#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. By that time, there – on the northern outskirts of the city – active development began with typical Hrushchev era houses. That area of Norilsk was at first a continuation of Talnahskaya street: they both were called Vostochnaya line, or Vostochnaya street.
Construction on Begichev street proceeded very quickly. In 1967-1968, ten houses were erected there annually. It was on Begichev that the builders set a speed record: the large-panel Hrushchev building No. 26 was erected in just 12 days. True, that period, apparently, did not include the time for the pile field installation.
The construction pace could not but please the new settlers. And they were yesterday’s tenants of the Stalin era communal apartments and immigrants from the burnt barrack settlements. But the infrastructure in that area did not keep up with the construction: at first, even buses did not go there. But families were still happy to get a separate apartment.
Here are the letters that readers wrote to the city newspaper in 1967:
“Early in the morning we were suddenly awakened by a bus. The first bus on Begichev street – we were looking and did not believe our eyes! Behind the first there were second, third ones. We ran up to the conductor and the driver, thanked them. Now we do not have to walk kilometers to the first bus stop on Leninsky prospect. There is a bus stop sign on our house. It’s a holiday on our street!”
March 4, 1969 on Begichev, 24, the first grocery store opened. It was given the name Komsomolsky. It supplied the inhabitants of the street with the most necessary food: bread, milk, groceries and gastronomy.
On January 26, 1971, Komsomolsky was paired with Golden Autumn, which sold vegetables and fruits.
The residents were happy with the shops – they no longer had to carry groceries from Ordzhonikidze street and even Leninsky prospect.
Another inseparable couple on Begichev street was the Pancake and Shashlychnaya cafes, which were soon renamed Vostochnoye. The names speak for themselves: rice pilaf, lagman and kebab were served in the ‘vostochka’, and the Russian-samovar spirit reigned in the “blinka”. By the 1990s, both cafes gained the notoriety of ‘gangster nests’.
One of the most popular stores in the 1980s was Home Appliances. As the name implies, they sold washing machines, refrigerators, heaters, irons – a terrible shortage at that time.
In 1990, a big scandal was associated with the store. Algerian refrigerators were brought to Norilsk, which were distributed directly from the warehouse to cronies. The lists of those lucky ones with their positions and addresses were made public, and the case went to the prosecutor’s office. And those miraculous refrigerators had been supposed to be sold in the Home Appliances.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we talked about the Kavkaz restaurant, which in the late 1970s worked exclusively for Swedes and Finns who came to Norilsk to build a plant.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive