Norilsk celebrated its first five-year anniversary in 1958

Norilsk celebrated its first five-year anniversary in 1958

January 23, 2023

In 1958, two events occurred that set the stage for great change.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The city stood at a crossroads at that time: without new rich ores, without mastering the methodology of building on frozen soils, a dead end awaited it.

Fortunately, the changes were not long in coming. Firstly, on October 8, 1958, an order was signed on the development of pile foundations – this was an important reform that marked the beginning of the rapid development of the city. And secondly, the technical council of the Norilsk Integrated Geological Exploration Expedition decided to launch prospecting and survey work in the area of the Haraelah and Talnah rivers. And the ores found there, as you know, gave new life to Norilsk.

In 1958, two new streets were named Moskovskaya and Leningradskaya – in honor of the Komsomol builders who came from Moscow and Leningrad. It was there that the design and construction of not single block-of-flats, but entire quarters began. They were first houses on a pile foundation, frozen into the permafrost. On one of the first houses built using this technology, today there is a memorial plaque to engineer Mikhail Kim, the author of the new method of building in the Far North. And although in 1958 the main housing in the city was still a bed in a hostel, and there was an acute shortage of comfortable separate apartments, everyone understood that this would not last long, new houses would be built soon (up to 30 housing construction projects were laid a year) and a normal life would begin.

Back in 1958, the workers of the hottest and most honorable profession in Norilsk for the first time got their own professional holiday. The Soviet government adopted a decree on the establishment of Metallurgist’s Day, which has since been celebrated on the third Sunday of July. In 1958 Norilsk metallurgists celebrated their holiday twice. The first was on April 27, on the anniversary of the Norilsk commercial nickel first batch release (in 1942). And the second – in the summer.

In August 1958, three containers with equipment for the Norilsk television center under construction were delivered to Dudinka. At the highest point of the city territory, on a mountain near the current Naberezhnaya street, the construction of a television center building and a hundred-meter television tower was in full swing. On the last day of the year, the birth of Norilsk television took place: the city theater actress Rahil Larina greeted the Norilsk people with the words “Good evening, dear friends!”. It is known that by that time there were already 400 TV sets in the city.

In the city in 1958 there were 21 schools, where more than seven thousand schoolchildren studied. 2 700 boys and girls attended seven working youth schools. There were 450 teachers in total. There were 20 kindergartens and 11 nurseries at the disposal of the kids. More than 700 schoolchildren attended different clubs at the House of Pioneers. 1 200 future miners, metallurgists, electricians, and builders were trained at the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical College.

In the History Spot’s previous publication we told that 1953 is a symbolic starting point for Norilsk as a city.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

January 23, 2023

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