NEW APPEARANCE OF AN OLD APARTMENT BUILDING

Author: Ed. Arenin

NEW APPEARANCE OF AN OLD APARTMENT BUILDING. (By Ed. Arenin. Izvestia, Jan. 21, p. 6. Complete text:) While housing construction in Leningrad, as everywhere, is enormous, the reconstruction of old housing in the center of the city continues. Prerevolutionary buildings are being radically renovated in a number of boroughs. Unfortunately, not many people know about this. However, the scope of this work is quite substantial.

Together with I. Krestovsky, a Leningrad sculptor, we made a tour of the places described by his father, the writer Vsevolod Krestovsky, in "The Slums of Petersburg," a novel that caused a sensation.

Peace Square was called Sennaya Square in the past. It is adjacent to the famous Vyazma Monastery, one of the major cesspools of the Tsarist capital. Today, of course, there is no longer any trace of this monastery. Its place is now occupied by the Senny Market. On all the streets and dark lanes there were, before the revolution, gray and depressing houses with labyrinthian passages and miserable rooms where the sun's rays never penetrated; there were even completely dark rooms without any natural light whatever.

The frightful slums and hovels described by Dostoyevsky and Krestovsky have long since disappeared from Leningrad; but the old buildings have remained. Many of them are covered with construction scaffolding.

House No. 29 on Mayorov Prospect was a contemporary of Gogol, Nekrasov and Dostoyevsky. Now it is being renovated. V. Ivanov, a section chief of the October Borough's repair and construction trust, told us:

"When the house is fully repaired the two lower floors will be a kindergarten. We are making big rooms, full of air and light, out of the small, dim apartments. The children will have everything they need here. Despite the fact that two floors will be set aside for a kindergarten, the housing space in the building will be not reduced but doubled. There used to ...

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