World Monuments Fund Alexander Palace Time Machine
World Monuments Fund Alexander Palace Time Machine

Contents

Acknowledgments

From the Mayor of St. Petersburg

Foreward

History of the Alexander Palace

The Restoration Project

The Museum Project

Some Next Steps

Project Participants

The Romanov Dynasty

Chronology

Sources

Zoom Views

Palace Floorplan

Garden Facade

Front Entrance

Some Next Steps

 
 
 
 
Research
This preliminary report has identified significant issues and areas of concern which have not been adequately covered, particularly in evaluating the physical fabric of the structure and the planning of a museum of this scale. Much remains unknown about the condition of the building, the rooms intended for restoration, and the costs associated with carrying out this work. Also, considerable work needs to be done to define the scope of the project and the facilities requirements for the proposed museum. Schematic plans should be produced which define the relationships of the historic rooms and future exhibition spaces to museum staff areas. Specific spaces must be assigned for curatorial offices, objects receiving areas, conservation studios, photography labs, a research library, study rooms, and other uses associated with the operation and administration of a large-scale museum.

This report has identified the following priorities which must be addressed to complete a preliminary master plan for use in both fundraising and project implementation:
  • Architectural Survey. A thorough survey of the building, from basement to attic, to prepare base drawings for a schematic design for the museum and to confirm the scope of restoration and repair.
  • Archival Research. All archives and primary sources relevant to the palace must be located, recorded, and inventoried. Building records, household accounts and inventories, diaries, etc., beginning with the earliest period of the palace's first planning and occupation through to the period of its last residents must be researched, Many diaries and letters of the 1894-1917 period will be useful both for understanding the levels of architectural conservation intervention and for the reconstruction of the period rooms.
  • Interpretation of archival sources. With primary sources it will be possible to record the basic ways in which traditions were established for the use of the building, from its first construction through 1917, This is required to establish the interpretive framework of the museum.

While the majority of the tasks identified above are in progress, other work can be undertaken in St. Petersburg. These projects will be needed to assist curators and architects who will be assigned the mission of restoring the palace. The original building commission should be analyzed to learn more about motivations and other factors influencing the palace's original construction, Building plans and specifications may be studied to determine changes in the architectural and interior makeup of the building through 1917. Palace inventories from past ages may be translated, analyzed by international experts, and compared to surviving Imperial collections, A photographic inventory of individual surviving objects may be created for comparison with archival photos from 1894 through World War II. This inventory may be cross-referenced with written records to create the basis of an international search for lost Alexander Palace furnishings. Lastly, a registration document may be created as the foundation for a registry of surviving Alexander Palace collections.

Initiation of Repairs
Even with limited access to the Alexander Palace it has been noticed that a number of urgent repairs are necessary to the exterior of the building. In response to these urgent issues, and as a demonstration of the commitment of the project partners to the building's restoration, a contract was negotiated in July 1996 with the Finnish restoration firm IPR Group-Paanurakenne to replace the roof of the southeast wing of the palace, over the former apartments of Nicholas II and Alexandra. That work is underway at the time of this writing. In conjunction with the present planning efforts and emergency repairs to the building, representatives of the Russian Navy have stated their interest in eventually removing their offices to a more suitable building in the town of Tsarskoe Seto. These concrete actions, with continued persistence by all parties involved, should result in the positioning of the project for a phased or comprehensive restoration within the next five years.

Alexander Palace Discussion Forum

Worl Monuments Fund
 
A report issued in october 1996 by the world monuments fund an international preservation organization
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