Saturday, July 17, 2010

Knight's House Gargoyles

Close-up details of the building seen here…

Knight's House on Flickr

One of Kyiv’s most architecturally unique buildings is empty and decaying and likely to stay that way. The “Knight’s House” at Yaroslaviv Val 1, a phantasmagoria of mediaeval motifs including a castle tower and gargoyles – has been vacant for almost 10 years since its former communal apartments were dissolved and the building privatized.

“This is a gem of Kyiv’s architecture,” explains art historian and conservationist Natalia Musiyenko. “It was originally a luxury apartment block with splendid interiors, built at the end of the 19th century by Nikolai Dobachevsky, but it is suffering from criminal neglect.”

Read more: Kyiv Post

Sadly, there's little incentive for owners to fix up these historic properties. Since there is no property tax in Kiev, once someone owns a building, there is no additional cost to letting it sit vacant. Fixing historic buildings is costly; letting it fall down and selling the property to developers is profitable.

And there's probably a lot less bureaucracy to deal with when building on vacant land too.

Ahh, greed and bureaucracy. They rear their ugly heads again...

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