National Bank of Ukraine (building)
The National Bank of Ukraine building that is located in Kiev traces its roots to the State Bank of Russia that established its branch in Kiev, Russian Empire in 1860 after the local State Commercial Bank (1839-1860) went bankrupt. The original building that once belonged to the local Noble Assembly by the end of the nineteenth century required major expansion. There were some propositions to preserve the original building, yet at the end it was decided to build a new building.
In 1900 the Petersburg State Bank (which controlled the Kiev branch) and Sergei Witte (the Minister of Finance at the time) initiated a competition for construction of a new building. The competition was won by the architect O. Kobolyev and work began several years later. The main facade was designed by O. Verbitskyi, who joined the project shortly after construction started. The Italian sculptor Emilio Sala (who also worked on the House with Chimaeras) was invited to create the interior decorations. The style is inspired by the palazzos of the Italian Renaissance.
On August 1, 1905, the building was completed and the bank's day-to-day business was transferred to it. The new building featured electrical lighting and ventilation and a central heating system. In 1933, when the capital of Ukraine was transferred from Kharkiv to Kiev, two more stories were added to the building to handle the growth.
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- Galina Savchuk, The Streets of Kiev, (Kiev 1996), p. 103