V.A. Kokorev was one of the most prominent figures of the Russian merchantry and played a significant role in the social and political life of Russia in the times of the Great Reforms, contributing to the development of enterprise and hotel business.
The Kokorev Compound that he built on Sofiyskaya embankment became a showcase multifunctional center providing service to the guests of Moscow.
One of the most famous Moscow merchants of the second half of the 19 century, thanks to his wealth and social involvement, was Vasiliy Alexandrovich Kokorev.
In order to build it he bought several parcels of land on the left (East) side from the Church of St. Sofiya, and in June 1860 he obtained a permission to erect a four-storey stone living facility on the embankment, which would serve as a hotel, and several big premises for shops and warehouses inside the courtyard that stretched almost till the Vodootvodniy chanel.
All the architectural ensemble, which was one of a kind in those days in Russia being a multifunctional center, got the name “The Kokorev Compound”; the buildings on the West side were called The Monakhov Yard, and the ones on the East got the name “The Strekalov Yard”.
The “Illustrated Newspaper” placed a picture of the new building and informed that beside spacious basements and storage rooms for goods and 20 “luxurious shops”, there were “315 apartments from 30 kopeks to 4 rubles per day… and even more surprisingly, even the apartments at 30 kopeks are clean and comfortable. There are 700 beds with mattresses and linen in the rooms, there is a water pipeline that serves the bathrooms and toilets, iron wardrobes help keep precious things and money in safety, stone closets are for keeping any food, the mezzanine provides a view on the Kremlin. The apartments feature dining tables, a free reading room provides Russian and foreign magazines and newspapers… In a word, the Kokorev house is equipped totally as they do in Europe…”.
He visited Moscow for the first time in January 1866 and stayed here (at The Kokorev Compoud) but right the next day Nikolay Rubinshtein talked him into moving to his place at Mokhovaya St. Next time Chaykovskiy stayed at the compound in 1879 when he came to Moscow for correcting the printed copies of “Eugene Onegin”.
As he used to say, this hotel “always appealed to him by its quietness and the tall and clean rooms viewing the Kremlin”.
He lived here also in April of 1880: “What a weather! It is so nice here in my hotel. I open the balcony and keep on coming out to enjoy the view on the Kremlin”, – he wrote in his letter to Nadezhda Filaretovna fon Mekk.
The next visits Petr Ilyich also stayed here: in 1881, then in 1882, when he worked on the instrumental part of the opera “Mazepa”, and in 1883, before staging it, and then again in 1884.