1829 - 1831, architect. А. Menelaws
1838 - 1860 , architect. А. I. Stackenschneider
After the "Cottage" palace was built, the family of the Emperor Nicholas I traditionally spent summer months in "Alexandria". To further emphasize the idyllic character of the country residence, by the decree of the Emperor, in 1831, the main creator of the palace and park ensemble, the architect A. Menelaws, constructed a Farm with a barn, rooms for the shepherds, kitchens and pantries. The purebred cows were ordered specially from England, that provided the family with dairy products, and even the shepherd was an Englishman. It was a modest rural house with the roof, painted in the color of straw, and surrounded by galleries on pillars looking like birch trunks. At the end of the 1830's, a two-story annex was added to the Farm pavilion, that housed the living rooms of the heir to the throne - the future Emperor Alexander II.
Over the next two decades, the building was reconstructed several times under the supervision of the architect, A.I. Stackenshneider. The first reconstruction was connected with the marriage, in 1841, of the Crown Prince (Tsesarevich) Alexander and the Hesse-Darmstadt Princess, in Orthodoxy - Maria Aleksandrovna. Later, the building was extended because of the birth of their children and the growing family. During the reconstructions, the barn was moved to a new building on the Peterhof road. With the accession of Alexander Nikolaevich to the throne, the status of the house changed, and in 1860, the modest farm turned into the Farm palace of the Emperor Alexander II.
The design of the Farm palace interiors, just like the other constructions on the territory of "Alexandria" park, is executed in neo-Gothic style. Some elements of its original finish have preserved: stucco works, the fragments of paintings on the walls and ceilings, fragments of the oak parquet floor, stoves, fireplaces and staircases. The building was equipped with all the necessary amenities for living. It was arranged with a lift, water pipes, toilet and bathing rooms. The marble bath in the toilet room of Maria Aleksandrovna, has remained until our days. In the half owned by the Empress, rooms were far more elegant and comfortable. In some rooms, the Gothic elements of the decoration blend well with the furniture in the second Rococo style.
The most significant interior detail of the Farm palace, is the Blue Study of Alexander II. Here the Emperor received his ministers, listened to the reports on the progress of military operations and conducted committee meetings to reform the country. It is here, that the most important draft of the law, about the liberation of the peasants from the serfdom, was being prepared.
The Blue Study keeps some memorabilia that belonged to the Emperor: a leather briefcase for documents, a case of drawing instruments and an ivory crucifix. The chairs preserved, from the original furniture decor, and the unique clock with multiple dials. It showed time in 66 provincial towns in Russia and Alaska. The leather cushion with traces of blood, that was in the emperor's carriage on March 1, 1881, is reminiscent of his tragic death.
Many rooms of the Farm palace have access to the terraces or the garden. In front of the eastern facade of the palace, designed by the project of the architect E. Gahn, the Private garden of the Empress was laid, surrounded by pergolas on three of its sides. The fountain in the oval basin, is decorated with the bronze sculpture "the Night", cast in accordance with the impression from the marble original of the French sculptor, Joseph Pollet.
On the territory of the Farm palace, to the south of it, there is a preserved building of the Kitchen Block. From the variety of buildings that were built for the children (Children's farmhouse with a garden, children's village house, a small windmill), now, on the side from the western facade, there is a reconstructed Children's Fireman tower, with the bell and the set of tools.
The Farm palace is interesting not only for its unusual history. It is the only palace in Russia built for Alexander II. For half a century, since childhood, his life was closely connected with this unique building, that was changing along with its owner.
For the first time since 1932, the exposition of the Farm palace, as a museum, was opened after the restoration, on June 19, 2010.