Yet in 1872 city mayor Demidov proposed to create a monument to the Emperor Nykolay I, whose orders almost immediately turned Kiev from a forgotten provincial town into a European level city. A Committee was arranged, and by 1855 the program for the competition was ready. The place for the monument was given in University Park (later renamed into Nykolay Park due to the monument). Before that, this park was deserted and was used for the army demonstrations.
Saint-Petersburg Architects Society announced a competition, which ended in March 1887. First winner-project was a monument made by Academician of Sculpture and Architecture Chyzhov. However, the City Council found the monument “inadequate for the city”. Therefore, new Committee was arranged – Emperor Nykolay I monument building Committee. New competition was announced; this time by Empire Academy of Arts.
Owing to the charities of merchants and largest employers, the costs collected by subscription, reached 36 thousand 600 rubles. The City Council also managed to give for the charity 30 thousand rubles.
Due to the efforts of governor Ignatiev, Military Assembly gave away 2 thousand --- of copper, necessary for the statue. World-wide famous owners of Gnivanski quarries, Yaroshynski employers also left traces by having given for the charity 48 --- of the best granite for the future pedestal. Graf Bobrynsky didn’t ignore the event either – he ordered to transport all the materials to Kiev using the railway for free.
Eventually, the second competition ended in 1891. Nothing curious happened. The winner-project was once again made by Chyzhov. On Gavrylov factory in Saint-Petersburg in one-year time, Chyzhov managed to carve a statue and all the bas-reliefs, which were almost immediately transferred to Kiev. The laying of the monument took place in 1893.
Therefore, on 2nd August 1896 amazed local community was observing a marvelous creation. Standing full-height, dressed in Army General frock-coat with epaulettes, with no hat on his head, leaning on a small bedside table with Kiev city map on it, bronze master was looking over the main Saint Volodymyr University building… First finger of his left hand was touching his frock-coat.