The building that is currently occupied by Chernovtsy regional puppet theatre was previously used as an officers’ casino. This establishment resembled a modern sophisticated disco club. Youth came here to dance, take part in music parties, and gamble, which could make a poor man richer and vice versa. Young ladies came to look for romance.
This house has a rather fascinating history. It was built in late 1780s for a colonel. In 1866 a fire broke down in the house and almost completely destroyed it. The house was reconstructed in 1890 and was turned into a fancy establishment, an officers’ casino that looked like a cultural and art centre. Officers used to belong to the high classes of society: they were well-mannered and well-educated. The casino had a dance floor, gambling rooms, and a scene for theatrical performances.
There is a large rustification on the façade of the first floor, which symbolizes the power of military. Later, between the two World Wars, the upper part of the façade was decorated with metal. Decorative iron railings, artistic wood carvingі, alfresco paintings and stucco survived until nowadays. Stained glass windows in the style of Renaissance added extra sophistication to the interiors. Over the years a few more stained glass windows, which were created by soviet artists, were added to the building. Apparently, some of the elements of metal railings were gold-plated. The construction of the casino finished the development of a so-called officers’ cantonment. Colonel’s house, a guardhouse, and a church were located nearby. That was the infrastructure for accommodation and recreation of officers, as well for administration. Later the famous Ship House was built not far from there. That’s why it’s no surprise that Chernovtsy youth fell in love with this area.
During the USSR era the casino was turned into a house of political education of the Chernovtsy CPU Committee. In 1983 the building was given to Regional puppet theatre, and it remained that way.
Address of Colonel’s house: Chernovtsy, Glavnaya street, 22.