Although we all know that the building is beautiful, the interiors do not have, as I have said before, the "Wow" and glitz factor of the Catherine Palace or Pavlovsk and the others.. They have to identify it with N&A to attract the tourists.

Although we would all rush to the palace just for the beauty of the building, the average tourist wants more value for their money.
I hope the Russian restorers realise this. ( And that they do it tastefully !!!!!..................Pleeeeeze)

I am horrified to hear that they are going to restore the gilded bits on the Catherine palace back to the originals.

Its fine as it is. So why waste the money ? In  my opinion it has already been "over restored", and is getting that "Las Vegas" look.

I think the exterior and fabric of the Alexander Palace will be restored first, before they make an attempt at the interiors. I hope they clear up the gardens around the building, and take down all those rusty old fences, and clear the weeds while they are at it.
I have a problem translating the tender, so cannot see what it specifies.

Has anyone else translated it ? Does it include the restoration of the interiors ? Or just the building ?       

   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on August 05, 2009, 06:48:20 PM
To any Russian speakers here, was anyone able to watch the video      "http://www.ntv.ru/news/136625/video/"  showing restoration in the  Mtn Hall of the AP and if so, could you please tell me what they were saying?   Thanks, Tracy
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on August 05, 2009, 09:57:10 PM
    
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 The development of scientific and project documentation to survey the Alexander Palace for the further development of the restoration, overhaul and accessories. - - Tenders Engineering: Design of buildings and structures in Pushkin

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Value  
Идентификатор Id  798553 798553  
Method of placing an order  Open Competition  
Сфера деятельности Scope  Инжиниринг : Проектирование зданий и сооружений Engineering: Design of Buildings  
Регион Region  Пушкин Pushkin  
Дата публикации Publication date  2 июля 2009 2 July, 2009  
Общая цена контракта The total contract price  7406.434 тыс. руб. 7406.434 thousand rubles.  
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дата начала Start Date
дата и время окончания The date and time of the end  
30 июня 2009 Jun 30, 2009
3 августа 2009, в 00:00 August 3, 2009, at 00:00  

 
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The name of the lot  The development of scientific and project documentation to survey the Alexander Palace for the further development of the restoration, overhaul and accessories.  
Home / maximum price contract, thousand rubles  7406.434 7406.434  
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The development of scientific and project documentation  0.00 0.00  
 

 

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Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on November 28, 2009, 10:19:03 AM
I understand this is a second post of almost the same things but...

Some great news!!

the former staterooms of the Alexander Palace will open to the public in 2010!

Forum Discussion - http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=14298.0
News Link - http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/59news.html
Download the video clip for your iPod or Computer - http://media.ntv.ru/news/spb/20091112/NTV_CH6_1211_1830_ALEXDV_T170.mp4

I'm posting this here so that when this news comes and goes, it will still be recorded in this thread for future visitors who want to look up the process of the Alexander Palace Restoration through this thread.
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Article -

Paul Gilbert © Royal Russia
27 November, 2009

The Alexander Palace has officially ceased to belong to the Ministry of Defense. The final arrangements to turn over the remainder of the palace and the former kitchen building, which is adjacent to the palace, are expected to be finalized by the end of November.

On October 22, 2009 the Territorial Federal Property Management Agency in St. Petersburg, ordered that the Alexander Palace be vacated by the Ministry of Defense and turned over to the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve. Prior to this the palace had been under the administration of the Ministry of Defense since 1951.

According to the museum’s director, Olga Tatatynova. the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve are currently making preparations for the restoration of the three central staterooms of the Alexander Palace. The restoration of the circular, marble portrait halls and living room will be allocated 370 million rubles from Federal funds.

Tatatynova noted that "the premises handed over to us are surprisingly well-preserved, intact and stressed that the premises did not require reconstruction, but only restoration.”

The museum has said that they have plans to open an exhibit next June dedicated to private world of Tsar Nicholas II and his family who preferred the Alexander Palace to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. The museum is also planning to open a cultural center dedicated to the history of the House of the Romanovs.

The cultural center will be housed in the former apartments of Nicholas I situated in the right wing of the palace, formerly occupied by the Ministry of Defense. The cultural center will include a library on the history of the Romanov dynasty, and will host film screenings and seminars. A restaurant is also planned whereby visitors may partake in dishes of the Imperial kitchen for the royal family.

   Repair on the roof of the palace has been completed. Work is currently underway to restore the facades and porches of the palace and there are plans to landscape the grounds surrounding the palace. These projects, as well as the restoration of state rooms will continue over the winter and are expected to be completed for the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoe Selo in 2010. There are also plans to restore the underground passageway that led from the Imperial kitchen building to the palace.


After the last war, many items from the Alexander Palace were dispersed to other palaces and museums, such as Pavlovsk. Arrangements are now being made to have these items returned to the Alexander Palace where they will once again become part of the museum.

The Alexander Palace was built in 1792 by order of Catherine II. It was built for the wedding of her favorite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich to Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alekseyevna. In May 1796, the last year of the reign of the Empress, the construction was completed, and on June 12, 1796, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich and his wife moved into the new palace.

The architectural design of the Alexander Palace belongs to that of the famous Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, and the work was carried out under the supervision of architect P. Neyelov. Further interior restorations of the palace were carried out over the next 200 years by other prominent architects: L. Rusca, C. Makere, S. Cherfolio, A. Ton, VPStasov, D. Efimov, AI Stakenschneider, AF Species , SA Danini, R. Meltzer.

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Edited to Bold.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on November 28, 2009, 02:42:58 PM
Wow! Thanks for directing our attention to this article. It's nice to finally hear what they plan to do with the right wing. I'm very interested in the restaurant and its dishes from the Imperial kitchen. I wonder if they'll use old menus to make up their selection. I'm even more interested in the underground tunnel. By restoring it, are they planning on letting people down into it? If so, I really hope they'll allow photography there so that those of us who are unable to make it to the AP can see what it looks like. I find any information on the workings of the palace very interesting, so this in particular has captured my attention.

I can't wait to see pictures of the finished product in 2010 with the facades and state rooms restored. It's wonderful that progress is finally being made to avoid the palace crumbling into absolute disrepair.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on November 28, 2009, 03:04:46 PM
I hope this is all right, but I captured some of the views of the state rooms so that we could get a better look at them.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap8.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap8.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap7.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap7.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap6.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap6.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap5.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap5.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap13.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap13.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap12.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap12.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap11.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap11.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_ap10.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=ap10.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on November 28, 2009, 07:24:35 PM
I'm glad you did capture those pic's, thanks.  I never realized the color of the columns was that pale gold, they are beautiful, but aren't they also "fake" marble?  Is the picture of the room with closed door the billiard hall?  Tracy
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pastpalacelife on February 18, 2010, 09:26:56 PM
I found this video talking about a plate being returned to the Alexander Palace, and I think some of the footage shows the right wing.

http://www.vesti.ru/videos?vid=259842

I hope somebody who speaks Russian can tell us what they are saying!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 19, 2010, 11:26:25 AM
Thank you. I too hope that someone will translate the video. I'm especially curious about the 2nd half where they're in the AP and showing some of the work being done. And my, it always surprises me how narrow those hallways look!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 14, 2010, 08:47:10 AM
I woke up this morning to recieve the best news I have gotten on the Alexander Palace since 1997. It was sent to me via Paul Gilbert and I had to come here to share:

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The large-scale reconstruction project to convert the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo into a multi-use museum and exhibition complex is fully underway. The historic building, which since the mid-20th century belonged to the naval department, was officially transferred to the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum Reserve (TSSMR) in November of last year. The Museum Reserve, which will oversee the administration of the Alexander Palace, began restoration work of the facades last year and on the interiors this past winter. The development of the project was allocated 43 million rubles from the federal budget.

It was initially believed that the navy had left the palace in relatively good shape, but after further evaluation, experts now note that “the navy have left the palace in a very deplorable state”.

The first truly serious blows to the palace came during the Great Patriotic War – when it received considerable damage during the air raids. The palace suffered extensive damage, including the destruction of the historic interiors, and furniture from the palace was either stolen or destroyed. Reconstruction of the palace took place in the 1950's, with a partial restoration of the interiors and re-creation of the elements of decoration.

A recent survey of the palace concludes that the palace has been seriously neglected with no capital repairs carried out since 1957. The result is the physical deterioration of the monument. Also found to be in a very poor state are all the engineering systems: heating, ventilation, electricity, water supply and sewerage. Their last renovation was carried out in 1970. These systems are all outdated and require complete reconstruction.

However, the plans of the museum are not limited to the restoration and repair of the palace. The project includes the development of the technical upgrading and adaptation of the Alexander Palace for museum use. The long term goal of TSSMR is to create a multi-museum and exhibition complex.

   This will include the actual museum area (with facilities for permanent exhibition and its services, temporary exhibitions, research departments, archives and temporary storage). The cultural and historical center of the Alexander Palace will include a library containing 15-20 thousand items, and a reading room which will also host lectures. The museum will also create space for a cafe and souvenir shops. The latest technical gadgets will offer visitors computer kiosks with touch-sensitive displays, plasma display panels for the demonstration of computer or video, as well as Internet.

The TSSMR believes that the new Alexander Palace museum and exhibition complex will create 100 new jobs for guides, museum caretakers, and technical staff.

The long-term restoration of the palace museum promises to be very expensive. The TSSMR have plans to restore the palace to its original as much as possible, including repainting the facades of the palace. Further plans include renovating and restoring the marble fireplaces and radiators by the firm San Galli, which still operates to this day. The most daring and costly of the restoration work will include the reconstruction of the long lost historical interiors such as the Maple Drawing Room, Rosewood Drawing Room, the Lilac Study of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Moorish lounge, among others. (OMG! *Does Dance!*)

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko visited the Alexander Palace on February 21 to inspect the work being carried out. The TSSMR is confident that the palace will be ready to receive guests on June 24th, when Tsarskoe Selo celebrates its 300th anniversary. This event will truly mark a new page in the history of this beloved palace.

Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
13 April, 2010

Sources: Fontanka.ru
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on April 14, 2010, 08:53:21 AM
Well one could just faint. I think Putin is behind this myself. He has deep respect and a lot of pride for the history and architecture of St Petersburg.
I am convinced he is responsible. If so, I change my opinions of him completely !!!
But we will never know.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 14, 2010, 11:37:03 AM
I am very excited at this news. : D
Can you imagine seeing The Maple Room in all it's glory? OH MAN! I am just bursting with EXCITEMENT!

I also forgot to bold the date of opening. Sorry guys.
Tentative opening date for the first phase is June 24th.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on April 14, 2010, 11:43:20 AM
This has officially made my day.
Wait. No. My entire YEAR : D

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Holly on April 14, 2010, 02:37:01 PM
WOW.

Amazing news!

And I'll get to be there. I could faint.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on April 15, 2010, 02:52:25 AM
AT LAST !!!!!!! That is amazing news.... Im sure (and Hope) that the recreations of the historic interiors will be done in the exacting standards that the Russian craftsmen (and women!) are justly famous for . Be interesting to know what the timescale on these restorations will be.......
Cant wait to see the maple room, a triumph of Art Nouveau
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Michael HR on April 15, 2010, 04:56:00 AM
Wonderful news. Can't wait to see the restored Palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on April 15, 2010, 04:27:52 PM
I am very excited at this news. : D
Can you imagine seeing The Maple Room in all it's glory? OH MAN! I am just bursting with EXCITEMENT!

I also forgot to bold the date of opening. Sorry guys.
Tentative opening date for the first phase is June 24th.


So exciting! I wish I could go myself, but I'll have to just look forward to seeing the pictures that other forum members will share. I'm curious what they're counting as "the first phase." That doesn't mean the interiors are supposed to be done by then, right?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on April 15, 2010, 05:09:28 PM
Apparently there is no definition given at the moment of "first phase" ?  I would NOT expect to see much of the interiors restored for really some time, especially NOT by this summer!  First will have to come continued/enhanced stabilization, etc.  Their craftsmen are very, very good, but time is not to be rushed to satisfy the gawking relative handful of tourists who meander over from the standout Catherine Palace. It is a trade-off, and an evolving concept: Do it SLOWLY, and do it RIGHT.  The Alexander does not have the "pull," and will, IMO, NEVER be restored to its full interior completeness; witness the present plans for combination SOME exhibition, but "multi-media" use study areas, library, cafe, etc.  I certainly applaud the establishment of space for the multi-media center for Russian history, and not undoubtedly exclusively to Quarenghi, et. al., as well as to mention the establishment of much-needed jobs.  AP
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on April 15, 2010, 05:58:39 PM
Another article on the Royal Russia website, concerning the return of furniture and other objects from the Alexander Palace that are now at Pavlovsk Palace, stated this: This comprehensive restoration of the Alexander Palace is expected to be completed sometime in 2015.

Full article here:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/79news.html
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on April 15, 2010, 06:59:29 PM
Pavlovsk is an absolute gem of restoration/reconstruction.  IMO, after a certain "tokenism" of returns, there will undoubtedly be a struggle documented piece-by-piece, relative to any furnishings said to be taken from the Alexander, that could go on for some time to come.  I am certain that Suzanne Massie wrote a book on Pavlovsk that I read a number of years ago, that included a description of the palace staff's valiant efforts to save examples of its valued and/or typical pieces from destruction during WW II.    AP
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: richard_1990 on April 16, 2010, 06:34:22 AM
Quote
Pavlovsk is an absolute gem of restoration/reconstruction.  IMO, after a certain "tokenism" of returns, there will undoubtedly be a struggle documented piece-by-piece, relative to any furnishings said to be taken from the Alexander, that could go on for some time to come.  I am certain that Suzanne Massie wrote a book on Pavlovsk that I read a number of years ago, that included a description of the palace staff's valiant efforts to save examples of its valued and/or typical pieces from destruction during WW II.    AP
I was of the opinion that Pavlosk, out of all the Russian palaces, survived the Soviet period better than any other. I also remember reading that has most of its original furnishings etc. as it was largely offlimits during the Soviet period.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 16, 2010, 06:44:49 AM
Pavlosk was a priority of restoration after WWII,   The curators convincing Stalin to provide the resources need.   Th e Massie book mentioned is excellent history of the place. IMO, it is the most beautiful and personal of all the Imperial Palaces. What was even more of a benefit, was training the young restorers in various talents that they went on to use  in the other palaces. Sort of a lab/workshop learning experience.
  Now, Pavlosk is in need of some fresh work, it has been  50 years or so,  I think a new roof is in order, amongst other structural enhancements.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: richard_1990 on April 16, 2010, 09:06:06 AM
My mistake, by Pavlosk I meant the stop over palace in Moscow. The red bricked neo-gothic type palace but not Tsaritsyno, damn! I can't think of its name.

Here it is on google maps: http://maps.google.com.au/?ie=UTF8&ll=55.793507,37.551967&spn=0.005344,0.013078&t=h&z=17
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ArchitectCS on April 17, 2010, 10:37:06 AM
That's the Petrovsky Castle.  Here is a link to some info on the architect and it includes a picture of the building.  Richard, you say it still has most of its furniture?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matvey_Kazakov
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: richard_1990 on April 17, 2010, 11:53:05 PM
Thanks. I had a memory blank and could not find the name anywhere. Yes, I read a while ago it has remained unscathed from the revolution until today - it was apparently closed  throughout the Soviet period.

Quote
After the Russian Revolution, the Petrovsky Palace was exceptionally lucky. Of the seven imperial palaces in Moscow, it was the only one not reconstructed by the Bolsheviks. Allocated to the secret Zhukovsky Military-Engineering Academy of Aviation in 1923, it was declared out of bounds to the general public.
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/pet.html
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 18, 2010, 03:00:19 AM
Richard, you had a memory blank ? I had a total erasure !
 I now recall my friend & I passing by the place a few years back. Neither one of us knew what it was [ he is Russian but  from St. P.]  It was closed, work was going on.
 Now I know, thank you both.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 18, 2010, 03:32:35 AM
It did not help that we were lost, BTW!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on April 20, 2010, 09:55:58 AM
On this forum somewhere there are photos of Nicholas and Alexandra walking in front of this palace. ( I cannot remember where ) They sometimes stayed here when visiting Moscow, and if I am not mistaken, at the time of the coronation.

