Author Topic: Alexander Palace Restoration  (Read 269615 times)

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #180 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.
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Offline Douglas

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #181 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.

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #182 on: February 06, 2009, 06:47:34 AM »
Thank You. Thats great news. At least this shows that they care. ( a bit) !!

Offline Cathy

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #183 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.

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #184 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 ?

Offline rosieposie

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #185 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.
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Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #186 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 !!.
   

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #187 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.

Offline rosieposie

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #188 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.
Beautiful faithful Nargony.
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Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #189 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.

 

       

Offline Douglas

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #190 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.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #191 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.

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #192 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

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #193 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.

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #194 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.