Author Topic: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009  (Read 31824 times)

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Offline Michael HR

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2008, 02:13:06 AM »
or casualty as we say here... also fits!
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Offline Petrushka

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #46 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.

Offline Cathy

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #47 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.

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #48 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?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #49 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?
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Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #50 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. 

Offline Douglas

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #51 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
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 10:47:41 PM by Douglas »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #52 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.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline Michael HR

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #53 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
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Offline David_Newell

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Re: Alexander Palace restoration will begin next year - 2009
« Reply #54 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