Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => The Alexander Palace => Topic started by: vladm on August 04, 2008, 07:09:56 PM

Title: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 04, 2008, 07:09:56 PM
Unfortunately Joanna berried announcement deep in the forum, and folks may missed great news we all were waiting for:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=7608.msg329914#msg329914 (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=7608.msg329914#msg329914)

Here is my translation:
Iraida Bott, announced on July 29th, that ownership of the Alexander Palace from Russian Navy to GMZ "Tsarskoye Selo", complete. It will be part of the GMZ budget from next fiscal year (I believe Russian fiscal - year equal to calendar year). From next year (2009), work will begin on roof of the building and preparation to general plan of the restoration. Restoration will start on year 2010, but according to announcement, only on exterior of the building.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 04, 2008, 07:50:26 PM
That is indeed good news. To make whe palace look "whole" again.  Who knows what lies in store for work on the interiors?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Sian_Turner on August 18, 2008, 10:43:45 AM
http://s534.photobucket.com/albums/ee348/Sian_Turner/ (http://s534.photobucket.com/albums/ee348/Sian_Turner/)

I do hope the above link works.  I have finally got round to loading up the photos I took when I was at the AP in mid-July.

The reason I've posted them in this area is that it most suits my feelings having been there, and having had time to assess my feelings and impressions gained in my visit.

I have to say - and I realise this will upset some people - that I was seriously, seriously dissappointed with the level of restoration and reproduction at the AP.  As you can see from the photos the paintwork is seriously in need of work.  The wing containing the so-called "reproduction" of the rooms is not too bad on the outside but the other wing is in a dreadful state, including a hole in the roof.  The whole area is overgrown and badly looked after and has quite obviously suffered from the fact that all the money has been put into the Catherine Palace - which is gaudy, overblown and headache inducing in its colours.  It would appear to me that previous Romanovs had little in the way of taste (The Winter Palace suffers from this to a great degree as well).

I can quite understand why Alexandra would have chosen the AP as her home.  It is much more homely and in terms of size is far more like a good Georgian country house in Britain.  It is simple in it's lines and layout and shows that she had an appreciation of scale and architecture.  For those of us used to visiting the low key stately homes of Britain I'm afraid the Russian delight for "all that glisters" and insistence on packing rooms with things that don't match or complement the colours is somewhat sickening.  I also found it hard to reconcile my understanding that this wealth and opulence in the CP and Winter Palace was created whilst millions of ordinary Russians starved.

The AP is very different and, I have to say, that I hadn't appreciated how close to the road it was.  Alexandra's balcony would, I think, have been easily viewed from the road and her view from the Mauve Boudoir would have been onto the road and other houses.  This rather contradicts the impression I had of the family cloistering themselves away in the AP. 

As for the AP interiors I have to say that I found the experience frustrating, badly thought out, seriously un-friendly to non-Russian speakers and somewhat disappointing.  My historian's eye was constantly irritated by the fact that they have put the huge photo's on the wall at the back but have then used completely the wrong furniture in an attempt to "recreate" the room.  N&A's bedroom is a prime example where they've gone to great lengths to show the wall paper and curtain material but have then put beds against the side walls, icons in the wrong place and you have a tiny sheet of paper in one corner with an explanation in English of what the room is.  A's mauve boudoir suffers from the same issues.  If you look closely at the photo on the back wall you can see that there are perhaps two pieces of original furniture currently in the room, a desk and chair in a pale pistachio green colour which have been hidden on one side of the room and covered up with a velvet throw.

The other rooms all suffer from the same with the glorious exception of the Tsar's study which is a stunning reproduction where attention to detail is obvious and which delighted me.  I was also delighted by the fact that there were objects from Garf on show including the piece of wall with the "Balshatsar was in ...." quote on it.  Also's Alexei's arithmetic exercise books (he got all his sum's correct!) and also a collection of some of the girl's dresses - formal ones from I think about 1911, however none of these things were labelled in English - and I was by no means the only non-Russian tourist there that day.

Simple things like putting photo's or paintings next to the costumes would give a much greater appreciation of their history and also a far greater feeling of linkage with the past.  All in all I came away feeling rather cheated.