Does anyone have photographs of the interior ?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on April 20, 2010, 10:01:35 AM
I am talking to myself here. I think it is a monstrosity. Possibly the most ghastly looking Imperial Palace in Russia.

Perhaps the interiors are beautiful and make up for the exterior !!

Are we not way off the subject here ? Yes we are.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAOTMAA Fan on April 20, 2010, 10:37:11 AM
Are we not way off the subject here ? Yes we are.

Just a little.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: RussianLACE on August 30, 2010, 12:17:22 AM
i am soo glad that they are restoring the alexander palace. does anyone know the date of completion? and are they planning on putting the balcony back on?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alan on September 03, 2010, 09:01:48 AM
I forgot to mention that, on August 6th 2010 when I was there, a trench had been dug along the side walls of the Palace. It was several feet deep and could have been down to the foundations. I spotted a workman examining a battered old German helmet (WW2) but he had thrown it down before I got the camera ready.
I have read elsewhere that all restoration should be complete by 2015 and more rooms opened. I am saving up to go again after that.
Alan
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: RussianLACE on September 03, 2010, 05:24:19 PM
I have read elsewhere that all restoration should be complete by 2015 and more rooms opened.

do you think they plan on restoring the second floor (childrens rooms)? that we make everyone on this forum SOOOO happy!!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: I-TsarevichAlexei13 on September 03, 2010, 09:07:11 PM
Russian Lace, yes they plan on restoring more or less the entire Imperial Wing, along with Nicholas II's private suites, and Alexandra's private suites. The second floor is also going to be restored, I do hope they restore the lift Alexandra had built there to go to and fro to the nursery when the girls were young. :) It used to be in the Ground Floor corridor, outside of Alexandra and Nichola's bed chamber.

I am so excited :)

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on January 25, 2011, 11:47:02 AM
Do we have any idea if restoration has begun on the 2nd floor, the mauve room, the imperial bedroom, etc. yet? I'd assume that we'd find out when visitors are no longer taken on tours over in that portion of the wing since they'd have to close it down in order to work there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on February 03, 2011, 10:38:39 PM
Source - http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/286news.html

Restoration of the Alexander Palace Interiors to be Completed in 2017
by Paul Gilbert

The Council for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage of St. Petersburg, under the auspices of the local government unanimously endorsed the concept of restoration of the original interiors of the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, at a meeting held on Thursday, February 3, 2011.

The project will be overseen by architect, Nikita Yavein, who reported that the main task of the restorers will be to reconstruct the former private apartments of the last Russian Imperial family from historical documents, drawings and photographs taken before the Revolution, as well as a photographic inventory of the rooms taken in 1924. Once the restoration of the palace is complete, the museum will dedicate a permanent exhibition to the everyday life of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, and other members of the Imperial family, who resided at the Alexander Palace up until 1917.

According to Yavein, the basement of the Alexander Palace will be upgraded and used to house offices, cloakrooms, a gift and book shop, a coffee shop, security and other departments of the palace-museum. The second floor will provide exhibition space, a library and conference hall, while the former children's rooms will house a children's art center.

The Alexander Palace, is under the administration of the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve (GMZ).

The project was reviewed by Alexander Leontiev, chief architect of Peterhof GMZ. He praised the concept of restoration of the Alexander Palace and noted that it is "a continuation of the postwar restoration of palaces and museums of Leningrad".

Olga Taratynova, Director-General of the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve said that the total cost of restoration will cost from 800 million to 1.2 billion rubles, and restoration work itself will take from 2.5 to 3 years - "no less". "It is unlikely that the restorations will be completed before 2013, when we will mark the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. But I am optimistic that the project will be completed by 2017, as the Alexander Palace marks one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of the palace, as well as Russia. The year 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, and it is here that the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna received the news. It was also from the Alexander Palace that the last Russian emperor and his family went into exile to Tobolsk,"- said Olga Taratynova.

   Taratynova also noted that to date, more than six thousand original objects from the Alexander Palace survived, most of which are in storage, or on display at Pavlovsk State Museum-Reserve. She noted that Pavlovsk have only returned a total of 27 objects to the Alexander Palace. Taratynova also said that in February this year, she will send the relevant documents to the Ministry of Culture in Moscow, who will review the requirements set out by the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve to carry out the restoration of the interiors of the Alexander Palace.

The Ministry of Defence, who had occupied much of the Alexander Palace since the 1950s, was convinced by the Ministry of Culture to hand over the palace to the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve in 2009. In the summer of 2010, the Alexander Palace opened three grand state rooms, just in time to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoe Selo. This year, further work will continue on the bad condition of the roof, the rafters and other elements of the building.

The Alexander Palace is situated in Tsarskoe Selo and the town of Pushkin. It was built between 1792-1796 by the famous Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, by order of Empress Catherine II. She presented the palace as a wedding gift to her grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (the future Emperor Alexander I ). The palace is an elongated two-storey building with double wings on either side. In the center of the northern facade are two rows of Corinthian columns which cut across a colonnade. The focal point of the palace are the magnificent state rooms. Adjacent to the palace, is a vast park with a lake, which was used on a daily basis by the last Russian Imperial family for walks and other recreational activities.

This article was written by Paul Gilbert, based on press releases from Фонтанка.Ру, ИА REGNUM, РБК - RBC.Ru, and Interfax-Russia and other news articles from Royal Russia News.

3 February, 2011

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THIS IS GREAT NEWS ALL! I'M VERY EXCITED!!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 04, 2011, 05:26:53 PM
Thanks for passing that on, Laura. I was under the impression that the children's rooms would be restored to how they were when the family lived there, but this article makes it sound otherwise. Just "exhibition space, a library and conference hall, while the former children's rooms will house a children's art center." Oh, well. I guess I can't complain since they'll be doing so much work on the 1st floor.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: blessOTMA on February 04, 2011, 08:02:25 PM
EmmyLee , hopefully someday  the rooms will be restored as they were ...I believe the wisdom of this will become more evident as time goes on.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on February 05, 2011, 11:43:00 AM
Thanks for passing that on, Laura. I was under the impression that the children's rooms would be restored to how they were when the family lived there, but this article makes it sound otherwise. Just "exhibition space, a library and conference hall, while the former children's rooms will house a children's art center." Oh, well. I guess I can't complain since they'll be doing so much work on the 1st floor.
I agree EmmyLee, I was also hoping for more of a re-creation of the children's rooms. I hope that if they are to go through with the art center it will bring in enough income to make it a profitable venture. Otherwise, back to the children's rooms would be ideal for the space.

I do have a concern about the profitability of an arts center though. I currently work in a museum that is both a museum and and art gallery/art center. We hardly make enough to get by, yet the historical museum in the next township makes money like they own the bank. I find that more people are interested in paying for a historic tour than for arts programming. However, this could just be the belief of my demographic.  I just hope this arts center brings in enough funds to support the continuation of maintenance for the AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: blessOTMA on February 05, 2011, 01:11:09 PM
I do have a concern about the profitability of an arts center though. I currently work in a museum that is both a museum and and art gallery/art center. We hardly make enough to get by, yet the historical museum in the next township makes money like they own the bank.
This is why I believe ( hope) they will see the wisdom of restoring the children's rooms as they were and having people tour them....it would be a licence to print money imo. Speaking as an artist, in my experience the words " profit"  and "art "  aren't usually linked together in a positive way . Restoring the rooms as the children knew them , will ,imo be done eventually, if tourism generally remains strong in Russia.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 05, 2011, 03:50:54 PM
My question is, what kind of art center do you think they're planning on implementing? They specify that it's a children's art center, so is it a place to display children's art or for visiting children to create their own artworks? Either way, it doesn't sound like something that would bring in a lot of money.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on February 05, 2011, 04:48:36 PM
Interesting question, "EmmyLee":  As for being a money-viable restoration, I am afraid that the Alexander Palace will not be self-sustaining for MANY, MANY years, if EVER.  IMO, it is simply of a "niche" interest to the greater (in number) "generalist tourist", being always over-shadowed by the Catherine Palace.  Regards,  AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobG on February 06, 2011, 10:28:39 AM
When I went to St Petersburg in 2002, I had to force my travel company to include the AP on my visit to Tsarskoye Selo.  The guide knew practically nothing about the palace or its inhabitants.  And yet, I believe it had been a really popular attraction when it first opened as a museum. I think if the restoration is down properly, this will become a very popular attraction.  After all, it is the home of a family of Russian Orthodox saints as well as the last of the Tsars.
BobG
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on February 06, 2011, 10:58:35 AM
The important part is that this is happening, and that it is going to be done "right". We are in no position to second guess the Russian government's wishes for the restoration, let us just be grateful that it is going to happen.  Re-uniting the 6500 pieces from the Palace, back to their rightful places is key. Perhaps we can hope that once the world sees how well the restoration is done, more objects now outside Russia will be returned home as well.

There were more reasons why the AP was not included in the tours.  Sadly, Dr. Sautov demanded a fee paid to him personally for any tour group/tour bus that went to the Palace. Therefore, many guides and tour companies were reluctant to go there, since they didn't want to pay the fee.

Madame Sautova is not like her husband, and has even changed her last name, to dis-associate herself from the past.  The underhanded, "evil" elements that used to be part of the Tsarskoe Museum staff are gone. The people there now are wonderful, dedicated and honest.

We are thrilled at this new project. Bob particularly.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on February 06, 2011, 06:13:58 PM
Rob - alittle off topic here - you mention how happy Bob is - (actually we all are).  Any word on his AP book?

dca
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on February 06, 2011, 08:54:07 PM
The important part is that this is happening, and that it is going to be done "right"... Re-uniting the 6500 pieces from the Palace, back to their rightful places is key.
I cannot agree more. This is very exciting news! To be honest, I did not think I would see the day that the AP would be fully restored.

Rob - alittle off topic here - you mention how happy Bob is - (actually we all are).  Any word on his AP book?
I second this question. : )
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 07, 2011, 12:03:37 PM
The important part is that this is happening, and that it is going to be done "right". We are in no position to second guess the Russian government's wishes for the restoration, let us just be grateful that it is going to happen.  Re-uniting the 6500 pieces from the Palace, back to their rightful places is key.

Very good point, Rob. I may wish that the children's rooms would be restored, but over all, I'm very happy with what has been done and what will be done with the palace. It is so good to compare recent photos of the AP with ones from just a few years ago.

There were more reasons why the AP was not included in the tours.  Sadly, Dr. Sautov demanded a fee paid to him personally for any tour group/tour bus that went to the Palace.

Ridiculous! I'm glad that Madame Sautova doesn't have the same ideas.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on February 07, 2011, 03:56:59 PM
First, Bob wanted me to add that the children's rooms will almost certainly be restored as well before all is over. Alexei's room will definitely be restored. (I can't say more right now).  Bob's book is on hold pending some new research.

"Mme. Sautova" now is called Olga Taratynova, so let us all start to use the name she is using.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 08, 2011, 12:06:28 PM
Good news! Thank you, Rob and Bob for passing that information on to us. I absolutely cannot wait to see the end result.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: blessOTMA on February 09, 2011, 10:08:07 PM
Good news indeed! =)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on February 16, 2011, 11:51:53 AM
My question is, what kind of art center do you think they're planning on implementing? They specify that it's a children's art center, so is it a place to display children's art or for visiting children to create their own artworks? Either way, it doesn't sound like something that would bring in a lot of money.

The second floor left wing in former children’s rooms will be classrooms and computer rooms of the Children’s Educational Centre. The central part of the second floor over the parade rooms will be reserved for temporary exhibitions and the second floor right wing will be the administration offices of the museum.

A few other renovations that I have heard and will be completed by 2017:

Office of Nicholas II - to restore upholstery fabrics and monogram of the Emperor on the frieze of the fireplace. Restoration of lighting and curtains as well as built-in furniture (sofa, bookcases).

Crimson Drawing Room will be restored to L. Premazzi watercolor. In particular the Egyptian fireplace with alabaster bas-reliefs and bronze décor that survived.

In the Mountain Hall and library halls will restore parquet and artificial marble on the walls. Also it appears they will recreate a slide.

They are planning to reconstruct the bedroom of Marie Fedorovna where NII was born.

Also they will restore the corridors of the left wing second floor and the corridor of Alexei’s rooms.

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on February 16, 2011, 01:05:01 PM
I'd been wondering about the Mountain Hall and if they would restore the slide. Thank you for that list, Joanna!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Janet Ashton on February 25, 2011, 04:12:43 PM


A few other renovations that I have heard and will be completed by 2017:



Crimson Drawing Room will be restored to L. Premazzi watercolor. In particular the Egyptian fireplace with alabaster bas-reliefs and bronze décor that survived.



Joanna

Excellent - my favourite room by a long way....(which GK and I used as our avatar on the Directarticle site for just this reason): -

http://www.directarticle.org/Contents.html
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Holly on February 27, 2011, 04:02:54 PM
Thank you, Rob and Bob for the updates. Very exciting to learn of the restorations on the second floor, left wing.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 09, 2011, 02:40:31 PM
   Videos in March 2011.

  Very interesting!
 The chief architect of Tsarskoe Selo Kudryavtseva tells and shows the albums on the restoration of the palace. In the video you can see the Hall with a slide, the Church of the palace (the original, without restoration) and staterooms (the restoration).


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 09, 2011, 02:53:32 PM
http://www.pushkin-town.net/.pushkin/rus/videonws.htm?Roll=12&Start=0&Rubrik=0
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on March 09, 2011, 04:48:22 PM
Wow, thanks, Lilianna! Could any Russian speakers give the rest of us the gist of what is being said in this video? I made some screen captures, but the photo of the Maple Room intrigues me. Is it already finished? It doesn't look like a watercolor to me.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest1.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest1.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest2.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest2.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest3.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest3.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_mountainrest.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=mountainrest.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_maplerest.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=maplerest.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on March 09, 2011, 04:51:13 PM
So are they going to turn OTMA and Alexei's bedrooms into an art center?  :o I was hoping they'd restore them to their former appearance... :( Or am I missing something here...? :-\
That would be neat if they restored the slide!  :D
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on March 09, 2011, 08:44:07 PM
Wow, thanks, Lilianna! Could any Russian speakers give the rest of us the gist of what is being said in this video? I made some screen captures, but the photo of the Maple Room intrigues me. Is it already finished? It doesn't look like a watercolor to me.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest1.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest1.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest2.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest2.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest3.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest3.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_mountainrest.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=mountainrest.jpg) (http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_maplerest.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=maplerest.jpg)

I believe most of these green rooms and the cluttered ones are in the right wing of the AP.  She seems to be talking about their plans for these rooms which may include opening up some plastered over doors, etc.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 10, 2011, 02:28:51 AM

EmmyLee,
Thank you for your work.
 Architect of the video shows the albums with the views of the restoration. So the room will look like after restoration. The basement will be a wardrobe, where you can give coats, toilets, cafe. A baby will be half the child care center for city residents, and other rooms on the second floor will be for exhibitions.


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on March 10, 2011, 06:06:41 PM
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/th_rest1.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/AP%20Exterior%20and%20Park/Restoration/?action=view&current=rest1.jpg)

The first photo is of #25 Chapel. What amazes me is the door with oval window above that appears to lead to the White Hall #19. I had missed this in a photo c1933 which has the same view of the portico enclosure and you can see the same oval with the door that was obscured by a panelled folding screen. In the plans of Yakovlev c1927, there is no door to #19 but one to #20 Crimson room. Since we can see the door and then mirror facing the Chapel, there was a little enclosed anteroom from #25 to #20 which is easy to miss on the plan.

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on March 18, 2011, 01:27:05 PM
There is a wonderful article with some great photos in Royal Russia News:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/320news.html
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Michael HR on March 19, 2011, 03:57:19 AM
Hi Laura,

Looked at the photos they are simply superb! I must arrange a visit to go and see for myself, but so much to see dont know where to start...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 19, 2011, 01:59:22 PM
Are those photos incredible or are they incredible? Wow! And that's not mentioning the content of those photos. I know far from all of the AP or the objects in it are in such excellent condition , but they do give great hope for what a major restoration can achieve.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 19, 2011, 02:32:09 PM
I will be in St.P. in June, but have not decided to see the AP this time. I might  wait until the next visit, when more work has been done. It has not been that long since I last saw the place.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on March 19, 2011, 03:46:42 PM
Same here, Robert.  I hope to be visiting friends in September/October (at least those are my thoughts now), and have asked them to strike Pushkin/Tsarskoe sites from arrangements, as I think it would be personally a waste of time to visit at this stage. I wish to concentrate more on Saint Petersburg proper and Yaroslavl Oblast areas.  Best regards for a good trip.   AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 20, 2011, 04:32:00 AM
Robert, you have to be June at the Alexander Palace, because there on June 1 opened the exhibition "A visit to the Children's Rooms".
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 20, 2011, 05:35:39 PM
Thankyou Illiana. However, I have been told this exhibition is not in their rooms but elsewhere in the palace. I do not know how true  this is though. Anyway,  the children are the least of my interest in the Romanovs.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 21, 2011, 03:00:58 AM
Yes, the exhibition will be on 1 floor. The second floor is not open very quickly.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on March 23, 2011, 07:01:12 AM
Does anyone know if Pavlovsk has released any further items with which to furnish these new rooms ? As previously mentioned they are sitting with 6500 items belonging to the AP. Personally I think it is going to be a tug of war, and the next drama the AP museum have to face.
Empty restored rooms with no character.
The number of items returned so far is very unexciting, one of which is the tiger skin ! I hope this is not indicative of what will happen in future.

I am very happy that they are using the Premazzi watercolours as a reference for the restoration of a number of the rooms though.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on March 23, 2011, 09:05:01 AM
This issue is very complicated. I think that would be very difficult to return to Alexander Palace. They returned a little. I've seen on the 3 floor in Pavlovsk from Maple, but I do not see these items in the Alexander Palace.


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on March 24, 2011, 08:39:54 AM
Quite frankly, I do not have much hope that they will return anything. Perhaps they think that by returning the items to their rightful place, Pavlovsk will lose tourists, who come to see the AP things. At the same time of course the AP will lose out because they are going to have only empty rooms, and nothing of interest for the tourists to see. Just another beautiful Russian Palace, but this time with hardly anything in it.

Personally, I think its a very silly way to carry on, and the authorities at the highest level should do something.
Does anyone know if anything has been decided about the return of all the items to the AP ?     
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 24, 2011, 10:02:46 AM
I do not think most tourists would know or even care where items originally came from. Especially in St.P.  where, after seeing so many palaces, they all begin to look the same  in the interiors. Most [foriegn]tourists rush through these places anyway. Still it would be nice to find something to put in the rooms appropriate for the historical era.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexander1917 on March 24, 2011, 05:42:20 PM
I do not think most tourists would know or even care where items originally came from. Especially in St.P.  where, after seeing so many palaces, they all begin to look the same  in the interiors. Most [foriegn]tourists rush through these places anyway. Still it would be nice to find something to put in the rooms appropriate for the historical era.

In my opinion not only tourists would'nt know. I got a special guide for the AP and the talked about the "purple" room. she never heared about the word "mauve" LOL
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 24, 2011, 06:20:00 PM
I do not know what the Russian word for mauve is, but purple is at least close enough.
 On my first visit, my guide and friend was  astonished that I even wanted to see the place. I was the first ask him.  It was not much to look at then,  and I actually gave him the tour, with a bit of help from the babushkas. He now puts it on his specific tours if asked for and  can give a proper tour of the place. There still is not a lot to see in comparison to the other palaces- especially Pavlosk which is a gem, but he  at least knows the history and it's relationship to the last imperial family. IMO, a proper restoration of the park and gardens, tying into the Catherine would draw more  people, especially tourists until the restoration of the palace itself is finished or at least close to it.
 And speaking of tourists, I have stories about  Japanese tourist at the AP, maybe later though.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Douglas on March 24, 2011, 09:32:01 PM
With reference to your good points Robert, I would say this.  

Since the TV, films and many books about the last Tsar, the potential interest in the Alexander Palace and it's history is immense.   I would think that in the future there will be much more interest in the recent Romanov family than Catherine and her various palaces at Tsarskoe Selo.

Of course it  will depend to a degree on how the AP is presented to tourists and history buffs.  Advertising it correctly will go a long way in attracting visitors in the years to come.

In the coming decades, the interest in the AP may surprise all of us.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 24, 2011, 09:53:03 PM
Yes Douglas, POTENTIAL is the key word here. Although there are indeed  lots of books and  dramas about the Romanovs, they are not huge sellers, not  since Massie's N&A. Even  King & Wilson's  excellent books do not make it to the best sellers list as far as I know.  So, the market  remains limited.
  I agree, marketing  the AP  onto the main  tourist itinerary- eventually might start getting the mainstream tourists interested, but for now, it seems to be of  special interest  to relatively few.
 Selling it to the average tourists now would result in disappointment and a bad impression. And a waste of time to those on a tight schedule. I think the average tourist spend 2-3 days in St.P. That results in a tight agenda for them and most take group tours to get as much in as possible. The AP is not on those.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobG on March 26, 2011, 08:09:41 AM
I think the real attraction of the AP is for the Russian people, who seem to support the restoration of many of the sites related to the IF (ie the plan to rebuild the lower palace at Peterhof--which I hope is only temporarily on hold).  After all, the AP was the home to a family of saints.  I hope that once the palace gets fully restored and the more authentic the restoration to the time of N&A, the more Russian tourists will want to visit the palace.  Given their interest, we history buffs and AP followers will ride on their coat tails and will reap the benefits of their interest in the IF.

As I side note, when I visited the AP my guide was exactly like Robert's.  And his point regarding the time constraints of most foreign tourists means that most guides aren't interested in the AP.

BobG
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on March 28, 2011, 08:17:43 AM
The average tourist visiting Russia for the first time, probably knows nothing about the history of the country, or the AP, other than what they read in their tourist guide. Most of them have heard of Rasputin, Red Square, Vodka and Caviar, and thats probably it !
Many would not even notice or take any interest in the contents, in fact, if they have been to Pavlovsk and the C P first, they would find it a very boring place.
One can take in only so many palaces before you get visual indigesation.

As a purist, one would however want them to put what they have, back where it once was, and hope they do it tastefully and correctly.
 
I only hope they do not do a "Madame Tussauds" with wax models, and a murder scene, a la Rasputin. But as horrific as that would be, its probably what would attract the visitors, sadly.

     
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on March 28, 2011, 12:27:40 PM
  Re Post # 295 and "Pavlov":  As steeped in Russian history and culture as I hope that I have become over the years as a result of my studies/visits, "Pavlov," IMO, I do share your cynicism re the "average" tourist, endlessly marching through hall, after hall, after hall.  It has become a sheep-herding mentality:  Have you ever seen in the basements of the Moscow Kremlin, the masses of bus-unloaded tourists, dutifully following behind their guide who holds aloft a sign on a "yardstick"?  Most of the tourists are so busy talking to each other, or trying to slip in a photo, or buy a souvenir, etc., that they can only (later) remark:  "Oh, yes, I've been in the Kremlin." And so they have, basicly adding to their collection of verbal "luggage stickers."
  Time and Money, IMO, are the two culprits that thwart any deeper interest/understanding/motivation of the "average" tourist, on the proverbial "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" tread-mill.  Likewise, the rinky-dink so-called "educational experiences" of many high-school groups and college students who seemingly can't wait to experience "extra-curricular" activities after the obligatory tours: "Does anyone know what they DO here after dark?" How many times have I personally heard, "We ALWAYS have hot water at home, etc.; they won't take my dollars, can you speak to her/them and tell them they're perfectly good, etc."  IMO, these who have literally "just gotten off the boat" or a mini-van from across the border do not ENJOY their time in Russia, rather they ENDURE it.
  As to the Alexander Palace, it will be IMO,YEARS, if EVER, for it to demonstrate a competitive viability against the Catherine Palace (the viewing of the "new" Amber Room in the CP alone is worth the effort) and yet they are within easy walking distance of each other. Pavlosk is INDEED a gem, and they will not lightly surrender any part of their "drawing card" of significant furnishings.  Russia is to be truly congratulated in its valiant effort to recreate/reconstruct their shattered historical heritage, but the country is IMMENSE.  In the meantime, Russia will accept the tourist income and things will get done (if proven viable) in their own good time. The "average" tourist (who probably visits Russia ONCE in a lifetime) will not even care: they have "been there, done that."     AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAVLOV on March 29, 2011, 07:49:30 AM
Thank you for your response. I agree with you. I think that most tourists become a pain in the ass when they leave home, and have unrealistic expectations of the places they visit.
It must be both exhausting and insulting for Russian tour guides to herd endless hordes of unappreciative tourists through their beautiful palaces and churches. I am a "people watcher" and know what you mean about the Kremlin. These places are just on the tour programme so Mr Average tourist just goes along with it.
I always make a point of thanking the guide wherever I am, and try to make a complimentary remark.
Most tourists do not care in the least. I think its important and polite to say something nice to a guide or staffmember in the Palace or Church you have just visited. I think its appreciated very much. On one occassion i just went up to a Babushka in the Winter Palace and thanked her. Well, she nearly fell off her chair !!
But we are off topic.   

The Alexander Palace may attract tourists as "The last home of the murdered Tsat and his family" but I think it is going to be an uphill battle to attract the sort of numbers they have at the CP and Pavlovsk.

The marketing people for the AP Museum have a tough job ahead I think.

I agree with one thing.......Pavlovsk wont give back the AP things very easily. The few items they have returned thusfar were,I think, just a token gesture.   
 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on April 09, 2012, 09:07:25 AM
This topic has gone quiet for some time.
Does anyone have any idea how the restorations are going ?
Also has Pavlovsk formally returned anymore items ?  I read somewhere recently that they have been formally instructed to return what rightfully belongs to the AP. Am I correct ?
Thanks everyone.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: RomanovMartyrs on April 18, 2012, 05:15:32 PM
I just read through this thread and have to second everything Robert Hall experienced concerning AP and the interest and knowledge of people about it, tourists and tour guides alike. (And the Asian tour groups, lulz.)

The only ones who seem to know their stuff are the little old ladies running the place, and they take such delight in you if you act interested in the history. ^^
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 18, 2012, 05:57:36 PM
Thank you, RM, for noticing. Those babushkas are a national treasure. The only problem, and it is not theirs,  is that they, for the most part do not speak anything other than Russian. So, if one does not speak the language, it is worth it having someone with you who does. They are generous and  happy to share their vast knowledge.  They do not just sit around doing nothing, they love people to ask questions. This true in every palace/museum I have been in in Russia.
 I was at Gatchina once and asked if these beautiful raspberry tapestries were reproductions, they were pristine, looked brand new. Well, she explined how they were saved and stored, let me feel the fabric, front and back [!] discussed their history, not found in the guide book and told us how to go to the restoration rooms to learn more.
 Another, at the AP explained the GDs uniforms on display in great detail.  How most people misidentified which belonged to which GD. And that they were rotated to prevent too much fading. She also directed us to the fabric restoration rooms at the Hermitage, where most of the work is done.  My friend/guide did not know how cooperative these wonderful ladies were and he lives there !
 Tour groups do not give you enough time  to do this, but a  private visit is well worth it.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on April 19, 2012, 08:10:28 AM
You are right. They are very appreciative when visitors express an interest and most of them are an untapped source of knowledge about the buildings they sit in, and the objects.
Many are really bored and look pissed off, just sitting there all day, staring at largely disinterested tourists. Many of them dont know very much, and are just doing their jobs. I dont think it is their duty to interact with visitors. Of course it is wonderful when, as a visitor, you can tell them something about a room or object they didnt know about.  That always surprises them. Some of them are a bit taken back, and others are very flattered. But I do make a point of at least saying thank you when I walk past. Its more than they get from most visitors. I think one should make a habit of it.
 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: drosburgbrown on April 25, 2012, 01:13:07 PM
I visited Alexander Palace in December of 2011.  It was beautiful.  I hope to go back next year to see more.  The grounds were covered in snow and I look forward to returning in warmer weather to enjoy the gardens. I am interested in the continuing restoration process. Please tell me more at your convenience. Thanks.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on May 05, 2012, 10:49:18 AM
Here's Paul Gilbert's latest report on the restoration schedule for the Alexander Palace.

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/news/482news.html

It also has photos of the poor condition of the west wing.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: RomanovMartyrs on May 06, 2012, 09:36:39 AM
Thanks for the link!

Does anyone know if any part of the palace is open currently as a museum? I'll be heading back there in August and haven't been inside since 2009...would love the chance to see it again before 2016!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on May 06, 2012, 12:07:56 PM
More details from Paul Gilbert today, along with a 12-minute video tour:

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1436517/a-walk-through-the-alexander-palace/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on May 07, 2012, 09:17:00 PM
RomanovMartyrs, the east wing and parade rooms of the palace are open to visitors, but they're still working on the west wing. In the east wing, they have an exhibit on the children up on the 2nd floor where their rooms once were.

Inok Nikolai, thank you for providing those links. The video is currently loading for me, but I really appreciated an update on the restoration.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on May 07, 2012, 10:21:10 PM
More details from Paul Gilbert today, along with a 12-minute video tour:

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1436517/a-walk-through-the-alexander-palace/

  IMO, it is interesting to note that a recently here (on another thread) much-discussed tapestry copy of a Le Brun painting of the French Queen Marie Antionette and her children (presented to the Empress Alexandra F. by the French President/Government), is shown quite clearly beginning about 3:08 and seen more closely at 3:14-3:21 .       Regards,  AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: RomanovMartyrs on May 14, 2012, 12:34:52 PM
Thanks, EmmyLee! That's exciting, the second floor wasn't open when I went before : )
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on May 16, 2012, 08:07:39 AM
Paul Gilbert reports on two new exhibits in the Alexander Palace:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1436804/two-new-exhibitions-at-the-alexander-palace/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on June 01, 2012, 06:02:03 AM
I keep on asking, but have the negotiations for the return of the furniture from Pavlovsk and elsewhere progressed ? I read somewhere that the director of Pavlovsk recently made a statement and said that it is not as simple as driving a truck up to the palace door, loading the items and driving off. This comment does not bode well for the return of what rightfully belongs in the AP. It makes me thing that their could be a long drawn out battle between Pavlovsk and the AP.
A lot of the stuff at Pavlovsk is from the NII era, and without the restoration of the Palace back to what it looked like after Alexandra's "decorations" would look very odd. I dont know if the Meltzer furniture would look right in a Quarenghi room.
It seems pretty pointless to go to all the expense and effort of restoring the palace,  and not having the original contents returned. The Alexander Palace furniture was spread around various other palace displays in the 1950's and could have been returned already, to replacce those horrible big photographs of what the rooms looked like.  Are the directors of Pavlovsk digging in their heels ?
Does anyone know ?
It would seem such a pity if they do, because the AP furniture and other items were placed there temporarily as far as i know.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on July 20, 2012, 06:05:47 PM
(Not sure where to post this. Perhaps moderators will know a better place to move it to, or perhaps it's not news, and should be deleted.)

Stephen De Angelis, who translated the Emperor and Empress' diaries, has another book which might interest us:

Recollections and Letters of Chief Curator Mikhail A. Kuchumov

Kuchumov was Chief Curator and Director of the suburban Leningrad Russian Imperial Palaces.
His recollections from 1928 to 1941 chronicle his many positions during the sale and evacuation of former imperial treasures from St. Petersburg to Siberia.

From April 15, 1944 to July 14, 1941 he wrote 13 riveting letters to his wife in Novosibirsk, Siberia describing the ruin and destruction he encountered in these palaces after the German evacuation.

http://www.bookemon.com/book-profile/recollections-and-letters-of-chief-curator-mikhail-kuchumov/136582

140 pages

$30

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Rodney_G. on July 21, 2012, 12:30:53 PM
I'm thinking "From April 15, 1944 to July 14, 1941" is a typo, unless he could write backwards in time.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on July 21, 2012, 04:32:06 PM
I hope you all saw my post about Bob arranging for the return of 48 original color autochrome plates taken about 1914 of the interiors of the AP, both parade rooms and personal apartments, which will be used to guide the restorations. The details are in this same section...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on July 21, 2012, 10:48:19 PM
I'm thinking "From April 15, 1944 to July 14, 1941" is a typo, unless he could write backwards in time.

Must be. But it's Bookemon's, not mine!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: blessOTMA on July 22, 2012, 01:12:59 AM
I hope you all saw my post about Bob arranging for the return of 48 original color autochrome plates taken about 1914 of the interiors of the AP, both parade rooms and personal apartments, which will be used to guide the restorations.
It's a dream come true. Thank you, Bob!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Rodney_G. on July 23, 2012, 12:56:18 PM
I'm thinking "From April 15, 1944 to July 14, 1941" is a typo, unless he could write backwards in time.

Must be. But it's Bookemon's, not mine!

I understand perfectly, IN. I'm just surprised it wasn't caught earlier.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Jen_94 on July 23, 2012, 05:29:58 PM
I hope you all saw my post about Bob arranging for the return of 48 original color autochrome plates taken about 1914 of the interiors of the AP, both parade rooms and personal apartments, which will be used to guide the restorations.

Excellent news!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 28, 2012, 07:54:41 PM
An earlier article on the AP restoration program. Photos prior to the work are intriguing. Does anyone know the locations of these rooms - possibly in the right wing?
http://tzar.ru/science/restoration/upcoming/adm

http://tzar.ru/Files/image/244f4122.jpg
This is probably the upper level of the second floor - but whether right or left wing staircase?

http://tzar.ru/Files/image/244f4102.jpg
Interesting style of the ceiling - it is like Hau's watercolors of the boudoirs in the Grand Duchess rooms of the Winter Palace. I wonder which corner room this is? As the space between the window and ceiling is quite low, could this be a second floor room?

http://tzar.ru/Files/image/244f4086.jpg
Fireplace - was it hidden and just now uncovered?

http://tzar.ru/Files/image/244f4119(1).jpg
Most likely second floor room as again the low celing. Damage is extensive but is the light fixture a clue to the identifcation of the room?

http://tzar.ru/Files/image/244f4081.jpg
Floor pattern - any ideas of the room?

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on July 29, 2012, 06:29:30 AM
Hi Joanna
I am not sure how old the photographs are, but I have seen an old black and white photograph of the tented pink room somewhere before. I have been hunting for it and cannot find it. I originally thought it was made out of plaster, but can now see that it is fabric. The wallpaper also looks very old. Could it be that this room has retained its original decoration ? I cannot imagine the Soviets going to all the  trouble of doing a tented ceiling. The little chandelier is definitely a later addition.
I am sure all these rooms are in the right wing. Also it would be interesting to compare the marble tiles on the landing to that in the left wing leading to the childrens rooms. I suspect one would find them to be identical.
The fireplace is definitely original, and has survived wonderfully. Probably because, thankfully, it was blocked up.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 29, 2012, 06:26:20 PM
Hi Brassov,

Do you think that these photos could be 2nd floor of the left wing as that was the area restored first for the opening last year?

I thought the chandelier was "new", but what do you think of the medallion? Could it be c1900s?

The tented ceiling - did you notice the circular design over the windows? That may be clue to the corner room identification. When the AP was opened in 1949 for the Pushkin exhibition, they had used the teneted ceiling in one of the parade rooms - photoarchive had a series of photos. Could that be what you had remembered?

The fireplace has a unique design - sword on the side.  That style was not in the GD's rooms.

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 30, 2012, 07:13:01 PM
I don't think those photos are from the left wing. By the time that staircase photo came out, we had already seen a remodeled staircase from the left wing. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any photos from the top of the staircase, so I don't know if they kept the original tiling on the floor.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Vestibule%20and%20Corridors/th_steepstairs.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Vestibule%20and%20Corridors/?action=view&current=steepstairs.jpg)


The only room I think the tented ceiling room could be is Corner Drawing Room in the right wing, 2nd floor-- we just can't see two of the windows. The room below that is the Blue Drawing Room, so I assume the walls would be blue to give it that name. Unless the pink wallpaper was added later. However, the one photo that I have that I believe is the Blue Drawing Room doesn't match the tented ceiling room at all. Does anyone know if this is indeed the Blue Drawing Room? I have the photo labeled "blue sitting room."

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_bluesittingroom.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=bluesittingroom.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on July 30, 2012, 08:39:28 PM
1. Stairs to 2nd Floor Children's half. I have a picture from the top of the stairs when I was at the show.
2.  Alexander Palace  will not be repaired within six years. No money until 2018.
Read this in Russian: http://karpovka.net/2012/07/26/54379/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on July 30, 2012, 11:05:08 PM
Disappointing. Can't say I'm surprised though. It's a huge job and money is rarely easy to come by.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on July 31, 2012, 11:12:25 AM
The only room I think the tented ceiling room could be is Corner Drawing Room in the right wing, 2nd floor-- we just can't see two of the windows. The room below that is the Blue Drawing Room, so I assume the walls would be blue to give it that name. Unless the pink wallpaper was added later. However, the one photo that I have that I believe is the Blue Drawing Room doesn't match the tented ceiling room at all. Does anyone know if this is indeed the Blue Drawing Room? I have the photo labeled "blue sitting room."

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_bluesittingroom.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=bluesittingroom.jpg)

Emmy, I have also this photo identified as #33 Blue Drawing Room. The area on the right between the fireplace and wall is narrow - that would have been when they reconstructed the room c1840s to add the Small Chapel in memory of GD Alexandra N.

I have a copy of Hau’s painting of #33 c1850s showing the same view as the tented photo. Elaborate cornices were changed to more simple style for Empress Marie F. and possibly removed after the war.

I had thought the tented ceiling could be 2nd Floor right wing #52 Corner Drawing Room. The windows could be a clue yet the 1st floor have the same style of small upper panes.

Mystery continues!
Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on July 31, 2012, 11:16:20 AM
1. Stairs to 2nd Floor Children's half. I have a picture from the top of the stairs when I was at the show.
2.  Alexander Palace  will not be repaired within six years. No money until 2018.
Read this in Russian: http://karpovka.net/2012/07/26/54379/

Not exactly accurate. Am not able to discuss details, but Bob has been in close contact with the Museum staff, as a result of the acquisition of the Autochrome plates, and the restoration is proceeding and will be FINISHED in six years. Not "funded" in six years time, the funding is allocated FOR a six years period.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 01, 2012, 01:09:33 PM
1. Stairs to 2nd Floor Children's half. I have a picture from the top of the stairs when I was at the show.
2.  Alexander Palace  will not be repaired within six years. No money until 2018.
Read this in Russian: http://karpovka.net/2012/07/26/54379/

Not exactly accurate. Am not able to discuss details, but Bob has been in close contact with the Museum staff, as a result of the acquisition of the Autochrome plates, and the restoration is proceeding and will be FINISHED in six years. Not "funded" in six years time, the funding is allocated FOR a six years period.



Today, Paul Gilbert, in his "Royal Russia  Bulletin" update, has added his take on this time-line scenario, in the lead article "Lack of Funding Will Delay Alexander Palace Restorations."   Regards,  AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on August 01, 2012, 06:27:51 PM
There are ongoing exhibitions being held in the AP so it is still open while restoration is ongoing in others parts of the palace, for example:
http://eng.tzar.ru/shows/show/?id=3042


An article dated July 2012 on funding of AP for next three years with details:
http://www.nsp.ru/nums/21959.html

Transliteral:
HMP "Tsarskoye Selo" over three years will be able to fix the Alexander Palace. Ministry of Culture confirmed the targeted funding of around 220 million rubles. However, this money should be enough just to constructive work.

On the restoration of the interiors and the creation of the museum exhibition, additional, probably even larger amounts. A rough estimate, the total cost of all works could be about 1 billion rubles. So ambitious plans to open in full management transformed the palace museum in the year of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty did not come true. Nevertheless, HMP gratefully start talking about funding, which could get pretty quickly: the project looked at the federal council of the Ministry of Culture at the end of last year (in current circumstances it is well, very quickly. - "NA").

Having secured a guarantee of public capital investment, HMP has already announced two contests for those wishing to assist the reconstruction and restoration of the famous palace is closely associated with the imperial family, and particularly to Nicholas II.  In contrast to the increasingly common practice of holding the competition, where the chosen contractor, which among other things, instruct and genproektirovanie, this time for the architectural and restoration workshops announced a separate tender. Starting amount - about 45 million rubles. The winners will develop a working draft based on documentation, made the studio "Studio-44".

Construction and restoration work for which the Federation has scheduled about 173 million, primarily encompass the design of the building and engineering systems. So, is scheduled to bury the basement (about half a meter) and make a monolithic slab: in the underground part of the house a reception area, dressing room, offices and cafes. It is necessary to strengthen and restore the masonry walls, foundations and vaults, to fix a system of waterproofing, strengthening the foundations of the columns, metal restore.

According to plans of the federal funds will be allocated in phases this year - about 55.8 million, next year - 45.7 million in 2014 - 71.2 million is not impossible that the results of the competition will decrease the amount of a few. When the competitions will be announced for the restoration of the interior - is still unknown. As explained by Nikita Yavein, director of "Studio-44," Alexander Palace interiors are heterogeneous and safety (non-safety) finish, and its state. So, two years ago for the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo State Museum has restored three rooms in the front suite.

The ideology of the interiors - the preservation of "layering" of the palace. After all, there are rooms in the style of high classicism, designed by Giacomo Quarenghi ('s Palace), is miraculously preserved fragments of decoration of the modern era. In the halls, where the interiors are destroyed by the war, it is supposed to reconstruct only those elements that have the documentary evidence (primarily photographs and sketches). That is, HMP, and architects are planning to follow the rules and the Charter of Venice (conservation will all periods in the history of the palace), and the principles of the Leningrad school of post-war period: to recreate everything that can be recreated.
Elena Kuznetsova  - The weekly newspaper "Real estate and construction of St. Petersburg", № 28 (714) 2012-07-16, c.16

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 02, 2012, 02:31:34 PM
Udate!

The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum encountered an unexpected, substantial, increase in the cost of Autochrome plates, due to unforeseen VAT, export duties and the like.  Mike Pyles has contacted the Museum and is currently in discussions on the exact terms of another gift from him, of an additional $30,000, in order to address these expenses and get the plates into the Museum's hands as soon as possible.

Further, the Museum directors and staff have approved the preliminary designs for "The Friends of the Alexander Palace Museum Society", with the website to be built by Bob Atchison and Pallasart, and with Bob running "The Friends", along with some long standing supporters of the Museum.  Continuing discussion is ongoing between the Tsarskoye Museum directors and Bob for a new collaborative effort, working closely together.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 02, 2012, 03:35:09 PM
Joanna> Thank you so much for this information! It's great to know the AP will be open in some capacity while restorations are taking place. Seeing the AP when in Russia is on my "must do" list every time, and if it was closed it would change my plans. Also, may I say, It's always lovely to see your posts! Always so helpful and informative!

FA> This is great news! Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop! I am very excited to see this new website.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobAtchison on August 02, 2012, 03:53:36 PM
In the next few weeks we'll get an update directly from the Palace and what's really happening.  The new "Friends of the Alexander Palace" will put everyone in direct touch with Tsarskoye Selo.  There will be a monthly newsletter where you'll get all the latest on events, exhibitions, conferences, tours, announcements, etc, regarding the palace directly from them.  You'll all be invited to join and we are planning some really exciting ways you will be able to support the Alexander Palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobAtchison on August 02, 2012, 04:10:16 PM
I am working with the palace to find away so people can donate directly to the restoration using PayPal or something like that.  We really don't know how it will work yet, but I hope people would be able to donate towards specific items - like a chair in the Mauve Room - or toward specific rooms or initiatives like restoring Maria Feodorovna's Rose Garden.  Also I hope we can figure out a way to subscribe to monthly donations - like $20 a month.  If we had a thousand members doing that - well can you imagine what it could accomplish?  Everything would go directly to the palace museums.  My goal is to get 1,000 members in the first year - that way we can really prove something to Tsarskoye Selo and show how interested we all are.  We will definitely be trying to figure out a way so people can order books directly from the Tsarskoye Selo Museums.  We all know how hard it is to get books on the palace.  I hope there will be a way for Tsarskoye Selo to announce new publications and members could pre-subscribe to them.  We will definitely be doing a Friends trip next summer....

We also want to help and support all bloggers and websites that are talking about the palace and helping to support Tsarskoye Selo Museums.  This is not the only place to talk or learn about the palace. We'll be wanting to push content out on Facebook, Pinterist and other social media with pictures, stories and general news about the Alexander Palace.  Our goal is to marshal and organize our forces to do whatever we can to help.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 09, 2012, 05:56:16 AM
Although the restorations of the parade rooms appear to be complete, one cannot help but notice that the furnishings and paintings are not anything like the original. The placement and size of the paintings are all wrong, IMO. I dont think they would have left the furniture or the paintings in these important rooms for the Germans, so has what happened to these things I wonder ? On the other hand though, these rooms are so beautiful that they almost look as if they were designed to be left empty, for everyone to admire the architectural details, pillars and floors, and the beautiful chandeliers.
Certainly the most beautiful empty rooms in any palace in Europe. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 09, 2012, 06:30:46 AM
That tented room still bugs me. I remember seeing the photograph of the 1949 exibition where the same sort of tented ceiling was used, in one of the parade rooms. But it was tented differently and not in a circular pattern. Unfortuanately the 'tent' fabric has been placed below the cornice. If it had not, we would probably be able to identify the room immediately. ( See the old black and white photos )  The cornice in MF's bedroom looks like an Acanthus design. Could this have been her bedroom ? However the placement of the windows also indicate that it may be a corner room. Also why would the Navy, which occupied these rooms for so many years have a pink tented room ? This makes me think the wall paper is original, but not the ceiling.
All these mysteries !!!   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on August 09, 2012, 11:23:59 PM
Brassov, I was looking through some photos of the AP and I think this one might be the one you mean:

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_2.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=2.jpg)

I'm not sure which parade room it is (other than that it isn't the Semicircular Hall) because all of the other photos of the parade rooms that I have don't show the ceiling. Might have to do some more hunting around.

Ah-- is this the same room that you can see through the arch?

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_untitled-1.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=untitled-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on August 10, 2012, 01:18:22 PM
I also contacted Joanna about the first photo and she said, "I think this is the corner of the Marble #12. As this style was used c1949 and at that time they were restoring AP - decision as naval institute in 1953) - I wonder if the lack of materials after the war, they used the paint/material/style to cover ceilings in other rooms - was the right wing used as part of the 1949 exhibit i.e. #33. The ceiling is low to the arch of the windows, so may be 2nd floor."

This makes sense because in all of the other photos of the parade rooms, none of them have this tented ceiling. It was likely just there temporarily, or at least in the 40s-50s. So Brassov, I think you're right that the tented ceiling in our mystery room was not original either.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 13, 2012, 01:32:45 PM
Yes, these are the photos I saw, and that ceiling has mystified me ever since.  Thank you for finding it. The only thing I ask myself is, why make such a fuss with a tented ceiling ? Was the ceiling above it perhaps in a state of such bad disrepair that it had to be covered in some way ? And why do the same to a room on the other side, unless some Soviet curator was a frustrated interior decorator and had a " thing "' about tented ceilings and pink wall paper ! I really dont think the original palace decorations included tented ceilings. At least I have never seen any records of any.
Also see all the beautiful pictures covering the walls. In all the old pre-revolution photos I have seen, these are missing. Or am I mistaken ? The original parade rooms leading off the Semi-circular Hall never had groupings of small paintings. Only very large ones. Were the small paintings perhaps hung as part of a special exhibition ? Would the museum curators have evacuated so many small paintings before the war, if so they must have been very valuable, and one wonders where they are now. Why were they hanging on the walls ?
I wish we could find out, also about the pink wall paper, which I am now absolutely convinced is original. The Soviets used this part of the palace as offices. Why would they hang feminine pink wall paper in an office ? As opposed to the normal grey or green paint ? This must have been a womans bedroom. Perhaps MF's, or someone else. Men in those days did not have pink bedrooms I imagine !
Once the renovations are complete, we will never know. This palace continues to fascinate. And it is the last one to do so,as all the others have been "redone' to attract as many tourists as possible, and hold no more clues or mysteries.       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 13, 2012, 01:37:02 PM
Brassov,

The current leaders of the Tsarskoye Selo Museums are not like the "old days".  They are dedicated scholars and historical specialiasts, who are committed to the most accurate restorations possible, and to preserve, record and document all of the original "fabric" of the Alexander Palace.  The current vision is to restore the AP to exactly the way it looked while Nicholas and Alexandra lived there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 13, 2012, 01:46:31 PM
I really dont think the original palace decorations included tented ceilings.    

