Tea House on Myasnitskaya

The Tea House on Myasnitskaya (Perlov’s Tea Shop) is a three-story building that was used from 1893 to 1917 as a tea shop and tenement house in Moscow. It was erected in 1893 by the architect Roman Klein and belonged to the tea merchant Sergei Vasilyevich Perlov. In 1895-1896, the house was rebuilt in pseudo-Chinese style by Karl Gippius.

In 1895, it became known about the arrival of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Chancellor of the Chinese Empire, Li Hongzhang, to the coronation of Nicholas II. Hoping to attract the attention of a high-ranking guest and conclude exclusive contracts for the supply of tea, Sergei Perlov decided to rebuild his own house in an oriental style. The entrepreneur turned to the young architect Karl Gippius. At that time, he worked in the workshop of Roman Klein, who also took part in the implementation of an unusual project.

It is not known for certain whether Gippius visited China, but art historians note that he was able to accurately reproduce folk motifs. The architect retained the symmetrical composition of the existing building, endowing it with bright protruding roof volumes. The main entrance to the store was made of dark purple marble, and the portal above the door was decorated with animal muzzles and a relief panel with a gilded peacock. The facade of the building was decorated with an abundance of sculptural details and ceramic tiles made to order by Chinese craftsmen. The main theme of decorative elements was mythical animals. The pediment of the house was crowned with a two-tiered pagoda tower hung with small bells.

To decorate the interiors, Perlov ordered two one and a half meter vases and a silk panel “Chinese” and “Chinese Woman” from Chinese craftsmen. Soft ottomans were installed in the room, on which it was possible to taste the products of the store. The coffered ceiling was decorated with gilded ornaments and light bulbs, deliberately left by the architect without ceiling lights: at the time of the store’s refurbishment, electric lighting was a rarity and emphasized the establishment’s premium status.

Construction and finishing works were completed in 1896.

After the October Revolution, the outlet on the ground floor continued to operate, while the upper premises were converted into communal apartments. From 2000 to 2012, a large-scale reconstruction of the building took place.

Currently, the tea shop in the building continues to operate.

Address: Myasnitskaya street, 19, Moscow.

Nearest metro: Turgenevskaya, Chistye Prudy, Sretensky Boulevard.

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