So I'm delighted to hear that the AP is to be fully restored - it deserves it.  It is a lovely building and it is heartbreaking to see it so shoddily presented.  I can only hope that original furniture can be found (I appreciate that 90 years will have seen a great deal of it destroyed) or properly recreated so that we can all fully appreciate the eye for detail and design that Alexandra undoubtedly had.  It may not be to our taste today but the Study shows what can be done, and brilliantly done, when the money and time is taken.

The Feodorovsky Gorodok is obviously undergoing repair but again a great deal of it is in a very sorry state.  However the cathedral there is wonderfull, I stayed for a service which was affecting and moving.  Let us hope that the same effort that has been put into that is put into the AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Joanna on August 18, 2008, 01:03:18 PM
Sian, your photos are marvelous for many here who have not yet visited the AP! Has the institute left the centre/right wing? Did you see progress on the exterior inner courtyard of right wing as in May there were materials piled for restoration work?

To compliment Sian's photos, for example how close Alexandra's rooms were to the road:
http://data4.gallery.ru/albums/gallery/11098--9221564-m549x500.jpg

Full set of photos of another's journal in July:
http://ir-maverick.livejournal.com/72147.html
Interiors:
http://ir-maverick.livejournal.com/72338.html

Feodorovsky Cathedral:
http://ir-maverick.livejournal.com/71614.html#cutid1

Also Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem of GD Elizabeth:
http://ir-maverick.livejournal.com/72782.html
Oranienbaum:
http://ir-maverick.livejournal.com/71820.html

Joanna
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Michael HR on August 18, 2008, 02:27:55 PM
I wonder what they will do with it? It will be intresting to see what happens and what is restored and to what time period.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 18, 2008, 03:19:26 PM
Whilst I do agree with Sian's assessment of the AP, actually  far more generous than mine, I strongly disagree  with the judgements on the other palaces.  That ignores the extreme efforts of the  people working to recrecreate or restore what was almost wiped out.   The Amber Room, for example is almost a miracle.  The palaces are all  of Baroque style and taste, no different than Versailles  or other European palaces of the time.  As for the exterior colours, well, that is  Russian taste. It fits for the times these places were built and for whom. It was explained to me that they, the colours, are designed to  of course make the palace  stand out, as these a were and are showplaces, but also to work with their surroundings. The first time I saw  the Catherine, it was in January and the effect was magical.  That beautiful blue against the  pure white snow. In autumn, it harmonized  nicely with the early sunset glows.
 The Hermitage is the same, it has changed exterior colours many times, blending and contrasting with it's surroundings on purpose. These buildings were intended to stand out. Make an impression.
 Who knows what lies in store for the AP? We have not seen the state of the restricted wings, but judging from the family wing, I am not very hopeful. It would seem, to me, that the roof and exertior are priorities.  And the park needs a LOT of work.
 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: BobAtchison on August 19, 2008, 09:50:34 AM
The palace is a mess inside and out.  It is a huge disappointment to visitors who come from all over the world to see Nicholas and Alexandra's palace and they get a horrible shock.  I am sorry to say this has been an issue of neglect, lack of funds and leadership.  Some ex-communists and products of the old cultural elite trained and educated in the Soviet system have had an abilivent attitude regarding the palace.  There were some high up people who wanted to destroy all of the remaining rooms of the Nicholas and Alexandra era and recreate the era of Nicholas I.  The late 19th early 20th century styles of the decoration of the Imperial rooms, expecially Art Nouveau called Style Moderne in Russia, were 'decadent' in the Soviet style book.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Cathy on August 21, 2008, 11:59:34 AM
I must agree with Bob - the palace was in better shape in 2006 than in 2008. Now it seems to be very dirty, dusty on the outside. And when we were there, the outside was overrun by very large dogs - I counted 14 sitting on or at the bottom of the stairs leading to the doors of the left wing museum. I was terrified. We became frightened to even walk the park.

And this is from someone who's best friend is my neighbour's big yellow lab!!

