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Intolerable Moscow. "Extinguish but Don't Be in a Hurry"

Intolerable Moscow. "Extinguish but Don't Be in a Hurry"
Dmitry Cherny 29.10.2011

Well, at least we've got it - my gloomy forecast given in 2009, at Luzhkov's management came true. The house setting style to all Karetny Ryad - was set fire. At that it happened at the strictly stipulated for such actions time in the capital - at one o'clock in the morning when instigators can easily leave a scene of crime. I was just thought about the theme for a column... Well, who would dare to dissuade me that there's no such command of instigators which is clearing places for investors - both at Luzhkov and nowadays at Sobyanin?

It seemed, crisis braked appetites of the new Russian bourgeois - on the other side of the Garden Ring you can see not revetted not-yet-tower (without a spike) of Don-Stroy. However there's a titbit inside the Garden Ring. From here up to the whole Likhov Lane you can hear the smell of vip-habitation - it's possible to build here something like Ostozhenka-hills under the pretext of reconstruction. Only the architectural status of a building interferes with it - a modernist style after all, the house-coeval of Shehtel's theater buildings opposite to it, in "Hermitage". It can be won exclusively with usage of fire.


Despite that location point of fire forces (number 10 as soon as I remember) is situated in 10 minutes of walk from here (on the crossing of Kolobovsky lanes) and even less if to go by car - firemen behaved sedately as if being on presentation. The house was set fire - strictly following rules - it was set fire where there was something to inflame, on attic - at approximately one o'clock in the morning. Fire extended to the second floor for half an hour. To unwind a hose into the direction of a roof firemen spent also half an hour. At first two firemen had a walk on the roof with a small lamp, during that time the flame issued forward and devoured staircase top at the entrance over Sberbank.


To see firemen running the staircases of their wonderful cars you can now only in the Soviet animated cartoons. Now fire extinguishing - is a thorough business demanding serious preparation, alignment of forces, not just instant reaction. While already 16 fire-trucks were standing below, one fireman went to the burning roof and from time to time watered the burning part of a superstructure from the hose. At the same time other firemen symmetrically went to the roof continued their excursions with small lamps. Foreign spectator could seem that it's some kind of art action and that people there are cosmonauts simply expecting when there would be more fire, that was the reason of their being there...

One of the monuments of the Moscow modernist style - an apartment house, once a rooming house - now got the status of the one expecting pulling down as prepared by firemen (well, by that command which sets fires at nights to houses situated where the customer needs). It's insulting only at first - a monument... But if to reflect, these ubiquitous instigators give work to tens, if not to hundreds people in such offices as in Mosstrojproject and its neighbors on Mayakovka (former Chief Architectural and Planning Administrator) - as in "The Fifth Element", ome type of social orientating on destructions. Kind instigators... Well, the main thing is that it gives profit to the builder.

By the way, two steps away from the office which gives out warrants on building of the historical center (which Luzhkov promised not to build up with new buildings, this process proceeds at Sobyanin - Nikita Mikhalkov builds own hotel near Patriarshie Ponds) - there is the same way underfired but still not collapsed private residence of Kekushev - also the monument of the Moscow modernist style. Opposite to it through the Second Brestskaya - as an installation part "Absurdity of New Russian Moscow" - in a new building-skyscraper there's Institute of ecology of the city. Well, ecology - it's when the neighbouring houses are being smoked. Whether such projects are being developed there? Whether in the filled up with trillions roubles Moscow budget there is no money for restoration of architecturally valuable to the center of the capital house? There's a lot of money but they are being spent, for example, for tile paving - on the place of perfect asphalt. Who interferes with "city" (in reality to the new-old elite-clique of Baturesins which has already got used to Sobyanin) to arrange guest house on Karetny following own new tastes-inquiries? Apartments there are big, ceilings are high, metric area is quite elite... However they aren't able to do it - they are able to start only from zero. Restoration Luzhkov-like - it's when a monolithic model of a building is being built - endured Luzhkov.

So, city governors change, profitable projects of bourgeois aren't cancelled. Unique by its low-rise houses Karetny Ryad - a street where there's built in the Kremlin garage of Stanislavsky's private residence, Moscow criminal investigation department, Moskomimuschestvo and on the opposite side - "Hermitage" garden - doesn't give rest to greedy eyes. While house number eight, bearing special color of a boundary of the last centuries, in green tiles of modern furnish for some reason for years stays empty and open to all rascals, as if waiting for the instigators. What is it? Deliberate bringing of city property to the emergency condition. Quite concrete bureaucrats should answer for it! Have you already heard of at least one similar process, my dear Muscovites? While we can hear about participation of these bureaucrats in "investments", about their share in new buildings. They build their profits literally on the bones of old, historical Moscow.

Here you are - Sobyanin's care of the city which nowadays even Bank of Moscow undergoing information instability repeats in its advertizing leaflets?


I've started series of articles "Intolerable Moscow" with definite goal - to flood Luzhkov with compromising evidence shaft. There is also my share in his eradication. However his leaving in no way changed processes taking place in Moscow. Observing how those who should hasten to extinguish fire in the historical place creep like sleepy cockroaches - I have understood that they also have heads saying in such cases something like: "Extinguish but don't be in a hurry". I saw myself how they waited that the fire crept all over the building. The lonely stream on a roof, of course, couldn't stop fire. It was imitation of work. Hour passed since the of ignition till the beginning of putting out of the fire.

By the way, a flame issued forward over the right (to the right of an arch) entrance - over the fourth floor this vertical is topped with three-window modern decoration where simulators of care of the city lacked red paint (see the photo on the right).


It possible to understand them, firemen: it's not their house in the fire. For already twenty years our Russian society lives by principle "it's not my funeral", we are not eager to be a whipping boy...


The first photo where the house is seen was made by occasion, in 1905 year - it's constructed in the end of 19th century. The house here has not yet reminding Kremlin castellation and isn't completed towards the Garden Ring though it is distinctly has four stores. Then the modernist style was fashionable among the builders of guest houses... After victory of proletarian revolution simple Muscovites lived there, then they were moved - it stood waiting for this night fire. However instigators and simulators of putting out haven't taken into account one thing - there's the house of ballet dancers opposite to this building, there are journalists working in "Businessman" among them, for example, they will for sure write about the show "lazy quenchers". Because it's already late when your house is on fire. It's high time to do it now.

In Moscow there are just few such monuments of modernist style - not private residences, not facades, just "ordinary" apartment houses, differently from Leningrad. If they will try to take it down under the aegis of its updating - I personally as well as the Public coalition "In protection of Moscow" and the Moscow Council guarantee that they will have sensation of federal scale.


So the second act of this show will be already with our participation.

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