#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Quarter No. 17, 22 and 28 were located along Kirova street and occupied a vast space from the fire station, opposite the stadium and up to Pavlova Street. These buildings had their own internal numbering: quarter No. 22, building No. 11. But the Norilsk people often called them by one common name the 17th quarter.
There were many interesting establishments. For example, there was a hotel branch, a young technicians’ club, film distribution, a people’s court, a music school, the Institute of Agriculture of the Far North. A distinctive feature of the 17th quarter was the ground-based arched conduits: they replaced the collectors, and the arches were bent not for beauty, but for the free cars’ passage.
The apartments were communal. The toilet was shared by two families, and at first there were no bathrooms at all, residents went to wash to the city bathhouse. The 17th quarter’s buildings were built in the 1940s, but their improvement continued until the mid-1950s. Although the project included water supply, sewerage, and warm latrines, they were settled without these amenities. Residents had complained for several years that the toilet was in the yard, and for water they had to go to water pumps which due to permafrost’s subsidence were in pits.
But there was a long corridor, a large kitchen and pantries. All these spaces were used for food storage. Everything that was brought into navigation, especially vegetables, was packed, stored and eaten all winter. The stairwells in the entrances were spacious, and there were huge chests for coal and firewood. The heating in the apartments was steam, but the first residents cooked on wood-burning stoves.
Over time the houses acquired all the necessary amenities, and the Norilsk people lived in this houses until the end of the 1980s. The area was rebuilt until the early 1990s, a new microdistrict with high-rises of Kirova and Talnahskaya streets was built on the place freed from the old two-story buildings.
In the History Spot photo project previous publication, we told that Vladimir Zverev came to Norilsk with audit and remained in charge of the Norilsk Combine.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive