Location: Odesa, Ukraine
Architect: Ferdinand Fellner, Hermann Helmer
Date Built: 1884-1887
What Society Built it: Russian Empire
An Italian baroque theatre complex in the heart of Odesa, the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theatre is the oldest theatre in the city and, along with the Potemkin Stairs, the city's most famous landmark. The first theatre on the site was built in 1810 by the Italian Francesco Frapolli under commission from the Russian Empire, but was burned down in 1873. The current building was built between 1884 and 1887 by the Austrian firm Fellner & Helmer, combining Italian and French styles for the façade and audience hall. The history of the opera house is intertwined with that of the city and Ukraine at-large: it faced destruction in the Second World War, and now faces similar challenges in face of Russia's invasion.
The theatre was the first building in Odesa to be outfitted with electric illumination, by the Edison Company.
During the summers before air conditioning, workers would unload ice and straw down a long shaft, carry it through a tunnel to the basement, where cool air would rise into the audience chamber.
The theatre has been twice destroyed or damaged by fire; in 1873 and 1925. The 1925 fire was localized, preserving much of the building.
It is said that when the people of Odesa learned of the 1.3 million ruble price tag, they gasped in shock. When the building opened, they gasped again, but this time in admiration
Length: 823 blocks
Width: 828 blocks
Height: 345 blocks
Total blocks: 17257344
Build time: 93.6 hours