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Blokhin's Booktrading Firm

Blokhin's Booktrading Firm

Nowadays:

Office block

In the early 20th century a large estate of the Blokhins (brothers Nikolay and Alexey) decorated Ufa downtown. Established in 1815 by their grandfather (or, perhaps, even their great-grandfather) as a trade company, in the early 20th century nothing but the company's name resembled the initial firm. In the early 1916 Moscow publishers headed by the famous Ivan Sytin (1851-1934) congratulated N. Blokhin, 72, upon the 100th anniversary of the firm, which took place in December 1915. The newspapers...
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  • How to visit?
      Address:
      22 and 24 Lenin Street, 3 Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya Street
      Public Transport Stop:
      Gostiny Dvor, BGPU
  • History

      In the early 20th century a large estate of the Blokhins (brothers Nikolay and Alexey) decorated Ufa downtown. Established in 1815 by their grandfather (or, perhaps, even their great-grandfather) as a trade company, in the early 20th century nothing but the company's name resembled the initial firm. In the early 1916 Moscow publishers headed by the famous Ivan Sytin (1851-1934) congratulated N. Blokhin, 72, upon the 100th anniversary of the firm, which took place in December 1915. The newspapers mentioned that for a long time Nikolay Blokhin was a member of Ufa City Duma and governorate board, member of one of the committees of the State Bank department in Ufa.

      According to local historians the Gudkovs, Nikita Blokhin (Nikolay's great-grandfather) came to Ufa from Yaroslavl. Actually, it was he or his son Ignaty who founded the family business. In the middle of the 19th century first guild merchant Kondraty Blokhin, Ignaty's son, purchased the former Aksakovs' estate in Golubinaya district (nowadays, Sergei Aksakov's Public Garden), where he built a wine distillery and traded the plant's output. In the 1870s the Blokhins constructed a summer theater in the garden. Later this garden with all the buildings was inherited by elder son Aleksandr. Afterwards, though, it was sold because of the owner's insolvency.

      Besides, in 1863 Kondraty Blokhin founded a brewery on the spot of the future mechanical rubber goods works. His wife owned 16 pubs in Ufa.

      According to certain sources, some of the estate's houses were designed and built by Pavel Isayev, Aleksey Blokhin's (younger brother) son-in-law. At least, the house he owned was decorated with a lot of Eclectic architectural features, and it was often reproduced by the publishers of postcards with Ufa views. Almost all his life Aleksey Blokhin, a lawyer, worked as a director of the City Public Bank. Nikolay Blokhin headed his grandfather's firm. On March 6, 1874 he opened a printing office (Blokhin's Printing Office) in one of his buildings, where he published his newspaper Ufa Sheet of Advertisements and Notifications, books, and brochures. Later he published postcards with Ufa views. At the corner of Tsentralnaya and Kazanskaya Streets in the house with a "cut" corner Blokhin traded colonial wines. Beside this wine store on Lenin Street he opened a book store, which is still operating. The surviving building was, obviously, constructed in 1915 by the firm's anniversary. Its interior, symbolizing the firm's trustworthiness, is still amazing visitors: high ceiling, like the one in Yeliseevsky store in Saint Petersburg, delicate columns, and cozy mezzanine floor with beautiful banisters. All that's missing is the founder's bust… The facade was decorated by the unknown architect in compliance with the Art Nouveau character. In the first years after the revolution the book store and adjacent facilities were used by the Republic's largest printing office Oktyabrsky natisk. The best part of its equipment formerly belonged to Blokhin. During the Great Patriotic War the building was occupied by the office of the International Red Aid.

      Nikolay Blokhin donated a large amount of money to build Mariinsky Girls Gymnasium (nowadays school No.3). At the corner of Malaya Usolskaya (nowadays Usolskaya) Street and 3rd Usolsky pereulok (Zilairskaya Street) he built a free hospital for 24 patients. For a long time (until the 1980s) the building was used as intended, and currently it is in a wonderful condition. In 1869 on Bolshaya Usolskaya Blokhin opened a library, which he gave to the city as a present. Near the library he built a two-storey brick building, which was also given to the city to deploy a parish school in it. In acknowledgement of Blokhin's contribution the city Duma named the adjacent street after Blokhin (nowadays Kavkazskaya Street).

      In the first years of the revolution Blokhin gave all his property to the new power. Nevertheless, he was put into prison, where, according to historians the Gudkovs, the 75 year old Blokhin died.

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