I fell in love with the AP in 1996 when I saw it for the first time, in all its decay. Before we could see inside! And I have loved the grounds all my life. I like the ruins of the Gorodok because I envision the hospital during Alexandra's/girls' nursing days. I love the white tower with the girls sliding down the hill. Etc, Etc.

But now if fell disappointed. I hope one day it is restored to its former glory.

A funny story about paint colour - if you ask a Russian today what colour a palace was 100, 20, 5 years ago, they shrug. Because the exterior colour is not that important to them. The Winter Palace, Peterhof and the Anickovf were all a horrible (in my opinion) red because that was the paint colour that was in the greatest quantity at the time. So it was ordered by Tsar Alex that they paint everything red, to use it up.

I love the yellow of Pavlovsk and Peterhof and the AP. The blue of the Catherine Palace and the Smolney have changed 3 times in my visits; I love blue but I don't find these shades to be pretty. St. Nicholas' Cathedral is lovely. The Stroganoff has change colour twice. And so on... 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Helen on August 29, 2008, 06:05:00 PM
The palace is indeed in a bad state of repair. Workers were working at something this Saturday afternoon, but I don't think they were working at the roof:

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/8cd1e90d.jpg)


Some more recent photos of the palace:

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/90daabe8.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/adb98748.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/9c60ec4a.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/65d15fa4.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/40d28046.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/1b73504f.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/b668bca2.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/34e3e9e7.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/f8a74085.jpg)

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/b70cbfdd.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Helen on August 29, 2008, 06:06:00 PM
(Message deleted)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: EmmyLee on August 30, 2008, 12:17:24 AM
I fell in love with the AP in 1996 when I saw it for the first time, in all its decay. Before we could see inside! And I have loved the grounds all my life. I like the ruins of the Gorodok because I envision the hospital during Alexandra's/girls' nursing days. I love the white tower with the girls sliding down the hill. Etc, Etc.

I completely agree. While I've never had the chance to visit the AP (hope I will someday in the future), I still absolutely love this palace. I've been hoarding almost all the pictures I can find of it, from every angle available, as much detail as I can get. Despite its sad condition, the AP fascinates me.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 30, 2008, 01:17:20 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Doug here:

I looked at this photo as careful as I could.  It appears that part of the roof has collapsed.  This is the part of the palace that was used by the Navy.  also this part of the palace did not have a new roof covering that the other side did receive.  If you look closely at the other photo you can see that the damage in the exterior wall is very bad on the second floor.  The plaster that covers the brick is completely gone.   This further exposes the building to rain water damage,  as the plaster is supposed to protect the walls from water seeping into the walls.  A disaster is eminent.  They are using a winch to bring up new lumber to shore up the part of the roof that has failed.

  Also I note that weeds and various plant life is growing in the gutters.  This is a bad sign as these growths roots dig into the roof and cause many problems.  They should use plant killer on these weeds and grass.

The roof  covering is a type of steel and is obviously somewhat rusted overall. A steel roof is not a good idea because it constantly expands and contracts with the weather.  This causes leaks to appear.  Very bad. 

But it does appear that the wood planks underneath the steel plates have rotted and has allowed water to get into these timbers.  Needs an emergency repair before winter.

I wouldn't be surprised that the entire roof of the palace needs to be replaced.

You can see that water is leaking into the exterior walls and causing the plaster to crack and fall off.  All of this is because the roofs leaks badly.

The entire exterior needs a very serious restoration, starting with  the roof.   A child could see that the building has been neglected.


The palace is indeed in a bad state of repair. Workers were working at something this Saturday afternoon, but I don't think they were working at the roof:

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/8cd1e90d.jpg)


Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: EmmyLee on August 30, 2008, 11:21:09 AM
Doug, thank you for your analysis of the AP's condition. The pictures make it look bad, but your shed more light on the situation. They really need to get a new roof up on the palace and quick. And if I understand you right, because even the new section of the roof over the family wing looks like it's steel too, that part is in danger as well?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 30, 2008, 02:30:11 PM
Emmy and friends:

I do not know what kind of material they used on the roof over the family section of the palace.  There are many types of  plastic  and rubber sheeting that are used these days.  Some are affixed directly to the old roof and form a satisfactory covering that can last for many years.   This sheeting is about the thickness of a quarter coin.  This is what I suspect they used.  It is a less expensive quick-fix.

