In July 1838 work began in the Moscow
Kremlin on the reconstruction of the Russian emperors' residence. The old palace, designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli in the 18th century, was now too small and not in keeping with current tastes or ideas of beauty and comfort. Restored in haste after the fire of Moscow in 1812, the building
was now very dilapidated. All this prompted Emperor Nicholas I to build a new palace that was "fitting and in keeping with the country's first capital". Nicholas entrusted the supervision of the building to Konstantin Andreyevich Ton, charging him with "... special responsibility for the stability of the foundations and vaulting and a system of safe heating
...". The emperor himself examined and approved all the details of the project. The construction and decoration of the palace took almost twelve years, from 1838 to 1849. Apart from Ton, the following Moscow architects took part in the work; F.F.Rikhter, N.I.Chichagov, PA.Gerasimov, V.A.Bakarev and others. Konstantin Ton was in charge of the design
; detailed drawings of all the main halls were made by I.P.Kaminsky; the moulding, interior decoration of the chambers and design of the furniture and doors were mostly the work of N.I.Chichagov who, according to contemporaries, "... was renowned for a special refinement of taste"; and the estimates were prepared by V.A.Bakarev.