The Pantheon and the Kolkhoznik House. Story about the grandiose, but not implemented projects of the Soviet era

June 12

The architectural appearance of Moscow was defined by different epochs, but perhaps the most striking imprint was left by the 20th century. What would the capital look like if all the grandiose ideas of the architects were brought to life? To imagine such an image of the city, the documents on the website of the Moscow Glavarchiv published jointly with the State Inspectorate for Real Estate, will help. Here you can see materials (drawings, photos and text documents) about the eighth Stalin high-rise, the pantheon and the Kolkhoznik House on Kalanchevskaya Street. These projects were never implemented.

"These grandiose projects that are directly related to one of the watershed in the history of our country, convey, in my opinion, the atmosphere of the Soviet era and characterize the development of architectural and planning ideas of leading architects," Elena Boldina, chief curator of the funds of the Moscow Glavarchiv, said.

Grandiose Central Kolkhoznik House (Central Collective Farmer House)

The project of the Central Kolkhoznik House dates back to 1934. It was created by the architect and academician Alexey Shchusev (by the way, he is also the author of the Kazan Railway Station, the Mausoleum of V. I. Lenin and the Moskva Hotel).  A modern building with elements of the classical style - sculptural groups and balustraded gazebos - was planned to be built in the area of Kalanchevskaya Street. Or rather - between Kalanchevskaya Street, Dyakovsky (now Orlikov) Lane and Sadovo-Spasskaya Street. The project of the hotel and exhibition complex was so large-scale that, if implemented, it would take almost an entire block.

"The hotel was planned for 452 rooms. There were also shops, restaurant, greenhouse, and hall for agricultural exhibition. Moreover, the ground floor could even accommodate large equipment, such as harvesters. And the hotel consisted of three buildings. The edifice was 12 stories high, and the two side buildings were seven stories each," Elena Boldina said.

However, this edifice was never built, and historians cannot say exactly why the project was abandoned. There is now a business center at approximately this location at: Kalanchevskaya Street, house 15a.

Pantheon of the Eternal Glory

Another project - the Eternal Glory Monument of the great people of the Soviet country - was conceived in the form of a rotunda, similar to the famous pantheons in Rome or Paris. In the edifice, it was supposed to reburial the bodies of the Soviet leaders - Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, as well as other prominent statesmen who were buried at that time near the Kremlin Wall.

The idea of creating the pantheon arose just the day after Stalin's death - on March 6, 1953. For its implementation, they even managed to create a special commission at the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the USSR and announced an open competition.

 "Almost all the famous architects of that time took part in this competition. But the idea was never implemented, it was simply forgotten after a couple of years, as Alexander Tvardovsky wrote in his diary: "The Pantheon seems to have sunk into oblivion among the pressing matters," Elena Boldina noted.

They could not even decide on the place of the proposed construction of the pantheon: Red Square, Sofia Embankment, Poklonnaya Gora, Leninskie (now Vorobyovy) Gory, Gorky Park and Neskuchny Sad, Rublevskoe Highway, Sokolniki Park and others were proposed. For example, for the construction on Red Square, it was necessary to demolish the GUM and the Historical Museum, and on the Vorobyovy Gory - the St. Andrew's Monastery.

Stalin's high-rise in Zaryadye

The eighth - the highest and most important - Stalin’s high-rise in honor of the 800th anniversary of Moscow was to appear in Zaryadye. The house with a height of 275 meters began to be built in 1949 according to the project of architect Dmitry Chechulin.

"There was a lot of residential development that needed to be removed, so construction started later than at other sites. However, the workers only managed to lay the foundation and make a stylobate. It is difficult to say why the construction was stopped. The project was abandoned in 1953, and this year, in June, Lavrentiy Beria, who was just the curator of this construction, was arrested. There is also an assumption that the reason could be the reluctance of the project author Dmitry Chechulin to support the campaign against architectural excesses launched at that time by Nikita Khrushchev," Elena Boldina said.

As a result, the Rossiya hotel was built on the stylobate of the eighth high-rise in the 1960s, designed by the same Dmitry Chechulin, and the frame of the building was used for the construction of the Central Lenin Stadium. Now in the place where the high-rise could stand, there is a Zaryadye park.

In the documents published on the Glavarchiv website, you can see photos of the Zaryadye view from the side of St. Basil's Cathedral, the general view of the construction site, equipment and materials used in the construction, as well as archaeological artifacts.

Unique materials about the objects that were never built in the Soviet era can be found on the Moscow Glavarchiv website in the About the Archive section, Unique Documents subsection. Among the materials there are 47 drawings, 89 photos and 39 sheets of text documents. In addition, the ministry's website contains materials about churches, monasteries and chapels that were destroyed in the 1920s and 1930s. In December last year, the Moscow Glavarchiv and the State Inspectorate for Real Estate created a project on publishing unique documents.


Latest Events

Inklyuzivnyy diskussionnyy klub «Sentimentalnye progulki». Vstrecha II: «Eho romantizma»

July 16

Osnovnoy instinkt

July 29August 4
If you continue to use our website, you are agreeing to accept the use of cookies on your device. Cookie files ensure the website’s efficiency and help us provide you with the most interesting and relevant information. Read more about cookie files.
Accept ccokies