Also, I suspect that they did not put the new blue sheeting over the Navy wing,  is that they knew there was internal damage that needed fixing before the new blue sheeting could be applied. 

Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 30, 2008, 02:43:59 PM
Another major problem with the roof is that it is a very complex design and therefore subject to water damage.  I refer to the railings and posts at the edge of the roof.  These posts  create hundreds of vulnerable places where water can collect and wreak havoc with the edge drainage of the roof.

All of this roof 'decoration' is pretty but makes for major problems with the roof.

The roof of this palace is a big headache.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on August 30, 2008, 03:22:40 PM
Comment and question:  We learn bits and pieces via pictures and the kindness of some members' postings who have been to the Alexander Palace from time to time recently, but it's  been some time apparently since Bob Atchison last visited.   What are Bob's plans to return and personally "inspect" the AP's present situation/condition, being essentially "his" life project?  That could provide us all with a REALLY comprehensive, on-the-spot report!   (Likewise, has Bob ever considered forming and leading a tour there, as well as to other related sites, of course? With his fund of knowledge, what better guide would one need !?!)     AP
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Helen on August 30, 2008, 04:49:45 PM
I refer to the railings and posts at the edge of the roof.  These posts  create hundreds of vulnerable places where water can collect and wreak havoc with the edge drainage of the roof.

 :-\ Some sections of the railings look as if they have been painted recently, but it's hard to tell from the ground whether the paintwork is 'arbitrary' or connected to repairs carried out to specific sections of the roof.

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y103/Helen1872/21c7bd05.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 30, 2008, 06:33:24 PM
Yes, it is hard to tell about the upper railing on the roof.  I did read that much of the railing on the family wing had been replaced, repainted and repaired when they put that blue covering on left side wing.  I understand that the old wood railings have been replaced with a plastic resin compound.

The original building is really a brick structure that is covered with plaster.  And herein lies it's problems...especially in the harsh climate of those latitudes.  If a building of that fabric is left unrepaired for decades....big problems are guaranteed. 

Bottom line:  the entire palace is in need of millions of dollars in repairs.   As we all know,  the current condition of the palace is in direct relation to the anti Romanov sentiment that still exists in Russia, ie., Nicholas II.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 30, 2008, 07:08:43 PM
I do not know, Douglas.  I find most Russians [that I have met] are simply indifferent to NII.  Sorry, perhaps that he and his family were shot, but not really interested. When I was at the AP, admittedly off-season,  the only other visitors were  tourists form out of the country. The only Russians being the babushkas.  I get the impression that they find our interest in  him  amusing or curious at best and are happy to take our money. Which I do not mind, really.  The push for restoration  seems to be for as it was  when it was built,  and the era of Alexander I. He is still regarded highly by Russians and would probably draw more natives to the site.
 As for construction, I understand what you are saying. The palace of Oraniembaum is need of much repair.  Huge sections are  exposed from the plaster falling of and damaged roofs.  This is not from war damage, simply neglect.  What is interesting, though, is one can see house these places were actually constructed. Happily, that place is finally receiving the attention it deserves.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2008, 03:36:37 AM
Robert, I think you are mistaking about Russian folks interest in NII. For my understanding, problem in another direction: not much Russian people, can make relation between NII and AP, mainly because of the Soviet education - all of them thinking NII lived in Winter Palace (primary residence), and has been evicted during 1917 February Revolution from his primary residence.
In most of the Russian People mind, Alexander Palace, sort of dacha, and after February 1917 prison for his family, significance sort of not exceeding Epatiev House (if some one know about it at all). Unfortunately information what we have here on this site, only few folks in Russia understand, and care about.
I am not sure, how many people can agree with me, but modern Russian person in Russia, care mostly about money and possession/collection of goods. Life for education, moving science and world knowledge forward, history preservation becoming extinct quality for Russian folks. Careless mindset can be seen everywhere, start from condition of Alexander Palace, going to quality of the roads (from road engineering perspective), pollution level, bribery on all official levels, way how people drive, care about job and each other etc.
I am not trying to dramatize situation, but I am looking in to that from realistic point of view. I know my point of view, often create a lot of turmoil here, but if I can't speak truth - who can?
I have from last year close to 1000 pictures of Tsarskoye Selo parks and palaces, Alexander Palace on most of them looking not far from 1944 photographs, and what scares me the most: folks who care about it - here in this forum, Pushkin citizens and Russian government officials accepting situation as is. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 31, 2008, 12:21:36 PM
Hello Vlad:

