Old Gyumri Tour

Visit Kumayri museum, historic houses, workshops, taverns, guesthouses and museums that make up Old Gyumri (formerly known as Alexandropl).


Gai to Jivani Street

Gai to Jivani Street: Apartments designed by Chisliyev, Commerce College

Proceed up Gai Street:

1. Left: Gate, 20th century.  Part of the bank building facing the square, this gate, by Sasun Grigorian is a wonderful recreation of Old Giumri style in wrought iron.  The gate is an experiment in coming up with a new style that combines the old Alexandropol style with modern ideas to create a new design taste.  The gate replaces an original that was lost.  Compare this with the unfinished new house further up the street (see photo #3).

2. Left: Kamar Bistro.  The downstairs bistro is in a vaulted room which is a classic Alexandropol detail.  Many of the buildings of this time were single-story with vaulted basements for storage.  Second floors were added for the family later if the owner could not afford to add on from the start.   

3. Right: Kurazian building, 21st century.  Designed by Suren Kurazian, the building is another attempt to find a new design solution for Giumri.  Like the gate for the bank, the white stone (not used in Old Giumri) is complemented with black tufa details, and as opposed to the gate for the bank (#1), the design is more modern, with a few details to suggest its historic surroundings.  

4. Right: Dwelling, 1890-1900.  The wrought iron work and elaborate old wooden doors mark this building, which had a large courtyard in back (note the wrought iron gate on right side).  The building was to have a second wing; the pieces of stone deliberately were left jutting out on the left to allow a seamless joint for a new wing that was never built.

Cross over next street and continue:

5. Left corner: “Chisliani Shenk”, 1920s.  The first apartment buildings in the city, built after the 1926 earthquake to replace a destroyed structure.  The architect D. Chisliyev (Chislian) designed the apartment building in a spare, “modernist” style favored by early Soviet Futurists.  The building uses multicolored tufa blocks and broad arches to complement the 19th century masterpieces around it. 

6. Right: Former Commerce College, 1900s.  The 3-storey huge black tufa building contains Art Nouveau elements on its facade and in the upstairs lecture hall, which can still be seen.  The building was later used for the Giumri Pedagogical Institute and the Shirak Regional Museum.   

The text for this walking tour was edited by the Kumaiyri Preserve-Museum.

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