The late 18th-century manor house, now a memorial museum, was designed by an unknown architect. The estate sits atop a hill. Nabokov’s mother, whose maiden name was Rukavishnikova, spent her childhood and youth there. It was the writer’s home before the revolution. In Soviet times, the estate housed a school and a hostel. A fire seriously damaged it in 1995. In 2011, the estate became regional property.
“We have the design and cost specifications that are to undergo an expert review until the end of the year. So we hope that restoration will begin in 2016,” Mr. Drozdenko said after touring the estate.
He took pictures of the two-story wooden mansion and the paint peeling off its façade and sent them to Natalya Kononenko, head of the local committee on culture, as glaring proof that the building badly needs renovation.
“The head of the committee told me that the estate would be revamped and would open its doors as an updated district and regional cultural center,” the acting governor said.
The estate’s park, where Vladimir Nabokov used to catch butterflies and which has medicinal springs that used to be known throughout St. Petersburg, must also be upgraded, he added.
The park surrounding the mansion, its central alley lined with 150-year-old lime trees and oaks, sprawls down to the Grezna River canyon, with picturesque sandstone, brooks streaming out of the rock and a cave complex.