They very well may have.  Napoleon's Eqyptian campaign unleashed a rage for camp-style decor across Europe.  Rooms in several of his palaces had tented ceilings including, if I remember correctly, the Empress Josephine's bedroom at Fountainbleau.  The camp tent theme was used by high society across Europe around the time the Alexander Palace was being furnished and decorated.


The original parade rooms leading off the Semi-circular Hall never had groupings of small paintings.      

The large folio volume that was published in Russia using the first box of autochromes of the Tsarskoye Selo palaces from 1917 contains a picture of the south wall of the parade room immediately to the west of the Semicircular Hall.  The large central mirror is flanked by groupings of small paintings, and groupings of small paintings can be partially seen on the wall between this room and the Semicular Hall, as well as reflected in the mirror from the opposite wall.  So clearly there were groupings of small paintings in at least that parade room toward the end of Nicholas' and Alexandra's occupancy of the palace.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 13, 2012, 03:43:14 PM
I know. I was referring to the opposite wing of the palace. If as you say, the Palace is to be restored to exactly what it looked like at the time of NII, can we expect to see the rooms of Alexander II and III in this wing restored as well ? They were left largely untouched by Nicholas and Alexandra (thankfully). Probably because he was born there, and perhaps as a memorial to his parents. I was led to believe that this part of the palace was to be recreated as restaurants, lecture halls and exhibition space ?
Are we to see the principles of the Charter of Venice and the Leningrad School applied to this part of the Palace as well. ? These rooms are equally historically important surely.
One must also remember that Anna Zelenova and Anatoly Kuchumov and others were part of "The Old Days", and many people may not know that they were responsible for what was and is the finest restoration in the world.
I hope the current Tsarskoye Selo experts approach the rest of the restoration with the same sensitivity and effort to save it for future generations. After all it took the Germans 3 years to virtually destroy it, and almost 60 years of doing virtually nothing to restore it ! So I hope you are right, and that we are not going to end up with a soulless enfilade of lecture halls and tourist shops in this part of the palace. And good luck to the Tsarskoe Selo experts in trying to get the furniture and other architectural items back. I am thinking particularly of the beautiful crystal lanterns hanging today in the Egyptian Vestibule at Pavlovsk, which were previously in the AP.
     
   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on August 15, 2012, 04:16:21 AM
Having visited Maria Feodorovna's bedroom while under the auspices of the Baltic Fleet, I can assure you the walls were not papered pink, nor was there a tented ceiling.   The fireplace remained as did the cornice.   The room, used as a library, was divided up with tall bookcases and gave a totally utilitarian impression.   When I asked permission to take photographs, this was denied.   What they could not deny me was the opportunity to look out of the windows and take in the aspect of the room where Nicholas was born, he and Alexandra spent their honeymoon.   I think it will be a long time before TSM authorities have the funding or time to restore this room along with the others on the west wing - although potentially this could be the most 'profitable' area of the restored palace housing lecture theatre, commercial and other educational activities.   I believe the restaurant area will be in the basement - a reflection of Nicholas' I choice for food preparation!   Because of their siting, it does not appear it will be possible to restore Elizabeth Feodorovna's rooms which, I believe, remain largely intact but delapidated.

An Instrument of Restitution has been worked on for well over ten years, the object being that displaced items be returned to their original 'homes'.   Having witnessed the huge, leather-bound volumes around which the endeavour to restore all items removed from the Alexander Palace and resited at Peterhof, the Hermitage and - the majority - at Pavlovsk, this is a massive task which seems to be going nowhere.   We had Tatiana Nicholaevna's nurse's dress, cape and apron on display at the Alexander Palace for a while - 'borrowed' from Pavlovsk, but even that had to be returned.   Like former Imperial retainers, soviet curators were meticulous in continuing the cataloguing of every item and its precise location.

Much of what rightfully belongs to the Alexander Palace remains at Pavlosk...some adopted to appear as a natural part of Pavlovsk's possessions, but much not displayed.   The Grand Palace at Pavlovsk does not attract the number of visitors it did soon after its restoration and during the very active and forward-looking leadership of Yuri Mudrov.  His successor, Nicolai Tretchakov, has now departed and I believe he has been replaced by a female director.   The new director at Peterhof is also a woman.   

Now we have a trio of women running those palace complexes, we might witness a very different approach and a greater degree of sensitivity applied to this difficult subject.   However as long as the all-powerful Piotrovsky Dynasty reigns at the Winter Palace/Hermitage - where they have so much they don't know what to do with it all - resistance will remain.

Christine M       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 15, 2012, 03:19:12 PM
This does not bode well for the Alexander Palace, and it appears as if the next part of the struggle is about to begin.
First restoring the building itself, and now to get the contents back !!!

What is the point of an empty palace ? Its gone back to the state it was in when the Nazis arrived.............a virtually empty building, but in a better condition than it is in today.

Seems a bit pointless really.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on August 15, 2012, 05:10:36 PM
Could 'Brassov' be a diminutive for 'brassed-off'?   Just an impression probably accidentally presented by, particularly, the last post.

Those of us who have spent the last twenty + years fighting for the future of the Alexander Palace could never have imagined how much we have progressed over the past couple of years and never more so than during recent weeks.   The battle for the Alexander Palace pre-dates the fall of Soviet rule - and one very brave Russian man in particular did give his life for what he believed in with such passion... 'accidentally' killed in a road traffic accident. 

 We have been in it for the long haul with a belief the day would dawn when the Alexander Palace would no longer be the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet bristling with armed guards, watch towers, barbed wire and snarling dogs.    It appeared to many we were fighting a cause which would never be realised and frequently we were told this directly.   However, we never gave up.

It was with great joy I had the good fortune to be present on the day the Family Wing of the Alexander Palace was officially handed over to the authorities at Tsarskoe Selo Museums in the presence of the Russian Minister of Culture and the Governor of St Petersburg.   A memorable day of rejoicing which, although we hoped, deep down could never have imagined would arrive, making it so much the sweeter.

Almost another decade elapsed before Naval personnel vacated the building and, in its entirety, it was handed over to the Department of Culture and the care of the Directorate of Tsarskoe Selo Museums. 

 Few of us had the opportunity of seeing the interiors not so much devasted by the Nazis, more destroyed by the Soviets.   I had the privilege of being one and Bob Atchison another.   Still we have to almost pinch ourselves when we see the enfilade of Formal Rooms reinstated... beautifully and sympathetically restored by craftsmen of the highest order.   Empty they may appear to some, but to us they are full...full of the spirit of aspiration of so many who believe this to be one of the most beautiful neo-classical buildings in the world:  a building with the most extraordinary and incomparable personal history stretching across two tumultuous centuries:  a building whose future looks bright and which will grow to once again display its full glory for generations to come.

Now so much has been achieved and in so short a time, we can afford to be truly optimistic.   Nobody ever said it would be easy, but for culture and history to win the battle over 'defence' and war is a mighty victory.   

And so we will continue with our endeavours and support the Directorate of Tsarskoe Selo Museums and its master craftsmen fired with optimism and anticipation.

Christine M.   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: NAAOTMA on August 15, 2012, 07:54:32 PM

Christine, thank you for your post.

Those of us who who have loved the Alexander Palace and all the Russian history it reflects can only feel joy and deep gratitude at it's current metamorphisis. Sometimes I want to pinch myself that it has happened in my lifetime.

I saw the Alexander Palace for the first time on a dank misty day in April 1972 as a college student. I never dreamed that day it would be possible for me to return to it and be allowed inside, in the park and to attend a wonderful Saturday morning liturgy at the Feodorovsky Sobor. But that came to pass in the autumn of 2006.

Since then, I have watched the rebirth of the Alexander Palace in the last few years not only grateful that this beautiful building iis taking its rightful place among the architectural treasures of Russia, but that its restoration also illustrates the point "Beauty Will Save The World".

When I visited the Catherine Palace in 1972, the palace guide informed us that the restoration would continue for another 30 to 40 years. That was not presented as a problem, merely a fact. The museum staff were then and are now in it for the long haul.

Melissa K.













Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 15, 2012, 08:36:01 PM
Bob Atchison and Suzanne Massie were the first American citizens to set foot in the Alexander Palace since before the Second World War.  Bob is in intimate discussion with the Tsarskoye Selo Museum Preserve about the progress of restorations and the future of the process, and what can be done to help.

It is not nor will be easy.  However as Christine said, the steps made so far were unthinkable just 20 years ago.  Imagine what will be achieved in the next 20 years.  We must be positive in our thoughts, prayers, statements, and actions.  Negativity will only impede the process and not do anything to further the actual goal: The ultimate restoration of the Alexander Palace, to the best extent possible.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 16, 2012, 10:54:43 AM
No Brassov is not diminutive for "brassed off". Thank you. Although thats the way I feel about this subject..
May I say that what has been achieved is miraculous, we all know that. I have been following all of this for years and have read everything there is to read on the subject.
But why does the Palace have to struggle far into the future it would seem to achieve the simplest part of the entire process........getting its contents back ?
If the museum authorities are such experts and so historically sensitive, then why does someone not take a stand, like the museum curators did after the war for the restoration of these buildings, lobby the government, and get the contents back ?       
It seems easier to rebuild an entire palace, than it is to move the contents back.
Anatoly Kuchumov spent years hunting down and trying to save the objects and furniture for this Palace and the others. In fact it probably killed him in the end, he was so determined. Now its all down the road a few kilometres away, and they cant get it back ? He loved the Alexander Palace, and would be very sad, I am sure.   
Makes one wonder if the Soviet curators were perhaps not more determined and committed to saving and restoring their cultural heritage than the current authorities are.
Just a thought..     
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 16, 2012, 11:17:58 AM
Things are never as easy as one hopes the should be.  There are also two sides to every coin, remember.  If YOU were director of Pavlovsk, would you really be thrilled to have 2/3 of your art and furniture stripped out and sent elsewhere? You assume an almost Communist approach to the issue "To Each according to their needs, From each according to what they have", remember how well that worked out for them.  

You may be following things from the outside, but there are people here following from the inside.  You achieve nothing, but ill feelings by these comments.  I can confirm to you that the Museums have been reading our sites and forums for years now.  I urge more patience, understanding and support, and less antagonism and armchair criticism.

I hope I'm being clear.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 16, 2012, 01:09:12 PM
But why does the Palace have to struggle far into the future it would seem to achieve the simplest part of the entire process........getting its contents back?

Brassov, do you know anything about the decades-long efforts of the White House to recover early furnishings of that building?  And, except for contents lost during the War of 1812, its contents usually went astray through peaceable events such as garage sales, auctions, and decorating updates, not through revolution, theft, military invasion, or foreign sales to raise hard currency.  So what in the blazes makes you think there is anything "simple" about recovering the contents of a palace that were dispersed beginning almost a century ago by innumerable hands with all kinds of agendas and with reliable records not always kept?  Even those items that are known to be held in other Russian state collections are, for better or worse, in the hands of authorities who have their own responsibilities to make their sites attractive to a paying public.  

You swan around this board, making categorical assertions about how pictures were hung in the Alexander Palace or how ceilings were or were not decorated originally, obviously without the slightest real knowledge of the topics on which you so boldly hold forth.  This board can be an excellent resource for people seeking to learn and fill in gaps in their knowledge and also for people who have reliable information to impart.  I would suggest you spend at least some time bunking in the former camp before pitching your tent in the latter.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 16, 2012, 01:46:59 PM
Really Tsarfan ? One thing you missed. Jackie Kennedy sorted most of the interior of the White House out in a remarkably short space of time did she not ? After President Truman rebuilt it. Just like Gerald Van Der Kemp did for Versailles. Both of them had to go begging for donations, furniture, objects etc, and work very hard, but it worked. One can only hope the same happens with the AP. But you sound like an expert on Russian architecture and history, so I bow to your superior knowledge.
I dismiss your sarcastic personal remarks with the contemp they so richly deserve.
.
       
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 16, 2012, 02:27:26 PM
You seem to misunderstand what Jackie Kennedy did in that short period of time.  Granted, she succeeded in getting many original items returned, relying on the assistance of several famous collectors of Americana who had firmly established reputations and contacts among the art and antiques collecting world -- an elite group of people who have no real counterparts in today's Russia.

However, much of what Kennedy did was to create period-appropriate decor using modern reproductions, period substitutes that represented the general class of furniture used, or goods salvaged from other houses (such as the Zuber wallpapers) of the same period.  That is not restoration, but recreation -- something which, relatively speaking, is easier, quicker, and cheaper to do.

This is not, however, what you seem to expect of the curators of the Alexander Palace, who you demand should procure the return the actual original pieces . . . and be quick about it!

I think you also overestimate how much of today's furnishings in other Russian palaces came from the Alexander Palace.  Pavlovsk, for example, was largely recreated using original samples.  Knowing that the Germans were approaching and had a compulsion to set things on fire, the curators of Pavlovsk packed and shipped away one item from all the major suites of furniture and decor in the palace.  For instance, one chandelier was taken from each major room, one chair from each seating suite, one casting of a cornice or molding, so that they could later be accurately reproduced.  Several freight trains were filled with these samples and dispatched to the eastern hinterlands.  Much of what is in Pavlovsk today are the recreations from those rescued samples.  In fact, the Soviet regime established a world-renowned school for training craftsmen in lost decorative arts to facilitate the rebuilding and refurnishing of Pavlovsk and the Catherine Palace.  For many years after mid-century, western countries sent their own recreationists to Russia for training.

And my remarks were not sarcastic.  They were serious advice.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 16, 2012, 02:47:12 PM
Not to forget that virtually everything one sees at the Catherine Palace today is recreated as well.  A rare table from the Catherine Palace, from Catherine the Great's rooms was recently purchased at auction by the Tsarskoye Selo Museum Preserve.  They wrote Bob recently most pleased with that news.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Paul Brewer on August 16, 2012, 11:00:13 PM
I wonder if anyone has information on plans for the reconstruction of the large white and gilded pier glass mirror door in the Billiard Room?   I have often admired it from old photographs and when I last visited the Palace in 2010 I could see the impression or outline of the mirror door on the wall. I have no information on what happened to it during World War II and have always assumed it was stolen or destroyed.  I must say that the experience of visiting the 3 beautiful halls for the first time in 2010 was very moving indeed. This is an exciting time and my humble thanks and appreciation to all those concerned. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on August 17, 2012, 02:20:58 AM
What Tsarfan writes about the excellence of the restorers is absolutely accurate.   Their skills are admired world wide.   The administration of TSM have, particularly throughout the very lean times of the 90s and up to this day, struggled to continue funding their salaries in order to assure these positions as staff members.   The jewellers who recreated the Amber Room being a case in point.   Ivan Petrovich Sautov struggled to hold that team together.   Glad to say he succeeded, but it was not without having to be as inventive as possibe -  hence the introduction of paid tours of the Amber Room workshops and a dedicated shop selling amber and other semi precious reproductions as well as freshly created designs.   These skills are only too easily lost, never to be recovered.   

Funds have to stretch a long, long way - with a total staff of 700 rising to over 800 during the summer months - all these salaries have to be covered and that's before paying general maintenance which is continual and ongoing on old buildings and through extreme weather conditions.   Many of the additional summer staff have much to do maintaining as well as restoring the gardens and parks.

These are aspects of the daily life of the palaces which are easily overlooked, but which are absolutely fundamental.

