Three Moscow Metro stations – Belorusskaya, Kievskaya and Komsomolskaya – have been included in the Unified State Register of regional cultural heritage landmarks. All of the stations on the Circle Line (Line 5) will receive this status by the end of this year.
The public decided on the order of including the Circle Line stations in the register via the Active Citizen website last summer with over 266,000 votes.
“Many Moscow Metro stations are in the register of cultural heritage landmarks, but none of the Circle Line stations have been included until recently. Each station is a unique monument of architecture, and it is only a question of time for them to come under state protection. It is impossible to include all the stations on short notice, so we suggested that Muscovites decide which would be the first to make it to the register,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage. “The Active Citizen voters chose three stations: Kievskaya, Komsomolskaya and Belorusskaya, which provide access to five Moscow railway stations: Kievsky, Yaroslavsky, Kazansky, Leningradsky and Belorussky. Often, this is where tourists begin exploring the city. They were designed by famous architects, sculptors and artists; each one describes the life and culture of the Soviet people, has an exceptional interior design and is an important landmark on our city’s map. Today we, along with all Muscovites, are responsible for preserving this heritage.”
All the three stations were built in the 1950s. For example, 40 designs were submitted for the Kievskaya station; a design by a Kiev group headed by Professor Yevgeny Katonin was selected. The construction began 53 metres under the ground. The interior design is a tribute to the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Ukraine. The back wall is adorned with stucco floral patterns with a line from the Soviet anthem running along them. The station opened in 1954.
Komsomolskaya was built in 1952. It was designed by Alexei Shchusev and the interior features bas-relieves by Georgy Motovilov, including “A Music Lesson,” “Harvesting,” “For Peace” and “A Geography Lesson.” The platform sits 37 metres under the ground and the ceiling is supported by two rows of columns with archways. The interior design features military regalia, such as orders, palm leaves and oak branches. After the station opened, Shchusev was awarded the Stalin Prize.
The entrance hall and the underground platform for Belorusskaya station were designed by Ivan Taranov and Nadezhda Bykova. It is some 42 metres under the ground. The main decoration theme is the culture and economy of the Byelorussian people. The station was opened for passengers in 1952. The architects also received the Stalin Prize.
Another 12 (of 2017) metro stations are also regional cultural heritage sties. These are Avtozavodskaya (1943), Baumanskaya (1944), Partizanskaya (1944), Krasnye Vorota (1935), Kropotkinskaya (1935), Mayakovskaya (1938), Novokuznetskaya (1943), Paveletskaya (1943), Semyonovskaya (1944), Chistye Prudy (1935), Elektrozavodskaya (1944) and Universitet (1959).
This status can be assigned to a building, a historical area or an art object, which should be recognised as having historical, archeological, artistic, scientific or architectural value. Cultural heritage sites cannot be modified and their original appearance should not be interfered with. Any relevant improvement projects can only be launched after the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage grants its approval.
At the end of last year, a Constructivist landmark – the Sakharotrest residential building – was added to the register. In the 1930s, it was home to foreign specialists invited to the Soviet Union to develop the sugar industry. This building is still residential. It addition, one of the oldest tram depots designed, among others, by Vladimir Shukhov, was recognised as a landmark and a monument of Russian industrial architecture. The depot is on Lesnaya Street, and next April the buildings will be renovated.