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
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