People's Commissariat of Railways (NKPS) Building

Aleksander Zelikov/TASS
Back in the 17th century, here stood the Crown's Granary, the warehouses of foodstuffs and grain. A century later, the land was given to the Main Court Chancery, which had built four two-storey buildings and the Church of Saint Sebastian here. Within a few years, the church was re-dedicated to Saint Januarius, because Empress Catherine the Great ascended the throne on the day of this saint's veneration. In the beginning of the 20th century, the so-called Reserve Palace was given over to the School for Noble Maidens, but in 1917, after the revolution, the noble maidens were ejected from the building, and the People's Commissariat of Railways moved in. In 1932-33, the new tenants decided on a large-scale reconstruction and commissioned it from the Petersburg-based architect Ivan Fomin, who adorned the building with a clock tower, which can still be seen from afar. If you walk over to the eastern facade of the building, you can see the way the Reserve Palace looked before it became a Constructivist building. Today the building houses administrative offices of the Russian Railways.