Riga's Jugendstil GrandeurNo. 2 Alberta iela
It's a tough act to follow, being next to the sphinxes of Nr.2a, but none of buildings along Alberta iela gives way to any of its neighbors in either style or originality. Nr.2 is no exception.
Many features distinguish Nr.2 from its competition. Most prominent are its are its pair of two-story high projecting bays, each supported by a triplet of massive cantilever brackets. An open-air balcony — framed with wrought iron and adorned with flowers in the spring and summer — caps off each bay. The arched windows and side balconies are set off by a seemingly endless collection of decorative architectural elements.
Nrs. 2, 2a, 4, 6, 8, and 13 were all designed by Mihail Eisenstein, whose day job was chief road engineer for the Vidzeme district. Proving not all engineers are dull and unimaginative. (And if the name sounds familiar, he's father to the famous Latvian-born film director, Sergei Eisenstein.)
And, to top off Nr. 2, Eisenstein designed the unusually wide and ornate projecting cornice and a parapet atop, crowned by six massive stone finials adorned with animals' and devils' (!) heads. (Take a close look at that middle-right head!)