I have to say Paul Brewer's post was refreshing and a joy to read.   I have no idea what became of the mirrored door in the Marble Hall.   It was probably removed by naval personnel when these halls were made to appear as utilitarian as was possible.   As Tsarfan indicated, in so far as so many objects contained within those buildings were concerned, it could have been looted.   There were times - and not so very long ago - when desperate circumstances called for desperate actions...many people were on the verge of starvation.   

The fact that we are where we are today, is nothing short of a miracle... and on so many different level.s

Christine M
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 20, 2012, 02:37:24 PM
Most of you have probably read Suzanne Massie's book on Pavlovsk and its restoration. If you have not, then I think you should, it is probably the best book on the subject of this discussion. It is a source reference to many subjects discussed here, and a brilliantly researched one. It explains many things and will give you an insight as to what lenghts the Soviets went to in those post war years to restore their heritage, and how deeply they cared about the palaces and their contents. After the huge expense of WWII, and with very few resources, Stalin agreed and the Soviet government found the money for the restoration work to begin at Pavlovsk, Peterhof and the Catherine Palace. As the rooms were restored, so they were opened with their original contents carefully placed back exactly where they were before the evacuation. Exact copies were made in many cases and the wood found to relay the intricate floors etc.  If it were not for the dedication of the Museum Directors at that time, everything would have been bulldozed. It makes one wonder why it took them almost 68 years to do anything to the Alexander Palace and its contents ! More was done for the palace during Soviet times, the subsequent government and its museum officials have been conspicuous by their absence.  Many people blame the Naval tennants for the problems of the AP ,but in actual fact there were plenty of other places for the Naval authorities to squat, surely ? Also they did not occupy the whole building. So they cannot be blamed for the delay, I think. If they were tennants in the Konstantine Palace, one can only wonder how long it would have taken Putin to get rid of them !!
 
Dear Tsarfan, what you say in your post is very well known to me, and most other people on this discussion panel.  I have read everything you have written dozens of times.

Jackie Kennedy did not take 60 years to restore the White House. She also had the disadvantage of not having most of the architectural "bits" and furniture "squirreled" away down the road.
The difference is that Jackie Kennedy was a determined woman and a brilliant organiser. She made things happen, and she inspired many people who cared just as much as she did about her restoration, and they also wanted to make things happen. And they did. She was a "can do" kind of person.

Russia has become one of the richest oil producing countries in the world, with no shortage of money. They found the money to restore the Konstantine Palace for President Putin at huge cost, in a very short space of time. No problem. Am I wrong ?  Not the most tasteful renovation however, I must admit, but wow, they got it together ! 
 
I dont want to sound rude, but what is your point ?
 
I hope I have not offended any of the Tsarskoe Selo Museum directors who may be reading reading this post. If so, my humblest apologies.

   
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 20, 2012, 04:13:51 PM
Exact copies were made in many cases and the wood found to relay the intricate floors etc.  

The wood floors of Pavlovsk were not returned to their condition before the war.  A fire in 1803 had destroyed most of the interior of the palace, including its exquisite parquet floors.  Due both to the expense of re-creating them and the evolution toward simpler interior decor since the palace's initial construction, much simpler wood floors were installed after that fire.  When the restorers were confronted with the task of bringing the palace back from the German depredations, the question arose of whether to return the palace to its state immediately prior to its destruction in 1944 or whether to return it to its original state, including restoring the original pre-1803 floors.  In a sense, the question was whether the palace should be preserved as a relic of the last Romanovs to occupy it, or whether it should be preserved as an architectural masterpiece in keeping with its creators' original visions.  The same question presents itself today with parts of the Alexander Palace.  For example, should the original concert hall conceived and executed by Quarenghi be recreated, or should Nicholas' and Alexandra's modifications be restored?  In the case of Pavlovsk, it was treated as an object of architectural art, not as a memorial to the Romanovs, and returned to the original condition, facilitated by the survival of most of the original plans and sketches.


It makes one wonder why it took them almost 68 years to do anything to the Alexander Palace and its contents!  More was done for the palace during Soviet times, the subsequent government and its museum officials have been conspicuous by their absence.  

I see you choose to ignore completely the information that has been provided on this thread by Christine Martin, one of the best-informed and most-involved people in the English-speaking world on the last two decades of restoration activity at Tsarskoye Selo.  It's not clear why, other than you seem to have trouble with information that runs counter to your partially-informed or knee-jerk opinions.


Dear Tsarfan, what you say in your post is very well known to me, and most other people on this discussion panel.  I have read everything you have written dozens of times.

I see, then, that poor retention may be a factor here.  Where in your "dozens" of readings did you find the information that the Alexander Palace parade rooms "never" had groupings of small paintings hung in them?  Or that it was unlikely that a tented ceiling would have been original to the palace?  It's not always a matter of how much you read.  Sometimes what you read is important . . . as, of course, is retaining it.


Jackie Kennedy did not take 60 years to restore the White House. She also had the disadvantage of not having most of the architectural "bits" and furniture "squirreled" away down the road.

Ah, I see you still fail to grasp the difference between a restoration, a re-creation, and a period-appropriate redecoration.  Jackie Kennedy no more "restored" the White House than did I.  As for the "architectural bits", many of them were found still intact under dropped ceilings and other later modifications during the dismantling and cataloging of the structure preparatory to the Truman reconstruction of the building.  


They found the money to restore the Konstantine Palace for President Putin at huge cost, in a very short space of time. No problem. Am I wrong ?  

Yes, you are wrong.  What they did to the Konstantine Palace was even less a "restoration" than what Jackie Kennedy did to the White House.  It was converted into a conference center and a presidential residence.  Eighteen guest houses were constructed on the grounds.  It has been ridiculed by some as a parody of the original building and symptomatic of the most venal impulses of the emergent ruling class in Russia.


They found the money to restore the Konstantine Palace . . . . Not the most tasteful renovation . . . .

Even in the space of a short paragraph discussing one building, you manage to confuse a restoration with a renovation.  They are two very different things.  I'm beginning to see why your strained comparisons between the situations of the White House and the Alexander Palace leave you so hopelessly muddled.


I dont want to sound rude, but what is your point ?

Be as rude as you like.  I'm a big boy.  I would think, however, sounding confused should be more of a concern to you.


I hope I have not offended any of the Tsarskoe Selo Museum directors who may be reading reading this post.

Perhaps you did at first . . . something that both the Forum Administrator and Christine Martin were trying futilely to signal to you.  But, at this point, I doubt if anyone feels your opinions would be taken seriously enough to be of any concern to anyone.  So have at it.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on August 20, 2012, 04:45:39 PM
Ok Ok... lets try to get a degree of rationale into this diatribe/debate.

Firstly, Tsarfan - thank you so much for your vote of confidence.   As you know, not only have I had direct exchanges with the Directorate of Tsarskoe Selo Museums for almost quarter of a century, but have been in the fortunate position to act as a conduit on a number of occasions - an 'interface' between 'east and west'.   I feel enormously privileged to consider TSM staff not just colleagues but very dear friends.

If senior members of the staff of TSM read any of the posts by Brassov, he need not fear causing them distress or disturbance.   Over the years they have confronted people with various and varying opinions, as well as extremely disruptive individuals.   They hold wise counsel.   They know a job has to be done and are totally singleminded.   Outsiders tossing in their tuppence worth will not have the slightest impact.

What will have an impact...indeed what already has had a HUGE impact, is the selfless generosity of Tsarfan.   Bob and I have tried to do our 'bit' over the years in many and varied forms, but never before have we known of one individual who has not only shared his knowledge of the history of Russia and his interest and involvement with the Alexander Palace and TSM, but who has actually reached very deeply into his pocket to ensure the restoration of the Alexander Palace is developed as closely as possible to the original concept.   NOBODY else in the world has made such a sacrifice.   However, even this does not make Brassov stop for a second to consider his rather pathetic rear guard attempt at displaying some kind of superior understanding and knowledge of the siktuation at TSM - more than the Minister of Culture, than the Directorate of Tsarskoe Selo Museums and more than any of us who have been directly involved and party to plans for the future.

Brassov - not only have we read Suzanne Massie's 'Pavlovsk...', we know Suzanne.   We have visited TSM with Suzanne.   We have visited Pavlovsk with Suzanne.   We have worshipped at the Feodorovsky Sobor with Suzanne.   This is a case of 'grannies and eggs'.

The work at the Konstantinovichi Palace is, in a word, 'horrendous'.   If this is the best example Brassov can produce as an sample of what the wealth of Russia can achieve in a short period of time, it is a spurious one.

Finally to address the inside details of the White House... a response to this really is up to the Forum Adminstrator or to Moderators of this thread.   As a mere poster, I have to ask, is this the appropriate place to continue this discussion?

Christine M
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 20, 2012, 05:23:22 PM
The White House was merely an analogy and should not be continued as a part of discussion.  The focus of this thread is the Alexander Palace Restoration.

I have tried, with no success, to keep the focus on the RESTORATION and not the armchair criticism of Brasssov.  Christine hit the nail on the head, with a point I wanted to make, while she was posting.

As we say here in the US "Talk is Cheap".  Actions and deeds speak louder than words.  Brassov, it is EASY to sit back and write your gripes here about the Restoration of the AP. What you YOU actually done? I suspect, nothing.

Bob has known Suzanne very well for decades, he considers her as a second "mother."  I myself have had long phone conversations with her. Bob was single handedly responsible for bringing the very first large donation to secure the safety and preservation of the Alexander Palace, when he went to the World Monuments Foundation and got the Alexander Palace put on the list of most endangered historic monuments in the world. With that, he went to his friends at American Express and secured their donation of $450,000 to replace the roof on the Alexander Palace and stop the continued damage from the leaking roof.

Christine has spoken for herself.  Mike Pyles reached into this pocket and gave the TSM a gift of $55,000 to secure the immediate repatriation of the single most important artifact to ensure the Alexander Palace is restored to its exact appearance when the last Imperial Family lived there, which is the current goal.  What have YOU done Brassov? aside from complain and blame others? have you given money? Time? returned artifacts? Written the Russian Government even one letter urging their support for the AP?

The importance of deeds not words is what has driven Bob and Christine to the newest project "The Friends of Tsarskoye Selo Society".  For the last 20 years, many have gone to the TSM with words of hope and promises made.  All of which, came to naught.  Nobody lived up to their promises of money and restorations.  Now, there will be a means and vehicle for any single person to step up and HELP in whatever way they can. $5, $50, or $50,000. Towards restoration, repatriation of furniture, books and artifacts, whatever they deem best. 

TSM staff have heard many words before and as Christine said, words are worthless to them.  They have  a job to do, to which they are totally dedicated, and have learned to know who will "stand and deliver" and who is "full of hot air".

Are we clear now?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 20, 2012, 09:34:47 PM
Well, I have. Not as gennorous,  but still as much as I could. I even adopted two kittens at the AP  so the babushkas could  afford to feed them. I will join the TSM when I have the details. Russia is not an easy country to send money to. As someone who started out on wishing this place had been bulldozed after the war, I have become  rather fond of the place.
 On resoration, renovation, I was recently reading about an attempt to  do  much the same on a  royal castle in Oman.  Do not bother looking it up- it is in Arabic. Now, Oman has all the money it needs, they just do not have the talent to do the job. No one now lives in the place and it has fallen into disrepair. The AP seems to have the opposite problem,  talent an no money.
 Sure, I will give, just let me know when the details are clear. I am not a money pit, and I have been dissapointed  before so am ready to see some results of where my money goes. I trust you guys so  will be happy to join. in. It is clear this project has aims,  that is good.  But, I know Russia fairly well and am leery about some projects.
 BTW, I have some original Russian fabrics.  I bought them  in St.P but do not know the provenace. They are of the MA summer style [Versailles] I do not know if they are worth anything but if AP can use them, they are welcome to them.
 And, after the war evacuations,  most of the original furnishings were scattered, so as we all should know, it will be difficlut in reuniting them to the AP. I went through this with Versailles 5 thosand down the drain for a chair. Personally, I would not care for a recreation  of N&A's rooms, They had no taste, but back to the  Alex Ist Empire style. That was what is intented  to be.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Brassov on August 22, 2012, 10:54:34 AM
Christine, I agree with you on the restoration of the Kontantine Palace......I said it was not tasteful, which is putting it mildly. I think it lends a whole new dimension to the word horrendous.
You are lucky to know Suzanne Massie personally. I am a big fan of hers, and have great admiration for her devotion to the preservation of the Palaces and the way in which she has made many people in the West appreciate Russian culture.
   
It seems I have got some hackles up. Specially yours Tsarfan. Relax, this is a discussion forum, we are all entitled to our opinions, and this is all supposed to be fun.

Whether you like it or not, I still feel the same about the contents of the Alexander Palace.

Regards

ps. Tsarfan,  I know the floors of Pavlovsk were renovated on two ocassions. Once after the original fire, and again after WWII.
 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: ChristineM on August 22, 2012, 01:54:37 PM
EXCELLENT:  Brassov

Now we know we are all... 'singing from the same hymn sheet', just sometimes slightly off-key.   Fundamentally our concern is the restoration of this unique palace.   Inevitably there will be differences of opinion as to how this is achieved.   Its the achievement which matters... more than the getting there.   However, getting there is integral to our reasons for being here.   Surely the fact we can agree to differ is a sign of maturity...nobody is going into a huff.   Goodness, when we pause to think of the life story of this great palace, an occasional storm in a tea-cup isn't worth a hiccup.

Nobody enjoys a good head-to-head debate more than 'Tsarfan' - as I have discovered over the years and believe me, you don't just have to be on your toes but also to waken with the lark to keep up with him.   A spell of mental jousting does nobody harm - indeed quite the reverse.   The bottom line is respect and I think we now realise this is a shared courtesy.

So...thank you Brassov - all of us will value your posting.   And yes, Suzanne Massie's contribution is incalculable along with that of Bob Atchison.  We must never forget these two remarkable, totally different but each as vital in his own way - Kuchumov and Kedrinsky without whom there would be nothing here to discuss.

Christine



Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 22, 2012, 03:47:24 PM
Whether you like it or not, I still feel the same about the contents of the Alexander Palace.

I don't think any of us would not like to see original furnishings returned to the palace as part of the most authentic restoration possible.  However, the restoration of the building is mostly a matter of money these days, as the artisan skills are on hand for the task.  The reacquisition of original furnishings is much more complicated, even in the case where the whereabouts of the originals are known or even in state hands at other museums.

Richard Jenrette, perhaps the premiere restorationist of buildings from the Federal era in America (the same period during which the Alexander Palace was constructed and first furnished) confronted huge obstacles in returning original pieces to his restorations, even with his great wealth and high-level connections and, often, with the knowledge of where the pieces were.  And consider that the pieces he had trouble wresting from the hands of others did not have anything approaching the provenance of property of the tsars.  It is just not that quick and easy.

I hope we can all agree on this without attributing the difficulties in overcoming impediments to the incompetence or lack of dedication of people who are getting more remarkable work done more quickly than any of us thought possible only ten years ago.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 22, 2012, 04:03:42 PM
Indeed, Tsarfan makes a valuable point.  The Alexander Palace was built, decorated and furnished by Emperors, with the power and money that accompany the office.  The current "residents" have far more challenges and difficulties facing them, but they all have the dedication to face them squarely.

The Friends of Tsarskoe Selo Society will be a great vehicle for people world wide to help overcome those obstacles, and achieve the one goal everyone here shares: The Restoration of the Alexander Palace, in the best and most accurate way possible.  Once Bob and the directors finalize the details, and we can open the membership, we hope everyone will step up and do whatever small things they can do within their means to make this goal a reality.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 22, 2012, 04:34:48 PM
This whole conversation brings up an interesting point . . . and it has to do with the definition of "authenticity" as regards the imperial palaces.

Think about it this way.  Most opera-goers today treat a performance as almost being in a church service.  One listens to the opera with near-reverence, staying as still and as quiet as possible so as not to disturb the presentation of an immutable monument to music history.  (One also occasionally dozes off.)  But opera was originally a very different form of entertainment.  Especially during the recitatives, people bustled about, came and went, chatted with neighbors, peered at the crowd.  Only during the big-name arias did people become generally attentive.  It was a vibrant, amorphous experience.  And that was its real appeal.  (Remember the wonderful scenes of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in the brilliant film Amadeus?  That is what opera was meant to be.)

