Yerevan: Abovian Street: Arami to Pushkin Street

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Yerevan Walking Tour: Old Abovian Street: Arami to Pushkin Street

Yerevan Walking Tour:
Old Abovian Street: Arami to Pushkin Street

Walking along Abovian street is like walking in an outdoor museum. On one side of the street are the 'modern' architectural designs favored by Boris Mehrabian with their Art Nouveau flourishes on balconies, windows and doors: the fluid stone and metal details add grace to otherwise solemn structures mostly built with black tufa stone.

As opposed to Mehrabian's carved elegance, Vasilii Mirzoian gave his Neo-Classic buildings on the other side of the street lightness through color, contrasting red with black tuff. Taken as a whole, these buildings successfully combined the Art Nouveau style then all the rage in Paris with traditional Armenian influences. One of the best features of Old Abovian Street are hidden courtyards where trees, gardens and fountains used to form mini oasis providing relief from heat during summer months.

At the corner of Arami and Abovian is the 1936 Children's World Department Store (30). Across the street are a row of 1880s buildings (31) with their graceful lines allowing you to imagine the 'face' of the old city.

Two buildings were commissioned in 1884 by the Yeghiazarian brothers – Grigor, owner of a brick workshop, and Barsegh, a merchant. The Barsegh Yeghiazarian house (32) has strong neo-classic details favored by Mirzoian (#6 Abovian Str.). The second floor of the building served as a hospital in WWI and in 1918 for the wounded in the Battle of Sardarapat. Now look next door (#8 Abovian Str.) at the façade of Grigor Yeghiazarian's house (33) which stands out for its architectural details – the façade is emphasized by roughly-cut Doric columns. Furnaces decorated with white faïence are preserved inside the house. In the early 20th century some rooms were given to the Indo-European Telegraph House, and later to the Second Charity Orphanage of the American Committee for Relief in the Near East.

On the left (#1/4 Abovian) is the location of Mehrabian's masterpiece, the 1909-1914 Gabrielian Mansion (34). It belonged to Gabriel Gabrielian, one of the owners of Yerevan's first quality leather processing center, the Brothers Gabrielian Leather Works. In the1920s-30s a third floor was added to the original building. The building has not survived.

Original text edited by the International Council on Monuments and Sites-Armenian National Committee (ICOMOS/Armenia).