The most well-known historical and architectural complex "Passage" outlived, in fact, two main fazes.
The Passage, that remarkable Odessian writer Leo Slavin compared with an "enormous cake with cream" was built only during two years - 1 8 9 8 - 1 8 9 9 t h, what is difficult to believe in now. The main constructor was a brilliant architect - Leo (Leon) Wlodek.
In the city archive there is a case ("The villain book of the Odessa commercial court"), proved that in 1822 the primary buildings, belonging to two Russian officers from the end of 18th century, became a property of a new house owner - Mikhail Kramarev.
A house owner Mikhail Kramarev was a well-known and respected person in Odessa in 1820-1830th: merchant of the first guild, one of the directors of the Odessa office of the State participating commercial merchants' bank, trustee of the municipal hospital, etc.
Kramarev's House on Preobrazhenskaya and Deribasovskaya streets - the one of the best houses in Odessa of those times - was built in a spirit of the Russian classicism, with pilasters on a facade, the longest building, two-storeyed, with a high socle. Kramarev's house was shown to Nikolay I during his visit to the South Palmyra - here the first Odessa exhibition demonstrated to the Russian monarch the "folk achievements" of the city and the region under the government of Vorontsov in 1823 - 1837.
In 1898 the house was purchased by the businessman Moses Mendelevich. He was the head of the large commercial and industrial firm "M.Ya. Mendelevich" - the export company, concerned with grain trade and being based on the Jewish street, in the house of Ksyda. But exactly this new house immortalized his name, because the trade complex, constructed by the proprietor, citizens began to name as the "Passage of Mendelevich".
The "Passage" was a new type of a shopping center, left in the past the times, when the Frapolli brothers, George Toricelli and Ivan Kozlov were building long patriarchal trade rows with one or two floors, bordering the municipal markets and being the benches with galleries. Trade operations had been moved inside of the trade complexes, covered markets, arcades (passages).
At the end of 1920th - beginning of 1930th in the apartment of the present Central grocery store, as a continuation of the traditions of the pre-revolution book trading the State book-house of Ukraine was in the "Passage". Later the Central grocery store, that is still "alive" there, but in another look, located in the rooms of the publishing house.
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