I think palaces were much more like that to their occupants and visitors in their heyday.  They were not museums.  They were places where the chairs were in one place today and another place tomorrow.  Children played in them, even in the parade rooms.  Consider the slide in the Mountain Room of the Alexander Palace.   Think about King George I of Greece (Olga Constantinova's husband) and his children chasing each other on their bikes through the state rooms of their Athens palace.  Then there is that wonderful watercolor of Alexander I's bedroom at the Catherine Palace, with his boots and cast-off clothes strewn over the room and draped over furniture.

Even as late as Catherine II's time, there was not enough furniture to fill the palaces she kept expanding, so wagonloads of furniture followed her from palace to palace.  The concept of a piece of furniture "belonging" to one palace as opposed to another was alien to the occupants.  While still a Grand Duchess, there is an anecdote of a foreign dignitary having a discussion with Catherine while they were standing under scaffolding in a hall of Peterhof that was being remodeled while Empress Elizabeth was in residence and using the area to entertain.  (Less on point, there was the astonishing episode when a fire in a Moscow palace to which Elizabeth had migrated for a winter season burned and destroyed 4,000 dresses she had hauled down in her wake from St. Petersburg to get her through the party cycle.)

Take the Semicircular Hall of the Alexander Palace, for example.  Sometimes when Nicholas or Alexandra walked into it, it was almost empty.  Sometimes it was set up with dozens of round tables for a banquet.  Sometimes it was set up as a movie theater for which a hole had been made in the back wall to accommodate the projector.  So . . . which is the "authentic" way to present the room today?

What is truly authentic about these palaces is the fluidity of their use and their appearance from year to year, even from day to day.  In many ways, they were shells to hold the portable lives of tsars and their families who were constantly on the move.  It is important to restore the sense of what it felt like to live and move about in a place such as the Alexander Palace.  Viewing it as a monument that is desecrated by having this piece of furniture there instead of that piece, or having something on one wall instead of another, rather misses the whole point of what a palace was to its occupants.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 22, 2012, 05:12:37 PM
I certainly think you are correct in your description of the original ambience of opera and even theatre --- the original productions of Shakespeare's play would have included incredibly raucous audience interaction with the stage. It  survives today in British theatre more so than American; in England they will actually boo a bad performance, while American audiences will simply sit in glazed silence rather than be so "rude". And yes, what you say about the fluidity of these palaces also makes sense. They were both public AND private spaces, with purposes for particular areas rotating from reign to reign depending upon the sociability of the monarchs, the ages of their children, whole varieties of reasons. I suppose the ideal thing would be to change arrangements of furniture and pictures with some frequency. It would be both accurate AND interesting, as well as giving a more accurate sense of it as both home and facility. It would also allow accommodation for both those who want Nicholas and Alexandra (kind of boring in the state rooms, anyway) and those who want the grandeur.

Simon
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 22, 2012, 05:25:38 PM
This is all true, Tsarfan.  Many palaces had a change of fabrics from  summer to winter. Also, often, furniture travelled with the Emperor [or empress, as the case may be]. Catherine II bought hoards of treasures from the sales  at Versailles after their revolution.  It took  lots of carts to haul this stuff around. And, later, trainloads.  Recall what N&A took with them to Tobolsk. People concentrate on the jewels but they took beds, kitchen needs and  other things they felt they may need.
 Furniture was often disposable, although we may call them valuable antiques now, they were just every day items to them.
 There was also a lot of looting,not just by the Bolsheviks and Nazis. After the last revolution, once people had vented their anger, Lenin  put a stop to it. "property of the people" and all that. Even Stalin's sales barely made a dent in the national patrimony.
 BTW, Magic Flute is my favourite opera, and the Queen of the Night aria still thrills me.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TheMauveRoom on August 22, 2012, 07:19:18 PM
While I would certainly like to see the Alexander Palace exactly as it was when Nicholas and Alexandra lived there, there is something to be said for "acquired significance," which most modern historic preservationists consider when they go to restore any landmark. What I mean is that while most of us consider the period from 1894-1917 when Nicholas and Alexandra lived at the Alexander Palace as its most significant contribution to history, there is certainly more to the story. Many museum professionals (myself included) struggled with the question of whether a landmark should be restored to one period at the expense of another.

Frankly, up until recently I thought that the restorations done at the Alexander Palace were appalling. I still am not overly fond of them, but my it took my reading Suzanne Massie's book Pavlovsk to understand why the Alexander Palace (many of the other Imperial residences as well) was in such bad shape. Even after the Revolution, most of the Russian people felt that it was important to preserve the history of their tsarist past. There was an almost immediate movement to preserve the palaces and turn them into museums (in addition to the ill-conceived idea of the AP as a children's home). Until the Nazis invaded Russia during World War II, everything was essentially the way that Nicholas and Alexandra had left it when they went to Tobolsk. Much of their clothing was still in the closets!

The goal of the Nazis when they arrived in Russia was to break the spirit of the Russian people. They felt that this could best be done by destroying their cultural centers and above all, wiping out any remnants of their history. Of course, the palaces were and are some of Russia's most amazing monuments. The Nazis went through the Alexander Palace and destroyed almost everything that had been left behind by the frantic curators, who did manage to evacuate a remarkable amount of valuables from all of the remaining palaces to secret locations around Russia. One woman remembered coming upon Nazi soldiers stomping Alexandra's hats into the ground. She was extremely distraught and began to pick up some of the broken items on the floor. She managed to find a small, undamaged vase which the Nazis allowed her to keep.

By the end of the war, Tsarskoe Selo was essentially a wasteland. The Alexander Palace had been completely desecrated. This was a very long-winded way of making my point; which is that in some ways I think that the current presentation of the Alexander Palace is appropriate because it makes clear how much was lost during World War II. We are really lucky that the building itself is still standing at all! To go back and restore everything to an exact replica of how it was when Nicholas and Alexandra lived there would mean wiping out another part of the AP's history.

However, I don't at all deny that I would absolutely LOVE to see the Alexander Palace in all of its glory!

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 22, 2012, 10:08:54 PM
Many museum professionals (myself included) struggled with the question of whether a landmark should be restored to one period at the expense of another.

I am a huge fan of Quarenghi's work and view the Alexander Palace as one of the jewels of world neoclassical architecture that should be restored to his vision as a work of art.  And I am in the camp that finds Alexandra's taste in interior design to be absolutely execrable.  At the same time, I recognize that the survival of the palace at all depends in large part on its attraction to future tourists as the last home of the Russian monarchy.

Fortunately, the Alexander Palace is unusual in allowing the accommodation of both agendas in almost full measure.  Nicholas and Alexandra chose to set up their personal quarters in the least important part of the original Quarenghi building, cut off as it was from the rest of the palace by the Concert Hall and sited closest to the street and entry gate.  So, with the exception of the Concert Hall, their renovations really did not touch the core architectural fabric of the building in any significant way.  This leaves us with the great good luck that a restoration of the palace to the state in which Nicholas and Alexandra knew it satisfies both the desires of those to see the last tsar's home brought back to life and of those to see the essence of the Quarenghi building protected.

While I have a tinge of regret over the loss of the Concert Hall, it was not as architecturally significant as the main parade rooms which form perhaps the most elegant and harmonious space of any Russian palace.  And it was replaced in part by the one space Alexandra brought into being that had, at least in my opinion, true artistic merit -- the Maple Room, which is arguably one of the most beautiful art nouveau spaces ever created anywhere . . . and certainly in Russia.  The Maple Room for the Concert Hall seems, on balance, a fair trade to me.

And MauveRoom, I think your point about acquired significance is very well-taken.  For better or worse, the building played a role in some of the darkest days of modern Russian history, and there is value in acknowledging that rather than trying to erase it altogether from the story of the palace told to coming generations.  The example of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedåchtnißkirche in Berlin is perhaps too extreme when dealing with buildings as significant as the Catherine Palace and Pavlovsk, but leaving some remnants of the days of the Alexander Palace as an orphanage and as a military facility would be entirely appropriate.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vanya Ivanova on August 23, 2012, 09:13:42 AM
In relation to the conservation and return of furniture and artifacts to historical buildings, I know a little of the difficulties involved, which are manifold it has to be said.

I work for the Bath Preservation Trust, in Bath, England. One of the Trust's properties is No 1 the Royal Crescent. Recently the Trust has managed to acquire the house next door which was originally the service wing (servants quarters) for No 1 Royal Crescent. This means that as of next summer, the townhouse will have 10 recreated period rooms as opposed to the current 5.

Most of the furniture and objects in the house are on loan from other museums and private individuals. For the renovations to re link the two properties all these items have to be returned to their owners temporarily owing to the complex and expensive issue of their insurance. The scale of cataloging, indexing, packing, shipping and storing of the items for the renovations is an immense and expensive operation. It also means that staffing levels will have to rise from 76 at the moment to 142 all told when the other 5 rooms are added to the museum.

The scale and expense of this house and its items is as nothing in comparison to a project such as the restoration of a building as large and significant as the Alexander Palace. Just purchasing and re joining the service wing of this 18th century town house has taken years of logistical planning and millions of pounds of funding from lottery grants and private individuals.

From what I have seen the external renovations and restoration of the Parade Halls at the Alexander Palace are of the highest conservation standards possible and an incredible achievement in such a short space of time. The return of every painting, chair, table etc may never be possible for a project of this scale and the restoration of the private apartments will be particularly arduous as there are so many component parts/objects to deal with.

The Russian museum authorities are world experts at this and are dealing with the Palace extremely sensitively, ie doing everything meticulously to the highest standard and that takes time, lots of it. I can understand why some visitors may feel frustrated by this but one has to grasp that if it is to be done properly then it takes a long time and you have to start with the structural and architectural integrity of the building first before you can even think about the objects and items that fill those spaces.

There is also the factor that as Tsarfan pointed out that the Soviet era and the uses of the building then are as much a part of its history as Nicholas II's tenure. Its important that the building is allowed to tell its whole story as its this layering of history that makes buildings such as the Alexander Palace so enriching. I take 'my hat off' as it where to all those who have worked so tirelessly and selflessly to bring about this spectacular transformation/rescue of such a beautiful and important building.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 23, 2012, 05:35:25 PM
This was a very helpful perspective, Vanya.  I don't want to take this thread off topic, but the Bath project sounds fascinating.  Is there anywhere I can go to find out more about it?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: IvanVII on August 23, 2012, 11:57:56 PM
I would personally love to see a living type museum. Maybe a progression of time as you move through the palace, starting on one end with the original scheme and progressing through the eras, or perhaps where the rooms themselves would be on a rotation between one period to the next. Or as Tsarfan talked of, one day you would walk into the parade rooms and they would be set up for a major state function, come back in a couple weeks and perhaps they are set up for a family affair.


Just random thoughts from someone who is no expert, just a lover of history.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Vanya Ivanova on August 24, 2012, 04:51:10 AM
Hi Tsarfan,

There isn't any literature as such but the Trust has two very good websites, www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk and www.bptlearning.org.uk (sorry, hopeless at hyperlinks!), the latter being specifically about events etc. The Trust was set up in 1934, primarily as a campaign to prevent a large road being built right through the heart of the city with the destruction of many of its 18th century buildings, the Trust was successful in preventing this thankfully.

The Trust was also instrumental in bringing about the award of the UNESCO World Heritage status/protection to the entire city in 1987, the only entire city to be awarded this status other than Venice.

I agree with you IvanVII, about the idea of a 'living museum' format at the Alexander Palace one day, a building of this status offers so many wonderful possibilities for the Russian Museum authorities. I don't profess to know the culture of the Russian Heritage industry personally but it has a reputation for excellence and when the Russians decide to restore a building one can rest assured it will be done to a standard that few museums in the 'west' can equal. The standard of the restoration to the Parade Halls and exterior bear this out. The Palace now has a very bright future and will delight and enrich generations to come.

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TimM on August 25, 2012, 02:20:30 AM
It will be interesting to visit the Alexander Palace when the renovations are done.  I would love to go, if I can afford it, that is.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on August 25, 2012, 08:42:03 AM
 Wonderful news! The "Tsarskoye Selo Friends Society" project is moving forward nicely.  Bob is working with the technical people at the Museum's current website "tzar.ru" on the new site and a steady stream of conversation between Dr. Bott's office and Bob is going back and forth.  A good friend of ours is going to Russia in two weeks, as part of the US Embassy Cultural Exchange program, and Dr. Bott has asked to meet with him on our behalf!  Fortunately, he speaks very fluent Russian! (He is an expert on Russian Theatre, and self taught in Russian so he could go study at the Moscow Art Theatre.  He recently did his own translation and staging of "Uncle Vanya" here in Austin, that was really quite excellent! We met him when he asked, through a neighbor of ours, to meet with Bob to discuss some of the historical/cultural context issues of the play. The initial "15 or 20 minute"s turned into an entire Sunday afternoon! One of our antique 19th century Samovars played a "supporting role" in the first act as a featured prop. "Look, the samovar has gone cold....") The Autochromes are safely at the Museum. Bob and Mike have both been invited for private visits to the Alexander Palace next year by Dr. Bott's office!

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 25, 2012, 10:12:00 AM
Paul Gilbert just posted a 16-minute video (with musical accompaniment) "tour" through the State Rooms of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

I cant' tell if this is a repeat or something new. Anyway, here it is:

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1439857/the-alexander-palace-a-walk-through-the-state-rooms/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on August 29, 2012, 01:15:50 PM
Forgive me if this has been discussed elsewhere, but a search brought up nothing.   i've noticed in a few photos of the restored Semi-Circular Hall that there appears to be a partial (is it a fresco??) in the arched niche above the cornice to the immediate right of the door.   It appears in the video that Inok posted above and also in the photo on the sample website page that Bob Atchison just posted about the Society of Friends of Tsarskoye Selo on another thread.  (I'm not very good at posting/copying photos on this site).    Can anyone provide me with some info about this?   Are there any close-up photos?   I'm intrigued.   

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 29, 2012, 05:54:59 PM
More from Paul Gilbert:

Rare Book Returned to the Alexander Palace

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1440028/rare-book-returned-to-the-alexander-palace/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Tsarfan on August 29, 2012, 06:06:53 PM
i've noticed in a few photos of the restored Semi-Circular Hall that there appears to be a partial (is it a fresco??) in the arched niche above the cornice to the immediate right of the door.

I've noticed the same thing.  I have just assumed it was a patch of the unrestored wall, left to demonstrate the state of the room prior to restoration.  A similar thing was done when the Sistine Chapel was cleaned a few years ago so that visitors could see the contrast between the fresco as first realized and the state into which it had fallen after centuries of candle-burning and city pollution had done their work.  In fact, this approach is becoming quite common in restoration work.

But I'm just guessing here.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on August 29, 2012, 06:20:35 PM
I'm assuming that you're both talking about this section.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_5808d2c08e1f.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=5808d2c08e1f.jpg)

You're right about it being a patch of the unrestored wall showing how the wall looked before the restoration. As you can see in the photo below (I know it's not of the exact same spot, but it's the same idea), you can see that there are painted windows-- so yes, kind of a fresco above the real windows. That's what they're showing by leaving it unpainted. I wonder if they'll ever go back and add the painted windows?

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_scircular.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=scircular.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on August 29, 2012, 06:28:34 PM
Tsarfan and EmmyLee - thank you both for your replies.  I was not aware that it is common to leave unrestored areas in restorations.   Yes, you can barely make out the painted window frames in the unrestored portion.  I never would have picked up on that.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on January 27, 2013, 04:22:41 PM
What is happening with the Alexander Palace restoration?  I haven't seen any new pictures posted in the Forums, or anyplace else for that matter, ever since the Parade rooms were completed. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Joanna on January 28, 2013, 01:21:57 PM
Fragment of original flooring in AP that survived - hard to tell if this suite of rooms is right wing 2nd floor childrens or left wing 2nd:
http://www.nvspb.ru/photo/9886.jpg

AP Basement repairs:
http://www.nvspb.ru/photo/9888.jpg

AP room after departure of navy in 2009 - fireplace mantle appears original, could give idea of which room:
http://www.nvspb.ru/photo/9889.jpg

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on January 28, 2013, 01:25:25 PM
At the moment, there are no ongoing restoration projects in the Palace.  The autochromes have completely changed everything.  They will now be able to restore the AP to exactly what it looked like on the day the IF left for Tobolsk.  That is now the current goal.  While the government has allocated funds for the restoration, they were budgeted out for several years from now.  We are hoping that the process may be moved up sooner if possible, now.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on January 28, 2013, 04:44:41 PM
So has work stopped in the right wing of the palace?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on February 04, 2013, 11:43:24 AM
Thank you for the update, Forum Admin.  It really is a startling development, and clinches what I know many have suspected - and hoped for - all along.  I well remember how the AP languished from neglect for decades.  And then the announcement that it was going to be restored.  And how it was going to be restored, perhaps, to the way it was in the early 1800s.  And now to the way it looked the day the IF left it for the last time.  Talk about hemming and hawing!