If the Russian people think that N II lived at the Winter Palace then they are very badly educated.  Maybe their education under the Soviets was more like propaganda than real education.  It is like saying that the US President lives at Camp David.

If the beaurocrats who control the money for palace upkeep in Russia 'wanted' to restore the AP they could do it immediately.  It's all about how they want to spend money.

Vlad, could you find out what the blue material is that they used to cover the roof of the Right Wing of the AP?  I have speculated about it in posts but I would really like to know the facts. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Vladimir_V. on August 31, 2008, 01:39:59 PM
I am not sure, how many people can agree with me, but modern Russian person in Russia, care mostly about money and possession/collection of goods. Life for education, moving science and world knowledge forward, history preservation becoming extinct quality for Russian folks. Careless mindset can be seen everywhere, start from condition of Alexander Palace, going to quality of the roads (from road engineering perspective), pollution level, bribery on all official levels, way how people drive, care about job and each other etc.

lol You are 98.
: )))))
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2008, 01:49:21 PM
Vladimir, stress becoming, luckily process is not finished, and in my case in Russia

Douglas, I don't think analogy about US President is correct, I think would be better - Marie Antoinette in Louvre vs Versailles

Also, I would be happy find out details about blue material. I would speculate - its plastic (polyethylene) coating over aluminum, but we will see.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2008, 02:06:05 PM
I would not disagree with you, Vladm. I was  just expressing what my friends in Russia told me.   And they spared me not from hearing the corruption and Soviet education. Getting  something done there is downright Byzantine, I would think.
 As for N&A at the Winter Palace/Hermitage. They did live there for a while.  But long and they maintained their apartments there.  After the move to the AP,  Alexandra avoided  returning like the plague. Nicholas, of course had to return now and then because of his position and duties, especially  once the war started.
  Their rooms now, I believe are galleries for 19th & early 20th century furniture. Not much of a trace of N&A is left. Unfortunately, they were closed on each of my visits for one reason or another.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2008, 02:27:23 PM
Robert, my example with Marie Antoinette not to draw complete analogy with Nicholas and Alexandra, but to show status of two palaces in people mind from relative time factor.
As for your friends in Russia, they are partially right, but we have to remember, Russian Orthodox church have folks marching every year from St. Petersburg to Yekaterinburg to commemorate murder of Nicholas II and his family, some of them religious fanatics, but quite few very sincere in there aspiration.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2008, 02:53:28 PM
I was not the one who mentioned N&A living at the WP, Vladm. Douglas did. I was just clarifying. I agree with your comparison  to Louis & MA. In her case, after the humiliation of the Diamond Necklace affaire, she was loathe to return to Paris. Even at Versailles, she much preferred her Trianon and h Hameau over the palace itself.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Sian_Turner on August 31, 2008, 03:40:18 PM
Judging from the huge number of people at the Cathedral on the Blood in Ekaterinburg on 16 and 17th July I would say that interest in the family is large and growing.  Ganina Yama was similarly crowded on both days.  Mostly, it has to be said, women but some men and lots of nationalists.  State TV carried the ceremony at the Cathedral on the night of 16/17th July and the news was full of the "Tsar days".  However, what people are being told is not necessarily what we understand about NII and the family - some of it is downright wrong!  There appears to be a very  Russian attitude which is that the soviet times were so bad that what went before must have been wonderful and that NII was a wonderful tsar and that life was great - hmmm make of that what you will but I'm afraid my serious western cynical gene clicked into action.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2008, 04:58:44 PM
That be true amongst a certain set,  religious and romantics.  But then, Lenin and Stalin have their admirers as well.
 I think it interesting that the people who spend millions on building new churches spend nothing to restore the AP.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: sckkr on August 31, 2008, 06:18:03 PM
Maybe if we are to donate we should give materials and raise the workforce ourselves. I would,nt mind working on such a project.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on August 31, 2008, 10:37:21 PM
Yes, Robert, they have no qualms about money spent on churches.  That is practically PC to them.

But if they spend money on the AP then that equates that they 'approve' of N & A and their lifestyle. 

The whole subject of N & A seems to be all mixed up the mind of the average Russian.   If you ask a taxi to go to the AP, the driver says in an angry tone, "Why do you want to go there?".

If Putin would go to the AP and kiss the door then maybe things would happen.     Russians  like to follow the leader.  [I don't mean that as a criticism.]

Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2008, 10:41:52 PM
Robert, excellent parallel about interest in Lenin and Stalin vs NII and his family. We can see today line to Lenin mausoleum, just to see Lenin's corps (how disgusting for my taste). People in general, like to see conforming attractions with their life style and level of education. For example, folks who visiting France usually go to Versailles and only few extend to Ch√Ęteau Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau (last one my favorite, I like it much much more than Versailles).

Sian, I would agree with Robert about it, in Yekaterinburg not much attractions, we don't have there seven-eleven and  Century theater - to amuse locals, so people go to religious gathering, regardless what this all about (please don't kick me severely for this one, my sister lives in Yekaterinburg).

sckkr, super idea, one problem to get approval from Tsarskoye Selo GMZ - title owner of the building, I seriously doubt who ever will be decision maker, will pass it through like that, because in this case exact amount of restoration will be available for public with all consequences.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: vladm on August 31, 2008, 11:03:51 PM
If Putin would go to the AP and kiss the door then maybe things would happen.     Russians  like to follow the leader.  [I don't mean that as a criticism.]

Actually Douglas, I agree with you on this one 100%, I think if some one or group of people, would bring attention of Putin or Medvedev to this matter, it could become large hit, especially because of the cool relations between West and Russia, if some one remember letter from Samantha Smith, it could be achieved the same effect. For Russian Government today is very important, they are listening West on some matters, and can listen and carry on with dialog.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Vladimir_V. on September 02, 2008, 10:10:29 AM
If Putin would go to the AP and kiss the door then maybe things would happen.     Russians  like to follow the leader.  [I don't mean that as a criticism.]

Well, our Prime Minister likes to kiss different things.  : ))

Putin Kisses a Tiger
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the Ussuri reserve in Siberia on August 31, 2008 to observe researchers monitoring tigers in the wild. Scientists demonstrated a new satellite tracking collar fitted with GPS-Argos receiver and a tranquilizer gun to the Prime Minister. Then they took him to the taiga forest where a rare 5 year-old female Amur tiger was trapped.
Putin helped measure the Amur tiger's incisors before placing a satellite transmitter around the neck of the animal, which can weigh up to 450 kg. The journalists also mentioned that Putin actually kissed the tiger "Good bye".
http://meignorant.com/putin_kisses_tiger


But I don`t think that Russians go to kiss Amur tigers because it is far away .
Douglas, is it admissible to kiss a photo of a tiiger only?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 02, 2008, 11:23:04 AM
And, a few years ago, he kissed the Tummy of a little boy, did he not?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Vladimir_V. on September 02, 2008, 01:20:49 PM
And after it to kiss a simple door?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on September 02, 2008, 03:30:54 PM
Yes, Putin did kiss the stomach of that little boy.  He did kiss the tiger...fine.

No, Vlad, a kiss of a photo does not count.  If Putin cannot go to the palace then the door should be taken off it's hinges and brought to Putin for the kiss.

I suppose Putin will kiss me when if I go to Russia.  I would prefer a chaste kiss from him...thank you!  But maybe not?

