The construction of the square began in the summer of 1952 in the area of Pushkin street.
“This summer, a large park with volleyball and basketball courts and a fountain will be laid out on the site of the farmsteads. A monument to A.S. Pushkin will appear. In winter, a separate area of the park will be equipped with a skating rink”, wrote the newspaper Stalinets.
Norilsk workers and employees participated in breaking up the park on Sundays.
In just three days, 2690 combine’s workers moved 3000 cubic meters of land and 525 cubic meters of sawdust at this popular construction site. Although the promised monument to Pushkin never appeared there (more precisely, it was settled after 60 years), the park was named after the great poet.
In the winter of 1955, a skating rink was made in the Pushkin park. The townspeople now have a place for mass meetings, dates and entertainment. Especially for rental, the combine purchased 100 pairs of the most fashionable model skates – English sport.
In 1956, the square was renamed Pioneer and the construction of the future stadium began there. Nevertheless, even after its opening, the square was often called by the name of Pushkin even in official documents.
The green alleys along the stadium continued to be planted with bushes and trees. Through the efforts of the new stadium director Philip Podolsky, who, together with the Komsomol members, personally planted tundra willows and alder, the park is still the greenest corner in the city.
In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about the fact that the first restaurant in Norilsk – the legendary Taimyr – was opened when the city was still a forced labor camp.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive