Lomonosov street changed greatly

Lomonosov street changed greatly

June 04, 2024

Lomonosov street is known for being the shortest in Norilsk (in the Central district). Its length is only 130 meters, and only two houses belong to it. But it was not always so.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. According to the first plans for the development of Norilsk, Lomonosov street was supposed to open onto Gvardeyskaya square, which was initially planned to be built square, not round. Together with Lomonosov street, four more streets were supposed to converge here: Stalinsky prospekt, Ordzhonikidze street (the initial part of the present Leninsky prospect), Pushkin and Komsomolskaya streets. So Norilsk Gvardeyskaya square could become an analogue of the Leningrad Square of Five Corners.

But the architects were racking their brains: how to distribute five traffic flows in a small area and avoid fragmentation of the development. As a result, the project was radically redrawn, changing the very configuration of Gvardeyskaya square and cutting off two side beams. The square became round, not square, as originally wanted. And instead of five streets, only three converged on it: Lomonosov and Komsomolskaya were left without access to the main avenue. And if the latter went to the Southern Line (now 50 Let Octyabrya street), then Lomonosov one remained a secondary courtyard street.

The design of houses on Lomonosov street began in 1950. As stated in the report of the Norilsk permafrost station head Mikhail Kim when developing a project for four-story houses in the 21st quarter, which includes Lomonosov street, the designers encountered permafrost soils, and bedrock ended up at depths of more than 20 meters. According to the standards of those years, soils with ice layers could not be used as a foundation. But after a few years, experience showed that it was possible to build on permafrost; in 1952–1953, the first (and today only) two houses on Lomonosov street were erected: No. 3 and No. 5.

Then the street abutted the 17th block, and drew into one of its conduit arches. And even further, on the site of modern Anisimov street, Stroygrad store and the territory of the Norilsk-Taimyr energy supplying company, there was a children’s labor colony and the forced labor camp’s sixth women department, which were later transformed into the Stroiteley village and the 16th quarter.

Lomonosov street never became a real street, remaining more like a thoroughfare. At its intersection with Pionerskaya (B. Hmelnitsky) street, the city bathhouse was built in 1954. At that time it was a very important object. Initially, there was no experience in laying communications in permafrost conditions. The mainland method – laying pipes in channels in the ground – ended with the subsidence of buildings. Ground water conduits blocked driveways and interfered with snow removal. While the engineers were solving the problem, tall Stalin era buildings had already begun to be built in Norilsk.

And the beautiful buildings of the historical center were not connected to utility networks at first. The bathrooms and sanitary facilities designed in them were not used due to lack of water, and the kitchens had fireplaces and stoves. Conveniences (a toilet) were temporarily provided on the street: these were cold latrines and indoor water pumps, which was especially inconvenient in the conditions of the Far North. Therefore, citizens massively used public baths. The bathhouse on the corner of Lomonosov and B. Hmelnitsky, by the way, was not the first in Gorstroy, the current residential part of Norilsk. It had a predecessor – at the very end of the Southern Line, now there is building Talnahskaya street, 6.

Modestly hidden behind the main avenue, our bathhouse is a very interesting example of architecture. This ‘city planning’s Cinderella’ was built according to the design of the imprisoned architect Gevorg Kochar. According to the city’s first project, it was not there at all at this point; they wanted to create a park instead. Visitors came here in December 1954. Despite its modest size, the bathhouse is a complex engineering and technical complex. There were women’s and men’s departments for 180 people per hour, a laundry and a disinfection chamber. There was even a small cafe at the bathhouse, but more often there was a cafeteria with a samovar and pastries. Please note that its entrance lobby used to look completely different; the current extension is a late remodel.

As for the history of Lomonosov street, in the mid-1970s it suddenly began to grow in length. On the same straight line with it – behind Kirov and Talnahskaya streets – new construction began. And although there was a whole block between the old and new houses, it was all addressed to Lomonosov street. In July 1988, the last three houses – No. 13, 15 and 17 – were separated into a new independent street and renamed in honor of the Norilsk builder Leonid Anisimov. Confirmation of this event can be seen now: at the end of Anisimov’s house, 5, the old number 17 is still visible today.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told how temples and a mosque were built in Norilsk.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch and Norilsk residents' archive

June 04, 2024

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