Douglas
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: BobAtchison on September 05, 2008, 05:50:54 PM
Someone earlier mentioned about the ballastrade.  They were originally carved from wood.  During the reign of Nicholas II many of these were replaced by cast ones.  There used to be original wood ones up there and many of the ones from Nicholas's time.  I was told that some of them in 1992 were 200 years old.  I have no idea what the situation is now up there.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on September 05, 2008, 11:49:52 PM
I thought I read somewhere that the balusters [the verticle posts] were being replaced with a resin impregnated cement casting.  Hopefully  the balustrades  horizontal rail  is being replaced with this same material also.  Anything made of wood would be completely out of consideration.

One would think that a 200 year old wooden balustrade would be in need of replacement due to dry rot.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Ivan Gurlov on September 06, 2008, 11:57:28 AM
Certainly good news to hear that AP is to be restored - at Tsarskeo Selo last week I made a quick detour to have a look at the Palace - it was certainly in a sad state. Reading comments on Prime Minister Putin (above) and having seen the wonderful (if somewhat OTT) restoration he has done at the Konstantinovsky Palace there is strong argument for a subtle restoration on what was essentially a family home.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: BobAtchison on September 06, 2008, 12:10:54 PM
The cast ones from Nicholas's time had iron (it looks like iron) rods in them.  This caused them to split and crack when water penetrated them.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2008, 12:26:26 PM
Some "family home". It was a palace full of servants, staff, guards and a separate kithen building.  For a family so isolated from reality and cocooned that could hardly breath.
 If it is to be restored, I, personally like to see it as was originally, late 18th early 19th century. Not that dreadful look  A&E inflicted on it.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Michael HR on September 06, 2008, 05:55:28 PM
A&E? Please forgive my ignorance but not sure who this means?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on September 06, 2008, 10:53:10 PM
I believe that Robert may be referring to the Public Television programs/channel called A & E........Arts & Entertainment.    I assume they may have done filming at the palace.  Robert can correct  or modify this post  if  I am in error.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2008, 11:26:45 PM
Actually, that was typo.  I meant N&A.  My eyesight is really going and I need a new keyboard.  But Douglas is correct,  A&E would refer ro the arts and entertainment channel.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Janet Ashton on September 08, 2008, 03:38:29 PM
Actually, that was typo.  I meant N&A.  My eyesight is really going and I need a new keyboard.  But Douglas is correct,  A&E would refer ro the arts and entertainment channel.

Or "Accident and emergency". I thought you were having a joke about Nicholas and Alexandra.... :)
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Michael HR on September 09, 2008, 02:13:06 AM
or casualty as we say here... also fits!
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Petrushka on September 09, 2008, 04:41:12 AM
I think we sometimes forget that if the AP becomes a significant tourist attraction it will lose much of its charm - most particularly for people like us.

I have been lucky enough to visit twice and on both occasions the Palace was pretty much empty.  For me personally, I can live with the fairly poor representation of N&A's tenure because it's all about experiencing their space - about being where they have been.  I would hate the Palace to become a living museum full of clicking cameras and tourists.  Whilst it is a bit clumsy and dank, I love the fact that unlike so many other palaces in Russia, the AP allows you to take the time to soak in its atmosphere and for anyone with genuine interest it is easy to imagine the look of the rooms as they were.

I genuinely do not feel that the AP will ever have the mass appeal of the Catherine Palace or Peterhof or the Winter Palace.  It is wrong to expect the Russian government and therefore the people to fork out the bill to restore it unless it can guarantee a significant revenue.  Therein lies the problem, without the grandeur of the aforementioned palaces - the only way they will guarantee revenue is by making the AP some type of mausoleum/theme park to the IF and that is something I certainly hope never happens. 

