In the 1950s, Sovetskaya street divided Norilsk into two parts

In the 1950s, Sovetskaya street divided Norilsk into two parts

August 23, 2021

At the end of the 1950s, at the state level, a struggle began against the so-called architectural excesses - builders had to focus on mass, cheap, affordable, but, alas, identic, dull housing.

“Starting from 1958, provide for comfortable apartments for one family in residential buildings under construction in cities and in rural areas. The construction should be carried out according to standard designs”, the Central Committee of the CPSU decided.

This decision canceled the author’s approach to architecture and launched Nikita Hrushchev’s (the state head in 50-60s) era in construction.

Norilsk was directly affected by that. ‘Rubicon’ took place in the area of ​​Sovetskaya street. In 1958, the last Stalin’s era appartments  with the most unassuming decoration were commissioned – Leninsky prospect, 26, Kirov street, 25 and 29. And for the next 15 years Norilsk was built up with identical Hrushchev appartments – first brick, and soon panel ones.

This utilitarian approach to architecture greatly depersonalized urban development, but accelerated construction time.

The use of standard projects made it possible to reduce the construction period for each building from 10-12 to 4-6 months.

There was another, very significant plus. The residents of Norilsk could finally move from barracks and communal apartments, albeit to a small, but separate apartment.

In 1958, the city newspaper described the benefits of future housing as follows:

“What nice apartments they will be! In two or three years the majority of Norilsk residents will forget how three or four families once shared one corridor and one kitchen. Each family will receive their own comfortable apartment. You won’t have to put the jar of sourcrout out of the window but into a spacious portable refrigerator. The kitchens will have everything a hostess can dream of: built-in furniture, wardrobes, shelves, sinks”.

The last Hrushchev buildings in Norilsk were built in 1974: at Pavlova, 22 and 23, and Anisimova, 5. Those were practically the last five-story buildings in Norilsk. After that, only nine- and twelve-story dwellings were erected in the city.

In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about why the infectious disease building of the hospital campus in Norilsk was built taking into account the south wind.

Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

August 23, 2021

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