Author Topic: Exterior Fixtures, elements  (Read 6939 times)

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Offline Kevint1us

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Exterior Fixtures, elements
« on: April 16, 2009, 07:22:52 PM »
Does anyone know is the two tall lamp standards presently in front of the palace are the original ones shown in pre-revolutionary photos?

Offline Kevint1us

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 07:27:31 PM »
Also, are the front gates and the iron railings outside the Semi-circular Hall original. They seem to be. If so, it is amazing that they have survived this long intact.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 07:36:20 PM »
I don't know about the lamps, but I'm certain that the iron railings behind the Semi-circular Hall are original. I think the same goes for the front gates. In this thread (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4554.0) Scott posted some excellent photos that show the deterioration of the palace, including that of the rails. They are fairly intact but not without quite a bit of wear and rust.

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 08:12:01 PM »
I've wondered what that cord is that runs along the outside of the ramp of the semi circle balcony.  Also, aren't the holes, above the windows on semi balcony, where the awnings would have attached?  I think those two laterns outside the front of palace look like the originals from pictures.  But the lamps above the door of NII wing aren't the same, in my opinion. 

Offline Kevint1us

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 09:03:10 PM »
Well, I have a pic of the palace after the nazis withdrew and the tall lamp posts with lanterns intact are still standing. There also seems ot be no remains of the lush landscaping and iron fence that stood in front of the columnade.  Close examination seems to reveal that it was the same iron pattern as the rear semi circular stair outside the Semi-Circular Room.  Somewhere I've neen a close-up of that front fence.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 12:32:35 PM »
Could it be an electrical cord? I'm not sure about the holes above the windows; I'd never really noticed them before. You can't see them in this photo from 1948, but it could just be because of the distance it was taken at.

But it does look like the holes could have been for the awnings since they're at about the same level as where the awnings were hung from in this painting. However, I can't remember at what date the awnings were taken down. If it was during NII's reign, would they have just kept the holes there without filling them in and painting them over? I can only see them doing the opposite if it was after the IF had left for Tobolsk.


Kevin, I agree that the front gates do look like they're original. Compare to this photo.


Aha! And one more thing to add to my post. Here's the fence in front of the colonnade.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 12:40:47 PM by EmmyLee »

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2009, 01:34:34 PM »
I had not noticed the fencing had the same pattern as the back balcony.  Was this fencing original to the palace?  I'm kind of confused where this fence began and ended, or what exactly was enclosed within it? 

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2009, 01:50:26 PM »
It enclosed the grassy area between the river and the palace.

Here you can see it from a little farther back.

And this shows the oval area that it surrounded.

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2009, 01:55:45 PM »
That was fast, thanks!  I was reading elsewhere on the board and I saw one of Bob A.'s post's about the exterior sun shades:   
 
              The sun shades were removed in Fall and Winter. The mechanism for them were still attached to the walls of the palace after the war, but I am sure they are all     
              gone  today.    The back side of the palace had metal awnings as well. There was a balcony beneath Maria Alexandrovna's rooms.  They put blooming citrus trees here and
               left the windows open.


Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2009, 03:14:59 PM »
So perhaps the mechanism for the awnings was attached to the wall by those holes?

Offline Douglas

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2009, 06:38:10 PM »
Emmy Lee, here is another photo of how the fence connected to the palace on each side during the time of N II.


Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2009, 07:37:43 PM »
Thank you! I had noticed that in the close up of the fence but wasn't quite sure where it connected like that. In the photo taken farther away, it's not clear that the fence extends up to the palace.

Offline Douglas

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2009, 10:02:59 PM »
Yes Emmily....we see there is a guard house by the edge of the palace wall.  The guard would run over to the gate and allow entry of some important dignitary so that their carriage or car could drive up the ramp to  the formal entrance by the colonade.

Of course the Imperial family would enter at the rounded steps that are left of the guard house.  That door leads directly into their private quarters.

I always enjoy your posts and photos.

Douglas

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2009, 12:53:56 AM »
The railing behind the palace dates from Quarenghi's time, but the terrace had to be rebuilt and reset.  This area of the place had problems with an underground stream and it caused cracks in the foundations and vaults of the semi-circular hall during construction.  You can see the railing still has lots of damage from WWII that was not repaired in the mid 90's.  I have great pictures of the front railings and light fixtures from the 20's and you can see that they were painted light blue.  The pictures show the guard station up close as well.  Alexandra's balcony was painted the same color.  The railings of the balcony can we seen at the Hermitage and at the Belvedere Palace, they seen to have been 'stock' from the ironworks of the time.

I have never seen pictures of the balcony after the war.  I don't know if the Germans stripped if for scrap and sent it off to Germany, or it was so badly damaged that there was no way to save it after the war or (this is the most likely) the balcony was pulled down on purpose after the war to eliminate something that was too clsoely associated with Alexandra.  We know that many of the rooms - including the Maple Room survived the war only to be destroyed by the Soviets.

Throughout the palace - inside and out - there were many remains of heating systems, window mechanisms, electricity, when I was there in the early 90's.  A few years later most of this had been swept away.  I hope documenting photographs were taken before this destruction took place.  As I have send before in the 90's the museum authorities did not want to restore the rooms of Nicholas and Alexandra and there were plans to destroy the New Study and Nicholas's Reception room.  The intent was to restore the palace to the time of Nicholas I.  Thank God - and I mean THANK GOD - the museum authorities did not have the money to do this.  There was a great dislike of Nicholas and Alexandra then - even hostility towards them.  Interest in them was considered a foreign 'obsession' and a sign of lack of culture in Tsarskoe Selo.  Certainly this has changed but the damage done deliberately and through neglect is there.

As I have written elsewhere what was done to the roof on the Imperial Wing when it was replaced was barbaric and completely unnecessary. The money was given for a proper replacement and what was done was a hack job that destroyed evidence from all periods of the palace dating back to the original construction.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Exterior Fixtures, elements
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2009, 09:35:50 PM »
Why, thank you, Douglas. I can say the same about your posts.
And Bob, thank you for the detailed information. I had no idea that Alexandra's balcony and the fences were painted light blue. Is there any chance that we can see those photos from the 20's that you speak of?