I would still adore the palace if it was (heaven forbid) a ruin.  The preference should be to secure the roof and building fabric and to rely on foreign investment for gradual improvements/renovations and the collation of surviving furniture and decorations.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Cathy on September 23, 2008, 07:21:37 AM
I just thought that I would say " Do not go overboard on this ruin idea!" It is not a nice site and does not convey images of former glory. Ropsha is a case-in-point. As many times as you see a picture of Alexandra with the girls sitting on the stairs leading to the double doors with the white curtains blowing in the wind, today one sees ruins that are not maintained and are covered from top to bottom with rotting wood scaffolding. It is very difficult to find. It is glorious the first time you look at it because you do imagine its opulent past but after a few minutes one is overwhelmed by the magnitude of its restoration need. The people of the area want it restored to bring tourists and therefore a vibrant economy to the area. But it will take millions. Until then it is unsafe to even walk around the outside grounds. I would not want to think of the AP in this ruinous state.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: pastpalacelife on September 23, 2008, 04:18:38 PM
I have to say, the fact that the Alexander Palace hasn't been messed with or sort of re-created (like the Catherine Palace), makes it more appealing to me.  That's not to say I wouldn't like to see it restored, its just once new is mixed with the original, you won't be able to look at it and think "that's the actual doorway the IF walked through" or "the stones of the bridge are the very same ones as in the pictures," if that makes any sense.  Likewise, I drive around my own hometown to look at old houses and compare with 100 year old pictures.  After seeing how much of the Catherine Palace was destroyed after the war, it seems like the present Cath Palace is more of a replica. 
 In the Alexander Park, there are some partially ruined gates that were the entrance to a grand dukes residence, I think,, and I believe there is an old picture of two guards, one on horseback, in front of the gates. Could someone tell me where exactly those gates are?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 23, 2008, 06:06:05 PM
The AP palace "not messed with"? There is no resemblance to what was there when the IF left.  And, we have no idea as to how the children's room are or what remains of the other wing at all. As for the CP and Peterhof, they had to be recreated, they were gutted ruins.  I think the time, effort and money spent was more for Russian pride, and recovery from the enormous losses of the war. though this was done for the benefit of Russians, it has since paid off  greatly in  tourist revenue. The same could possibly be said of Pavlosk, but to a lesser extent.
 I am not sure the AP would actually draw enough visitors to make the effort very worthwhile, unless such a  recreation  would focus on the Alexander I  era, perhaps, the transition to Empire from  Rocco and Barogue. Despite the N&A connection and a large interest in them,  it is a niche market, and just how many would actually go the expense to go off the beaten tourist path to go there?
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: pastpalacelife on September 23, 2008, 09:50:38 PM
Sorry Robert, I didn't mean to provoke or offend anyone, perhaps I'm not using the right words or should not use the Alexander Palace as an example to express my views on historic building restoration. 
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Douglas on September 23, 2008, 10:43:51 PM
Pastpalace and friends:

Even the White House in Washington DC is a replica of the original.

 During the Truman era, he moved across the street for two years while the entire inside of the building was removed.  Only the brick and stone shell of the exterior was left.  Then  a  four storey steel frame building was installed on the inside.  The photos of this restoration are amazing.

Douglas...there is a great photo of the gutted inside of the White House at the site below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House#The_Truman_reconstruction
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 23, 2008, 10:59:00 PM
PPLife, no offence was taken. We are all simply  expressing our various views. Yors are just as valid as mine, or anyone else's.
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: Michael HR on September 24, 2008, 04:49:59 AM
I suppose the big question is to what time period do we restore the AP, the original complete with music room or to the time of N and A? A very interesting question
Title: Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
Post by: David_Newell on September 24, 2008, 06:25:34 AM
As I am a huge Jackie Kennedy fan, I have studied the White House restoration. The building we know today is as forum member said just the shell of the original building. Its essence of course is still there and all the history. Mrs Kennedy strove very hard to make the White House a building that would house the nations story in art and antiques. I happen to think she did a magnificent job. She did however raise the stakes so to speak. She was a hard act to follow, but I think the following First Ladies did their part too. It is different from the AP as it is a living building still a home to the head of state who will hopefully be a democrat very soon. (oops being controversial here)

We haver to look at the Alexander Palace a s a similar building it was full of life until 1917. The interiors will have to be recreated. The fire in the Kings Apartments at Hampton Court was very bad, The wing was almost a ruin, but you should see it now. Much has been recreated from records and paintings. The Russians are masters of this recreation and I think the private wing of NII and AF would be magnificent if recreated as it was in August 1917. So much has survived and the the materials that have not can be replaced. The other wing could easily be a museum to Alexander III and MF. Thus two epochs would be covered and Alexnader III is very popular it would seem in Russia.

Just my thoughts feel free to tell me if you disagree.

David in London