"The dominant factor in his life was now need (he had no money to bury his wife and had to pawn her possessions). This great architect even had to resort to selling (through an agent) tickets to the box he owned in the second circle of the Aleksandrinsky Theatre. Unpleasant incidents occurred: on occasions casual users of Rossi's box violated the rules of behaviour appropriate for the Imperial Theatre. The aged architect was called upon to provide explanations.
On the fifth of April, 1849 Rossi did not feel well. The diagnosis was unexpected and severe: cholera... It proved impossible to save him. On the morning of April 6th he died. He was buried at Volkovoe Lutheran Cemetery. His death passed unnoticed, mentioned by only one newspaper, Severnaya Pchela (No. 76, April 9th, 1849). Later, the Calendar for 1850 carried a notice concerning the death of "Collegiate Counsellor Karl Ivanovich Rossi, architect, known for designing many public buildings in St Petersburg." Even the famous Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus-Efron (1890-1907) forgot to mention the great architect in the appropriate volume..." (source: www.citywalls.ru)
Rossi's fate is typical of that of many foreign architects in St Petersburg.
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, architect of many of St Petersburg's finest palaces under Elizabeth, was unceremoniously dismissed by Catherine II upon her ascent to the throne. His bell-tower for Smolny Cathedral, upon which he was working at the time, was never built, and his architectural style branded 'whipped cream'. (He was, however, awarded a consolatory pension of 1000 rubles per annum.)
Auguste Montferrand gave his life to building St Isaac's Cathedral (1818-1858) and asked in his will to be buried in the cathedral vaults. When he died in the same year that his life's work was finally completed, his request was rejected by Nicholas I. Posthumously insulted, Montferrand retreated all the way back to Paris to be placed in a grave in the Montmartre Cemetery.
In more recent times two more foreign architects have lived to regret designing for St Petersburg. Eric Owen Moss was engaged by the Russian Ministry of Construction to design the Mariinsky’s second stage following a bids competition won by the American developers Frederick and Laurie Smith in 2001, but found his project suddenly dropped after strong public disapproval forced the Russian authorities to hold a second competition.
This competition was won by Dominique Perrault, whose victory, however, turned out to be a poisoned chalice. First, his architectural firm was excluded from the detailed design work on the building. And then the design itself was changed, without Perrault's consent, stripping it of its most distinctive element and leaving in effect only the foundations.