In 1950s, Norilsk residents built houses for themselves

In 1950s, Norilsk residents built houses for themselves

September 20, 2021

In 1957, public construction projects started in Norilsk. Taking up the initiative, enterprises began to build residential buildings on their own.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. For metallurgists or miners without experience, it was difficult to build a house alone, so they took a companion – some construction company.

The idea was simple: local authorities allocated a site for the construction of an apartment building, construction organizations sent experienced engineers and foremen to construction, and the main work was performed by the employees of the enterprise that took responsibility for the construction.

The work on such a construction site was not paid, but the volunteers got the apartments in the house. To do this, it was required to work at the so called public construction site for at least 300 hours – besides the main job, of course. Therefore, it is not difficult to calculate how many evenings the people spent at the construction site to get their apartment.

As it turned out, the quality of public construction was higher than that of professional builders. This is understandable – they built homes for themselves.

This is how the city newspaper wrote about this initiative in 1957:

“…To improve their living conditions, the collectives of workers, engineers and employees of the Nickel combine and the Zhilstroy-1 office pledged this year to build a five-storey building with 150 apartments with a total area about six thousand square meters. It is assumed that the house, built by the collectives themselves, will have 9 one-room, 96 two-room and 44 three-room apartments. In addition, a kindergarten for 120 kids will be located on the ground floor of the house. The collectives undertook to build on an equal footing, dividing the living space equally, that is, 75 apartments each”.

By the way, in the same year one of the most famous public construction projects started in Norilsk: people built not a residential, but a sports facility – a city pool.

In the last issue of the History photo project, we talked about how in Norilsk they wanted to convert a helicopter into a carousel.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

September 20, 2021

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