Sculptural compositions on houses along Leninsky Prospekt are now under state protection

Sculptural compositions on houses along Leninsky Prospekt are now under state protection
At present the sculptures await restoration. The works are expected to be completed next year.

Sculpture compositions on two houses along Leninsky Prospect were given the status of cultural heritage sites of regional importance. The relevant order was issued by the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow.

At present, the facade sculpture of 16 figures on the gallery of the 14-story tower of house No. 30, as well as eight figures on the gallery of the 13-story tower of house No.37 are under state protection. Both compositions were made of reinforced concrete in the workshop of Alexander Gromov in the 1950s.

“Houses No. 30 and No. 37 play an important role in the appearance of Leninsky Prospekt. This is a kind of front gate, shaping the overall perception of Gagarin Square ensemble. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the buildings are the sculptural compositions on their towers. Last summer, accident-prevention works were carried out on the figures and balustrade of house No. 30, and in the autumn it was the time of works for House no. 37. Presumably, the works on both compositions will be completed next year,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, head of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department.

Sculptural compositions

Male and female figures on house no. 37 symbolize the peaceful labor of Soviet people after the war. Here there are the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, the Miner and Female Engineer paired sculptures. Currently they are in disrepair.

To avoid collapse before the beginning of the restoration season, they were neatly wrapped with steel mesh in November last year. The unique openwork concrete parapet, which is also awaiting restoration, was covered with a net.

“We had to act quickly: stratified for many years, concrete with temperature jumps through zero degrees, which are characteristic for November, threatened to fall on the heads of passersby. Restorers developed a special technique for concluding each figure in a kind of cocoon of galvanized steel mesh,” said Alexei Yemelyanov.

Sculptures were installed on the gallery of house n. 30 not in one step. First, the tower was completed and decorated with stucco. Further, obelisks of the middle tier and pedestals for 16 paired figures were installed. Later four figures of warriors and girls were placed. They all look courageous and dressed in military uniforms. The young men have helmets, high boots and breeches on, and assault rifles in their hands. Girls - soldier's blouses, intercepted by an army belt, high boots and knee-length skirts.

The upper tier shows another picture. Here are six girls in light summer dresses, with hair waving in the breeze and six soldiers with forage caps twisted to the side and their assault rifles placed already near, at the foot.

Construction continued during the war

House n. 30, located on the corner of Leninsky Prospekt and Gagarin Square, is a complex of two eight-storey symmetrical buildings with a semi-circular central avant-corps and dominant towers. The authors of the project are architects Evgeny Levinson and Igor Fomin.

House No. 37 on the corner of Leninsky Prospekt and Gagarin Square is a complex of three buildings with a corner tower. The facades of this Stalinist building are decorated with elements of the order system, decorative bas-reliefs with Soviet symbols, monumental sculpture.

The 1935 Moscow development general plan proposed a significant expansion of Bolshaya Kaluzhskaya street and its residential development with new eight-storey buildings. The draft of the new quarter was prepared in Leningrad, but its implementation was prevented by the war. In 1939–1941, only house n. 30 and part of house n. 37 were built.

The works were resumed in 1946 for a new customer – Krasny Proletary factory. After the war, the building was designed by the workshop of Ivan Zholtovsky, the academician of architecture, under whose leadership Arkady Arkin carried out the adjustment of the building design.

House No. 37 was completed in 1950, commissioned in 1953. The building was handed over to the USSR Council of Ministers to be partially occupied by the employees of this department. Here all the conditions were created for the comfortable life of the Soviet executives: its own kindergarten, laundry, club, hairdresser’s parlor and library.