If the autochromes will help restore it to a more authentic condition, then I say the additional time needed to achieve that will be worth the wait.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: macristo on July 11, 2013, 06:08:29 PM
Excuse me for asking a silly question: what are exactly the autochromes?
Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on July 11, 2013, 06:57:20 PM
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=17195.0
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: macristo on July 12, 2013, 06:59:52 PM
Thank you very much for your quick answer!!!!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Marie-Catherine on July 16, 2013, 10:33:35 AM
I couldn't find the info, but I was wondering what will happen to the children's room on the second floor ?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on July 16, 2013, 11:37:30 AM
When I was in April at the palace, and asked about the restoration of the kids' rooms, I was told that they will not do, because few photos and descriptions of the rooms. Maybe it will make a playing room Alexis. When I go to Pushkin in September I will  ask again.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: londo954 on August 15, 2013, 09:11:42 PM
I noticed that the rooms that connect Alexandra's Corner Drawing Room to the Picture Gallery are now open (Small and Large Library and Mountain Hall) are now open but still need restoration. I wonder whether the lamps will be returned from the Egyptian Hall (Pavlovsk) to restore the library since they were borrowed from there in the first place?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TanyaK on August 29, 2013, 02:10:37 PM
I'm assuming that you're both talking about this section.

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/th_5808d2c08e1f.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=5808d2c08e1f.jpg)

You're right about it being a patch of the unrestored wall showing how the wall looked before the restoration. As you can see in the photo below (I know it's not of the exact same spot, but it's the same idea), you can see that there are painted windows-- so yes, kind of a fresco above the real windows. That's what they're showing by leaving it unpainted. I wonder if they'll ever go back and add the painted windows?

(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/th_scircular.jpg) (http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f55/visga/Places/Alexander%20Palace/Other%20Rooms/?action=view&current=scircular.jpg)

I'm sure they will copy these panels accurately some time if they can. It depends upon finding modern artists capable of properly reproducing the old work, and maybe having to guess sometimes what was there. Never very easy.

The recently released colour slides might help restoration experts.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on January 14, 2014, 06:21:10 PM
Restoration of the Alexander Palace Temporarily Suspended !!!

For more information , http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1452746/restoration-of-the-alexander-palace-temporarily-suspended/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: rgt9w on January 15, 2014, 10:29:22 AM
Will the palace be open throughout 2014 for visitors since restoration has been temporarily suspended?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on April 03, 2015, 10:38:52 AM
I have just seen a quote on 'Romanov News' that the Alexander Palace will be closed from this summer 'for reconstruction'
 I was wondering how they were going to reconstruct the interiors of Nicholas and Alexandra, so could those in the know offer any info on this ?

Does this mean that the museum will be closed for the next couple of years....ie until 2018 when the interiors are due to be finished ?

Many Thanks
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on April 03, 2015, 11:52:36 AM
Yes, the Museum will be closed while they restore the Imperial Family Rooms.  The detailed receipts still intact and the Autochromes recently returned will provide the basis for the exact reconstruction.  In addition to the Imperial Rooms, the right side wing will be new exhibition space, visitor amenities, gift shop etc etc.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on April 03, 2015, 12:29:15 PM
Glad I got to see the palace in 2013 and now cant wait for the re opening ! after all these years the end is in sight !
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on April 03, 2015, 12:36:00 PM
Dear Forum Admin,

do you know if the artifacts present in Pavlovsk Palace displays - furniture, decorative elements etc - will be returned and become part of the reconstructed interiors ?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on June 23, 2015, 03:21:10 AM
Dear Forum Admin,

It would be fascinating to see the progression of the recreation of the Imperial Family's rooms 'as it happens' in the coming months/years.....

As Bob has such a good relationship with the Tsarskoe Selo Museum authorities, is this a possibility for us to see the restoration as it happens
from time to time ? Is Bob planning on going to the Alexander Palace at regular intervals during the next couple of years ?

Many Thanks

Greg
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Forum Admin on June 23, 2015, 09:20:14 AM
It should be possible to share images of the restoration process as it is happening.  There are no plans as yet for Bob to go to the Palace again in the near future, for obvious reasons.

Will see what we can do.

FA
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Greg D on June 23, 2015, 04:01:51 PM
Thanks ! I have been hoping for this for over 25 years and finally the end is in sight ! It will be great to see the process and my admiration goes to all involved
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on June 23, 2015, 10:30:09 PM
Count me in.  I, too, would love to see pictures of the restoration in progress, rather than wait years for the unveiling. 
Title: Alexander Palace: the reconstruction of the basement (foto).
Post by: lilianna on July 16, 2015, 10:21:46 AM
http://www.undergroundexpert.info/podzemnye-sooruzheniya/social-naja-infrastruktura/203-aleksandrovskij-dvorec-rabota-po-proektirovaniju-i-ustrojstvu-podval-nyh-pomeshhenij
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on July 22, 2015, 11:06:37 AM
Reconstruction, restoration, technical re-equipment and the adaptation of the Alexander Palace for museum use.
Many photos restoration of the basement of the palace.

http://stoikspb.ru/stroitelnye_obekty/aleksandrovskiy_dvorets_pushkin
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 06, 2015, 01:24:41 PM
I did a little update on this on my website, which I translated from a Russian site: http://www.theromanovfamily.com/alexander-palace-last-imperial-residence-of-the-romanov-family-closed-until-2018/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on September 07, 2015, 01:36:33 AM
"Nikita Yavein and his Architectural Workshop “Studio 44” have come up with the renovation project for the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo ."

http://archi.ru/en/32671/dvorec-kak-prostranstvo-dlya-dialoga

Very interesting article with architect's plans !!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on September 07, 2015, 03:41:38 PM
The programme of Alexander palace's restorations :

"The restoration projects include the following:

   *Restoration of rooms with surviving historic decorations, such as the Suite of State Rooms including the Corner Drawing-Room, Mountain Hall, Large or Crimson Drawing-Room and Library Rooms, as well as the Reception Room and State or New Study of Nicholas II;

   *Restoration of historic decorations (as of the late 19th – early 20th century) in six living and working rooms on the first floor of the West Wing, such as the Bathroom or Moorish Room, Study (Office) of Nicholas II, Bedroom, Lilac or Mauve Study, Palisander and Maple Drawing-Rooms;

   *Some rooms in the West Wing that were rebuilt in 1949 will be used as temporary exhibition and conference rooms after restoration.

   *These works are scheduled for completion in 2018, depending on finances. If the palace reopens by 17 July 2018, that will be a major event commemorating 100 years since the tragic death of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.  

These projects are scheduled for completion in 2018. The Alexander Palace is scheduled to reopen on July 17, 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.
"

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 September, 2015
 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on September 23, 2015, 12:12:57 PM
The Palace rooms and the basement. Restoration. 21.09.2015.
Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=195&v=rju1KEHU218
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Laura Mabee on September 23, 2015, 07:54:42 PM
Thank you Liliana for the video! How fascinating. I've never seen the palace so bare, and so exposed to the public (plastic moldings on the columns!!??!)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on September 23, 2015, 09:42:20 PM
1. I don't like the restoration of the basement. They raised basement at 1-2 meters and there will be a cloakroom for guests and a café. In the video it shows the height of the old and new basement.
2. Props in the New Cabinet of the Emperor was made for film about the Royal Family.


Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on September 23, 2015, 09:54:45 PM
 The  film of Gleb Panfilov "Romanovs the Imperial family". The film was made in 2000.
Here is a film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=3&v=LPqiyzig0OY
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on September 24, 2015, 11:55:33 PM
The Palace rooms and the basement. Restoration. 21.09.2015.
Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=195&v=rju1KEHU218

I understood very little but watched the entire video.  At 14:02 I gasped; is it possible that the ornate mirrored door cover has been returned to the Mountain Hall?  It appears that artists renditions have been mixed with actual footage, so I can't be sure.  I'm certainly hoping so.

Thank you so much, Lilianna, for posting this fascinating video!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on September 25, 2015, 12:43:31 AM
Oops.  I meant Billiard Hall.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on September 25, 2015, 05:02:34 AM
The film was shot at the Studio and at Alexander Palace. For filming was made of the furniture on the photos before the war with the Nazis. Was made Bedroom furniture, New Cabinet for the bedroom and Alexis. After the film Museum was asked to leave everything in the Palace. And there she was standing before the closure of the Palace for restoration. The video shows the chief architect and says that everything will be made from natural stones. Will be so until 1941.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alice on July 14, 2017, 12:41:07 AM
Do we know if July 2018 is still the proposed re-opening date? I ask because I was there about four weeks ago and there's a sign in front of the palace that says the restoration won't be completed until 2020. I wish I'd taken a photo of the sign, but the weather was awful and it was difficult juggling the umbrella and camera  . . .

ETA: I did take a photo of the actual palace, though!

(http://i65.tinypic.com/9uxj5y.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: BobAtchison on September 24, 2017, 04:12:08 PM
I think 2020 is optimistic. They also have to do Catherine's rooms in the Catherine Palace.  It is shocking how little money they need to do the restoration of the AP.  Lots of people want to help but the world situation is such a mess and send big sums money to Russia is almost impossible. I cannot understand why they ripped out the basement.  That was a major decision made in Moscow. I don't think it was Tsarskoe Selo.  That was a big engineering project, big bucks were and are being spent on it. In my opinion the people running Tsarskoe Selo are the SMART and best in the world - they love the palace, I wish they were given the power to make all the decisions themselves.  It must be very frustrating for them.  It is incredibly hard for them to run everything on a day to day basis AND restore the AP. They keep being given more buildings! We should do everything we can to support them.  There isn't much we can do right now in the west. Let's hope and pray we stay out of a war.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: lilianna on September 25, 2017, 11:24:52 AM
I was told that it is not known when the Palace opens. The money is now in the Museum for the continuation of the restoration there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on September 08, 2018, 09:52:07 AM
Paul Kulikovsky's "Romanov News", No. 125, Aug. 2018, has a detailed report on the progress of the restoration.
He visited the palace recently and took photos.
Check out his FaceBook page too.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Ellie on October 02, 2018, 02:57:03 AM
I finally went on a lovely organized trip to Russia around a month ago. Our guide was very nice and helpful; however, she did make a few mistakes which irked me. Guides are under a lot of pressure, so I wouldn't (at least publically) correct them. It did bother me that, upon entering Pushkin, she mentioned the Alexander Palace, which, she said, was only lived in by Nicholas II during the months of house arrest.

I tried to diplomatically put the misake straight, but didn't pursue the matter after I had agitated her when POLITELY and QUIETLY I tried to correct her when she mentioned that Alexander Ulyanov was amongst Alexander II's assassins or that Kerensky was held prisoner at the fortress of Peter and Paul.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: VonHoldinghausen on April 17, 2019, 03:57:11 PM
Hi friends

Do we know if also the childrens rooms on the upper floor ist to be restored?
I fear they are not...

Kind regards
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: TheLionandTheEagle on April 19, 2019, 05:24:24 AM
Hi friends

Do we know if also the childrens rooms on the upper floor ist to be restored?
I fear they are not...

Kind regards

In this article from Royal Russia, it says that they will be used for temporary exhibits. Hopefully, the rooms will at least be the same size, etc, as the original rooms, but it doesn't sound like they will look as they did when the Imperial Family lived there. :(

https://royalrussia.news/2019/04/17/alexander-palace-may-not-open-this-year/?fbclid=IwAR1piGK7PpBIXNRNQCQa_pGdCWxM0zDwfILbsJ2S_p4F6FvemPGohwyevTE
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: VonHoldinghausen on April 19, 2019, 01:44:31 PM
Hi friends

Do we know if also the childrens rooms on the upper floor ist to be restored?
I fear they are not...

Kind regards

In this article from Royal Russia, it says that they will be used for temporary exhibits. Hopefully, the rooms will at least be the same size, etc, as the original rooms, but it doesn't sound like they will look as they did when the Imperial Family lived there. :(

https://royalrussia.news/2019/04/17/alexander-palace-may-not-open-this-year/?fbclid=IwAR1piGK7PpBIXNRNQCQa_pGdCWxM0zDwfILbsJ2S_p4F6FvemPGohwyevTE

That article was the reason I asked here :)
Thanks anyway of course!

Cheers
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on July 15, 2019, 06:09:05 PM
Furniture for interiors of the Alexander Palace to be recreated : here the corner fireplace is being recreated (right) for the Pallisander (Rosewood) Drawing Room (left).(march 2019)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/03/09//1903091144515012516152238.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1903091144515012516152238.jpg.html)
©Stavros

https://tsarnicholas.org/2019/03/09/furniture-for-interiors-of-the-alexander-palace-to-be-recreated/
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on July 15, 2019, 06:17:33 PM
The Empress Palisander drawing room being restored, july 2019

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160115295012516314468.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160115295012516314468.jpg.html)
©Stavros
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on July 15, 2019, 06:22:47 PM
The imperial bedroom being restored (july 2019) .

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160124005012516314469.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160124005012516314469.jpg.html)
©Stavros

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on July 15, 2019, 06:38:12 PM
Restoration of the emperor Nicholas II's oriental bathroom (june 2019) :

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160129145012516314471.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160129145012516314471.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160130585012516314473.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160130585012516314473.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160130585012516314474.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160130585012516314474.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160130575012516314472.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160130575012516314472.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160132255012516314475.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160132255012516314475.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160132265012516314476.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160132265012516314476.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160132275012516314477.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160132275012516314477.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160133535012516314478.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160133535012516314478.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160133545012516314479.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160133545012516314479.jpg.html)

The bathroom before the 1917 Revolution :

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160137555012516314483.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160137555012516314483.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160136285012516314482.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160136285012516314482.jpg.html)

With Nicholas II :

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160136235012516314480.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160136235012516314480.jpg.html)

(https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/07/16//1907160136235012516314481.jpg) (https://www.casimages.com/i/1907160136235012516314481.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: VonHoldinghausen on July 16, 2019, 08:58:38 AM
Wonderful updates!
Thank you!

Kind regards
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: PAGE on July 16, 2019, 05:10:03 AM
Superb. It's so much fun to see such beautiful photographs. A heritage that is reborn.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: pers on July 19, 2019, 04:19:59 PM
Wonderful pictures!  Thank you so much for posting...
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on July 22, 2019, 03:02:34 PM
Fantastic pictures.  Thank you so much for posting!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: David_Newell on July 25, 2019, 09:54:05 PM
Breath-taking, I never thought I would live to see this, can't wait to visit. Funny the Imperial Bedroom looks smaller than I imagined.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Sanochka on September 22, 2019, 07:53:40 PM
You weren't imagining, David_Newell.  These rooms are large:  30'x30'x30'.  The bedroom only looks smaller because the bed alcove takes up so much room.  Perhaps it was originally planned that way intentionally to make such a cavernous room a much more intimate and cozy bedroom.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: EmmyLee on October 26, 2019, 01:36:44 PM
Wow! It has been a long time since I've been back to the Forum, but these photos are awesome!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: gleb on November 03, 2019, 12:42:57 PM
It is amazing to be able to see the wonderful work of restorers.
Any news on the opening date?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
Post by: Inok Nikolai on November 03, 2019, 01:05:35 PM
Paul Gilbert reports: Summer of 2020.
For a fuller report and more photos, see his posting:
https://tsarnicholas.org/2019/10/31/alexander-palace-to-re-open-in-summer-2020/