Alekseyevsky district in detail. House on Chicken Legs, Kosmos and three other remarkable buildings

November 11, 2019

For the third year in a row, the educational project of the Museum of Moscow 'Street Lecture Course.  Local History' brings together Moscow citizens and guests to listen to street lectures by Moscow researchers and historians in different Moscow locations, from Zamoskvorechye to Krylatsky districts.

In summer, Season 3 of 'Street Lecture Course' started with the first meeting about Kitai-Gorod. Today’s lecture is dedicated to Alekseyevsky district.

The House of the Supreme Council of the National Economy

184/1 Prospekt Mira

A ten-storey house, built on Prospekt Mira in 1955-1957, was the last completed building designed by Ivan Zholtovsky. The architect died in 1959, leaving behind a house on Mokhovaya Street, the building of the Moscow Hippodrome, the Pobeda Cinema and many other Moscow landmarks.

The building's original purpose is still unclear. One theory is that it was supposed to house the Supreme Council of the National Economy, the other is that it was built for the Ministry of Agriculture. Remarkably, its flats - there were 270 of them - were available both for department employees, and ordinary Muscovites.

According to Zholtovsky's concept, the building's cornice is very light, taken after the design of Florentine architects of the Renaissance. The architect intended to create a synthesis of a Renaissance Palace and a modern residential building. He split the facade into different levels and made a glass outdoor lift. This was typical of his post-war designs.

House on Chicken Legs

184/1 Prospekt Mira

The famous House on Chicken Legs appeared in Moscow in 1968 on the site of the Alekseyevsky campus barracks. Designed by architect Viktor Andreyev, the building in Prospekt Mira turned heads with both its unusual foundation and its height. This 25-storey large-panel residential building on stilts, the first in Moscow, had long maintained the status of the highest building in Moscow.

It was built according to the latest technologies, of large panels made on a vibro-rolling mill. Flats' layout is also unusual, they are circular. The balconies are arranged checkerwise.

The basement was most time-consuming part for the builders. Complex foundation took a lot of time and effort. But the upper part, on the contrary, was built very quickly, a whole floor in a week.

The Kosmos Hotel

150 Prospekt Mira

Kosmos Hotel built in 1979 is another project related to Viktor Andreyev. This semicircle building is a joint work of a group of architects from the USSR and France and Yugoslav builders. The grand construction even had its own concrete-mixing plant.

The builders were in a hurry, as they had to commission the facility a year before the Olympic Games-80. The Hotel with windows offering picturesque panoramic views of Moscow, was intended for foreign guests. It turned out to be not Soviet-style at all, with its three-chamber insulated glazing, heating control system, and key cards that opened the room doors. At the grand opening of the Hotel, designed by Soviet and French architects, stars of both countries, Alla Pugacheva and Joe Dassin, performed.

At first, Kosmos had 1718 standard rooms with double beds, 53 two-room and six three-room apartments. Later, their number decreased due to partial conversion of rooms into junior suites, suites and apartments.

Good relationship with France was maintained during Perestroika, too. In 1990, the square located between the Hotel and Prospekt Mira, was named in honour of France's President Charles de Gaulle. In 2005, it had an 8m monument to the politician set up, made by Zurab Tsereteli.

Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God

130 Prospekt Mira

In 1646, Dmitry Trubetskoy's widow Anna ordered to build the Church of Alexis the Man of God in Kopytovka village, granted to the Prince. After that, the village became known as Alekseyevsky. A few years later, the Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God was constructed next to the temple. The five-domed temple with Russian-style carved decorations, designed for 3,000 parishioners, has never been closed for almost four centuries of its existence, although its history had enough sad turns.

In 1812, French soldiers set up a warehouse and stable in the Church, taking out everything that hampered them, including icons. In 1824, Alexander I ordered the restoration of the Church funded by the Treasury. In 1824, the Church of Alexis was dismantled, with its bricks used to build a Tikhvin Church’s bell tower. It was still open after the Revolution, although in 1922 all the precious utensils were taken out.

In 1954, the Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God was renovated, with wall paintings of the first half of the 19th century revealed. Even two old chapel rooms have survived. Most of its icons date back to the 19th century. The chief relic of the Church, Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God, the image of St. Nicholas and the ancient image of St. Alexis, which were transferred from the dismantled Alekseyevskaya Church, are specially revered.

Alekseyevskaya water pumping station

16 Novoalekseyevskaya Street

The pumping station was built near the Alekseyevsky village in 1830. Two steam 25 HP pumps pumped water from Mytishchi to the Sukhareva Tower's tank. Further it ran to five water fountains: on Lubyankanskaya and Teatralnaya squares, Voskresensky, Varvarsky and the fountain located in front of the Sheremetevskaya Hospital.

In the late 19th century, pumps pumped water into the reservoir of the Mytishchi aqueduct built by that time, and from there the water ran into Krestovskiye water towers. The latter have not survived, but the historic buildings of the station, a striking piece of red brick industrial eclecticism, can be seen today.

Today, the building of the Alekseyevskaya water pumping station is part of the architectural and historical ensemble, which includes the buildings of the former shelter of the Bakhrushin brothers. Part of the historic construction of the station along Novoalekseyevskaya Street is located behind a fence, but one can still see it. In 2016, the ensemble was listed as a cultural heritage site of regional significance.

Alekseyevskaya water pumping station worked until 1940. After the new Eastern water pumping station opened, the old one housed the repair shops of the Moscow water pipeline.


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