Odesa, Mutual Credit Society, 1903

By facilitating the provision of credit, the Odesa Mutual Credit Society, founded in 1871, actively contributed to the city’s economic development in the last third of the 19th century. A crucial role was played by the building sector, which employed the largest number of people in Odesa after the commercial one (an estimated 1,000 buildings per year were erected in the urban area around 1900). After constructing the New Stock Exchange, Bernardazzi was commissioned to design the headquarters of the new bank nearby, on the corner of Pushkinska and Hretska Streets (at numbers 10 and 18 respectively). Begun in 1901 and completed in 1903, the headquarters of the Mutual Credit Society consists of three volumes of unequal height, the tallest of which is located on the corner. The historicist language gives the building a severe and austere character, appropriate to its function. After the construction (between 1904 and 1906) of the similar bank on the opposite side of Hretska Street, designed by the Odesa architect Yuryi Dmitrenko, a kind of monumental entrance to this commercial artery was formed. During the construction of the headquarters of the Mutual Credit Society, Bernardazzi was assisted by his son Aleksandr, born in 1871 and also active as an architect.

Author: Guillaume Nicoud
Version dated: 02.07.2022

Aleksandr Bernardazzi, Mutual Credit Society, Odesa, 1903 (photo by Oleksandr Levytskyi, Dmytro Shamatazhy)