June 5, 2023

The building of the Savings Bank of the State Bank on the embankment Fontanki, 78where the book publishing house was previously located, is in an abandoned state, Yulia Malinovskaya, a blogger from St. Petersburg, said on social networks.

“The former book publishing house, and now a grandiose castaway in the very center of historical St. Petersburg. It is unbearable to see this, ”she wrote in her Telegram channel, attaching a photo from the inside.

They show rooms that are littered with books, furniture and office equipment. Some books lie on the floor with the contents of the filing cabinet, others are brand new and stacked in packaged form.


As Yulia told Fontanka, the pictures were taken on Sunday, April 23. At that moment, the building could be entered freely through the open doors.

Two days later, a Fontanka correspondent walked to the place and made sure that it was no longer possible to get inside just like that. The doors are closed, the basement windows are boarded up.

Building on the waterfront Fontanki, 78 has the status of a regional monument. It was built in 1899–1900 by the architects von Gauguin and Golenishchev. Inside was the Savings Bank of the State Bank. In Soviet times, the premises were occupied by the Lengipromez Institute. At first 90s, according to users of the Citywalls architectural website, the Giprosantekhprom State Institute for the Design of Sanitary Equipment Plants, which was liquidated in 2013, worked in the building, until the last moment – the Detgiz book publishing house. On his website, the address is still indicated: embankment Fontanki, 78. As of at least 2016, the organization belonged to the Federal Property Management Agency, which previously tried to sell an asset at auction.

In 2008, Smolny handed over the monument to an investor, the SV-Consult company, for reconstruction into a hotel. However, the reconstruction was never completed. Moreover, the condition of the building has deteriorated. The city government decided terminate the investment agreement. The head of the investment committee, Irina Babyuk, said that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. The financial condition did not prevent her from actively and persistently challenging the termination of the contract in the courts for several years. At the end of February 2023, the Arbitration Court of the North-Western District recognized the correctness of Smolny, but SV-Consult filed a complaint again in early April – this time with the Supreme Court.

At the same time, since 2018, they tried to sell 100% of the company’s shares, together with a controversial investment agreement, at auction at the site of the Russian Auction House.

City guards responded to the message about the state of the building. Activists in the SOS SPb SNOS telegram channel said that “marauders are operating in crowds” inside, plundering interiors, taking out furniture, and cutting off old chandeliers.

Fontanka sent a request to KGIOP. Throughout the rich judicial history of SV-Consult, the committee for the protection of monuments has not filed any claims against the company.

According to SPARK, the organization belongs to entrepreneurs Mikhail Mironov and Oleg Orlov. Her phone, found in open sources, was unavailable for calls.

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