Art Nouvea building in 13 Albert street, designed by Mikhail Eisenstein in 1904. Riga, Latvia.
Industrial Revolution gave Riga unprecedented prosperity and a sudden expansion of the population. Wealthy entrepreneurs erected several hundred multi-story buildings. The distinctive look of Riga’s central districts took shape in the early 20th century. By 1904, the eclectic character of Riga’s architecture disappeared completely. 40% of all buildings in central Riga were built in the Art Nouveau style. This is considerably more than in any other city in the world.
Alberta iela 13 was designed by Mikhail Eizenstein and constructed in 1904-1905 in the highly decorative manner of Art Nouveau, which represents the main architectural heritage of Riga. The whole central area of the city is registered on the UNESCO World heritage list. The building is located on the corner of Alberta and Strelnieku iela, a district which boasts some of the most beautiful architecture in Riga and is home to many Embassies.
Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein, (1867 in St. Petersburg – 1921 in Berlin), was a Russian architect and civil engineer of Baltic German descent. His paternal grandparents being German Jews, had converted to Orthodox Christianity, and his maternal grandparents were thought to be Swedes. He graduated from the Institute of Civic Engineering in St. Petersburg in 1893. He was the designer of a number of Art Nouveau buildings in Riga (now in Latvia). He built several apartment buildings for State Counsellor A. Lebedinsky, including the ones at Alberta iela 4 (1904), 6 (1903) and 13, and at Elizabetes iela 10b (1903). His projects were characterized by decorative, odd-shaped windows, often with large female head shapes, bright glazed brick or ceramic plates, glass and metal tiles etc.
Because of the Russian Revolution Mikhail Eisenstein emigrated to Berlin, where he died in 1921 of a heart attack, aged 54. He lies buried at Berlin-Tegel Russian-Orthodox cemetery.