Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

A building in Shanghai named after its Russian owner

Until recently, I only knew of the Krivoss Apartments, named after its owner and architect Boris Krivoss. But here is another – Koffman Apartments 国富门公寓, at 232 Route Ferguson, now 武康路232号. Gabriel Rabinovich built it for Vera Lvovna Koffman, b. 1888 in Yekaterinoslav. Mrs Koffman became a widow in 1932, when her husband Miron Vladimirovich Koffman was kidnapped by the bandits in Manchuria, held in captivity for 7 months and then killed.

Vera Koffman lived in the penthouse of the Koffman Apartments, together with her grown-up son, the engineer Vladimir Mironovich Kofman (Владимир Миронович Кофман), who owned the car dealership Oriental Motors on Avenue Foch, as well as the son's wife Rachel Abramovna Koffman. It was customary for the apartment house owners to occupy the top floors of their buildings. In a similar manner, the Kingsbury family lived in the Kingsbury Apartments (later renamed Dupleix Apartments) on Route Dupleix 安福路, and the owner of Clements Apartments, A. Clements, lived in his building on Rue Lafayette 复兴中路.

Vera Lvovna Koffman c. 1939.

There are two small apartment buildings flanking the Koffman – the Capetown on the left, and the Uptown on the right – whose origins and years of construction are still uknown! But according to Rabinovich's drawing, in March 1935 the Capetown (left) was not yet planned, while the Uptown (right) appears to be under construction.

In the Communist era, the Koffman Apartments has received an extra floor on top.

Other works by G. Rabinovich can be found on Building Russian Shanghai; there is also extra info on the French Concession's "midget apartments."

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Tags: architecture, art deco, brs, french concession, investigation, jews, route culty, route ferguson, russians, shanghai, women

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