of the Oil Baron Period
This residence was built
by Gani Mammadov, a cotton merchant who owned various ships used
for transporting goods on the Caspian between Russia, Central
Asia and Iran. Nikolay Georgiyevich Bayev (1878-1949) was the
architect. He graduated from St. Petersburg Civil Engineering
Institute in 1901, and went on to design other Baku landmarks
including the Opera House (1910) and the Naghiyev Hospital (formerly
The Mammadov Residence which has recently been renovated by
Mobil Azerbaijan Venture.
residence, combining both Eastern and Western styles of the period,
was built under the supervision of the famous Baku contractors,
the brothers Imran and Haji Gazimov. It was completed in one
year, 1908-1909, an incredibly short period, given the size of
the building and the amount of artistic detail involved. All
exterior walls are solid and 90cm thick. The grand staircase
from the entrance is extremely elaborate and is lined with magnificent
murals on either side.
When the Bolsheviks occupied Baku, Mammadov first escaped to
Russia, then Poland, and from there his whereabouts are lost
to history. After 1920, the building was vacant for several years.
Later it was used as a government office, then a children's nursery.
Eventually, the first and second floors were subdivided into
numerous flats. Due to a lack of maintenance, the building deteriorated
so much that it became uninhabitable, and was unoccupied for
more than 18 years. During this time, most of the original fixtures
were vandalized or confiscated including the extravagant chandeliers,
curtains, paintings, carpets and even door handles.
Mobil leased the building in 1996 in this very poor condition.
Basing their reconstruction work on original drawings, historical
photographs and assistance from the Baku historical society,
Mobil made a tremendous effort to restore it to its former elegance.
The company currently uses it as its Baku office.
(6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.
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AI 6.4 (Winter 1998)
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