A celestial globe in the Singer House

Celestial globe in Singer HousePhotography by Carlos Dorce

Celestial globe in Singer House
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The Singer House was designed for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. We fix our attention in it because of the glass globe crowned by a celestial globe of the corner. When the Singer House was built it was forbidden o build a house higher than the Tzar’s Winter Palace (23,5 m). Then the architect Pavel Suzor decided to construct this tower in the corner of the building so it made an impression of high rise. Its architect was Amandus Adamson. Today it’s the biggest book shop of the city.

The history of the building is quoted in the St. Petersburg encyclopedia:

THE HOUSE OF BOOKS (28 Nevsky Prospect) is the biggest book department store in St. Petersburg. It was housed in the former building of the Zinger company: the seven-storied building with a high corner tower crowned with a glass sphere is a shining example of art nouveau architecture (1902-04, architect P. Y. Suzor, sculptors A. G. Adamson, A. L. Ober). The Consulate of the USA was housed here in the 1910s. The building was given to the book storehouse of the Petrograd State Publishing House in 1919. Soon the House of Books became the main book store of Leningrad, at the beginning of the 1930s it passed to the jurisdiction of LenKOGIZ. In the years of the siege it continued to work intermittently up to the end of November 1942. It was opened anew, after the repairs, in November 1948. The trade in the House of Books is carried on the ground floor and on the first floor; approximately 20,000 books of various spheres of knowledge were in assortment in 2003. Departments of inquiry and bibliography and the department Book by Correspondence operate. There are subsidiaries on 30, Liteiny Avenue, 4, Bolshoy Avenue of Vasilievsky Island, 9, Shevchenko Street, 20, Lenina Street etc. Editorial offices of the journals Kniga i Revolyutsiya (The Book and the Revolution), Literaturnye Shtudii (Literary Studies), Zvezda (the Star), Leningrad Departments of the publishing houses the Children’s Publishing House, the Soviet Writer, the Art, the Enlightment, Fiction, the union Leningrad Book etc. were housed in the House of Books in different years. Book trade was transferred stage-by-stage to 62 Nevsky Prospect due to the reconstruction of the building on 28 Nevsky Prospect.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Location: Singer House (map)

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