Passage is a commercial and residential building in Kyiv in the form of a street-corridor formed by two parallel buildings (the current address is Khreshchatyk Street, 15). At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Stifner estate, located on the site of the current Passage, was purchased by the Rossiya Insurance Company for 1.5 million rubles. On the purchased land, with an area of 1 hectare, the company decided to build a large business center with shops on the ground floor, offices on the upper floors, as well as apartments that can be rented out. Taking into account the specific dimensions of the estate, which resembled a narrow elongated rectangle, the architect proposed building two parallel buildings, creating a street-corridor between them, and decorating the facades with original stucco figures. He introduced a barely noticeable break in the line of the Passage.

Construction began in 1913. Within a year, it was possible to build approximately two-thirds of what was planned – according to the project, the Passage was supposed to go directly to Khreshchatyk, which at that time was significantly narrower , than now. The building was erected in the neoclassical style. But the First World War prevented construction. Among other things, they did not have time to build the arch of the entrance to the Passage from the side of Khreshchatyk. Thanks to this, the building (at 25 Khreshchatyk Street), which had to be dismantled for this purpose, existed until 1941. There was also a project to install a large glass roof over the Passage with a complex engineering structure.

The first floors of the unfinished building were occupied by shops (large arched windows were built for them); on the upper floors, divided into sections, there were apartments and offices of enterprises. When in the summer of 1920 the Red Army, having driven Polish troops out of Kiev, established Soviet power in the city, there was no longer the Rossiya insurance company (the Bolsheviks nationalized everything), no tsarist ruble, no contracting office that built the Passage. Therefore, the building stood unfinished until the Great Patriotic War. And in the fall of 1941, it was blown up along with most of the houses on Khreshchatyk.

This is interesting!

At the entrance to the Passage from the Khreshchatyk side there is the Avenue of Stars, on which 17 stars of famous Ukrainian cultural and sports figures are installed:
– Oleg Blokhin,
– Sergey Bubka,
– Mikhail Voronin,
– Vladimir Moiseenko and Vladimir Danilets,
– Taisiya Povaliy,
– Ada Rogovtseva,
– Sofia Rotaru,
– Bogdan Stupka and many others.

After the war, they decided to reconstruct the building, although there was an idea to liquidate it completely. The facades were restored, and a 6-story building with a large arch was added to the ends of the old building. A small fountain in front of the arch appeared already in the 1990s. For about three decades, Passage housed the “Mother and Child Pharmacy,” which was popular in the city, as well as a large two-story children’s and educational bookstore “Smena” with large windows on the second floor. Until the 1980s, the lower floors housed the Detsky Mir store complex, and the upper floors housed apartments.

During the reconstruction process, the internal layout of the building-street underwent significant changes. The upper floors were converted into apartments for the republic’s elite – mainly the creative ones. Famous singers, writers, composers, architects, directors, artists, doctors settled here – many of them now have memorial plaques installed near the entrances in which they lived.
But the facades of the Passage were restored according to the original. At one time, there were legends among Kiev residents about what exactly was depicted on them: on the building you can see garlands, coats of arms, skulls of bulls, angels, night owls, rods of Mercury, heads of rams with pineapples hanging from the horns, figures of a man and a woman hugging, playing with lion and lioness children.

Nowadays, the first two floors of the Passage house shops, cafes and restaurants. On the top there are offices and apartments. There are memorial plaques on the building in honor of famous people who lived in it: opera singers Boris Gmyrya and Mikhail Grishko, therapist Anatoly Mikhnev, writers Ivan Nekhoda and Viktor Nekrasov. And in the corridor-street between the two buildings they opened a monument to the architect Vladislav Gorodetsky, who was a frequent visitor to Passage coffee shops.

Where is the Passage?

Khreshchatyk street, 15