The English Quay (called the Angliskaya in Russian) was a very fashionable address and it was the home of members of the aristocracy including the Grand Dukes. It was quite close to the Winter Palace and most of the government ministeries were nearby. Its' proximitry to the port also made it a good location of the residence of the American Ambassador, which he leased at his own expense from a Russian noble. Notoriously stingy, in 1900 the State department of the US Government neglected its' Ambasssors abroad and only a rich man could afford the honor of being Ambassador to the Russian Imperial Court. In 1900 the US Ambassador was a Mr. Tower, whose wife had joined him in St. Petersburg.

Above: An American tourist in a horse cab at the Catherine Palace.

Americans - particularly business men and members of Congress - visiting Petersburg were sure to visit here and they were well received by the embassy staff who were happy to help their compatriots in Russia. The Ambassador often invited impirtant visitors to stay with him in his rented palace by the Neva.

During the reign of Catherine the Great the Neva shore began to be fortified against the annual floods - which regularly threatened the city in high tide - by broad red granite walls. This handsome and practical embelishment of the river front was one of Catherine's great contributions to her adopted city. In building the embankment the level of the street lining the river was raised about six feet, which buried the lowest story of the old Winter Palace half into the ground - thus forever altering the proportions of the facade as designed by Rastrelli.

Next photograph: Hall in the American Embassy

For a small map of the St. Petersburg area click here.

To see a large map of the center of St. Petersburg go here.

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