The land was initially granted to the State Secretary Soimonov that soon sold it to the merchant Philipp Grootten (1748-1815) who in 1784 put the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi to build him the mansion whose neo-classical façade is still tody in front of the Neva.
In 1793 Philipp Grootten sold the mansion to another merchant, Thomas Sievers, who sold it in 1793 to the princess Ekaterina Petrovna Bariatynskaia.
For more than a century (from 1796 to 1918) the mansion was the property of the Saltykov family and took the name as the « Saltykov Mansion».
In 1828 the Saltykov family rented out the mansion fully furnished. It was leased by the Austrian government as its embassy in the Russian Capital.
The Saltykov Mansion became the setting for two of the most famous salons of the period : in the evening the one of Filquemont's wifeDaria Fedorovna (1804-1863) and in the morning the one of his mother in law Elizaveta Mikhailovna Khitrovo (1783-1839).
The count de Ficquelmont was recalled to Vienne in 1840, but the Austrian government rented the Saltykov Mansion until 1855.
After, the second and the third floors were rented by the Danish diplomat Otten Plessen.
In 1863, the British government rented the Saltykov Mansion that became the British Embassy until 1918.
The Saltykov Mansion is set in central St-Petersburg, it lies on Suvorova Square by Trinity Bridge between the banks of the Neva and the Field of Mars. Its official address is Palace Embankment 4. The Palace fronts Palace Embankment and backs Millionnaya Street ; water frontage on the Neva was extremely prized by the Russian aristocracy while Millionnaya Street was considered one of tsarist Russia's grandest address.
The Mansion façade is one of the finest example of Russian neoclassical architecture. The neoclassicisism, imported by foreign architects, especially during the reign of Empress Catherine II, had become very fashionable within Russian nobility by the mid-18th century when the palace was built.
The Mansion façade is shaped with great simplicity, combining harmonic proportions and a moderate ornamentation that highlight few decorative elements, such as the piano nobile balcony facing the Neva and the Palace's pediments.