#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. For the Norilsk people, 1966 was fruitful for awards: in April, 11 first builders were awarded the Lenin Prize. A decade later, a street appeared in Norilsk in honor of eleven laureates of the Lenin Prize for the construction of the combine and the city in conditions of permafrost and a harsh climate.
Following Mikhail Kim, awards were received by Nikolay Lazarev, head of the Norilskproekt institute survey department, Vasily Kolyada, chief engineer of the building materials production department, deputy chief Leonid Reuter and chief engineer of the NMMC capital construction department, and Ierochim Epstein. All of them, including Kim, are from the repressed Norilsk residents.
On the same day, laureate medals were awarded to the chief architect of the city’s project, Vitold Nepokoichitsky, to the head of the NMMC construction department, Dmitry Muravyov, and to Boris Yermilov, deputy director of the NMMC for construction.
The celebration in Norilsk was attended by eight of the eleven laureates. The head of the capital construction department, Leonid Anisimov, and the chief engineer of the same department, Abram Zaydel, together with the designer Mikhail Bitadze, were awarded prizes and medals in Moscow.
Bitadze and Zaydel, like most of the first builders of the northern city, besides institutes, also had the ‘Norillag Academy’ under their belt.
When in 1974 a decision was made to name a new street on the outskirts of Norilsk after the Laureates, all eleven awardees were still alive. Someone continued to work in Norilsk or just, like Nepokoichitsky, moved to the mainland.
The street was built very quickly, from both ends at once. Houses of improved series were erected on it simultaneously with the bedsits. In 1975, six nine-story buildings were commissioned, a year later – eight.
The construction of houses on Laureatov street practically ended in 1980, but by the end of the decade its odd side began to collapse due to the geophysical features of the relief. Ironically, even the polygon of the permafrost laboratory, organized under Mikhail Kim, was lost. Later they learned to build buildings on any soil in Norilsk.
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Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive