Itinerant houses: where, why and why Moscow high-rise buildings were transported

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Moving is hard. And this is now, when you can order loaders from a special service. But what if you want to move not things, but the whole house? It sounds strange and almost unrealistic, but in Moscow in the 20th century, this happened and entire houses were moved from place to place! Together with colleagues from the MSK1.ru project, we study the most interesting examples

Moscow was not built at once and was rebuilt many times. One of the important urban development initiatives was the expansion of highways, for which hundreds of buildings fell under the demolition. Some of them decided to save in a very unusual way. Soviet engineers have developed technologies that make it possible to move houses weighing several thousand tons! 

The house was cut along the foundation, strengthened, lifted with jacks and then moved on rails. The movement itself took no more than a week, but the preparation was thorough – from six months to a year. It was not easy, but the result – the preservation of rare architectural ensembles – was worth it. In total, about 80 buildings moved in this way, but we will focus on the most interesting cases.

The building of the Moscow City Council (Tverskaya, 13)

Now the mayor's office is located in this building, fortified with columns. Few modern officials know that the luxurious house once stood in a different place. Moving (together with basements) for several tens of meters occurred in 1949, and it lasted less than an hour. It's funny, but the employees did not leave the building at that time.

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Residential building on Osipenko (Sadovnicheskaya, 77/1 )

This L-shaped house interfered with the reconstruction of the bridge, and in 1937 it was decided to move it. One part was left in place, and the second was moved, while the residents were not evicted, and all communications worked thanks to rubber pipes. After 30 years, an explosion occurred in the building (the exact cause has not been identified), but the house now stands on the same, or rather, the same, places.

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Moscow Eye Hospital (Mamonovsky pereulok, 7)

In 1940, the clinic was not only moved, but turned around. True, due to the difference in ground level, the first floor had to be completed for the building. What is most surprising —during the move, the doctors did not stop performing operations!

Wandering houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transportedItinerant houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transported

Residential building on Serafimovicha (Serafimovicha, 5/6)

In 1937 there was a night “moving” of the house, which interfered with the construction of the bridge. According to urban legends, the process was carried out so carefully that even the children's pyramid inside one of the rooms did not fall apart. But this, of course, can no longer be checked.

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Savvinskoye Compound on Tverskaya (Tverskaya, 6/6)

23 thousand tons – just imagine such a colossus! Despite the scale, in 1939 the buildings of the Savvinsky Metochion were successfully transferred to another place – by as much as 40 meters. They say it happened in one night and so neatly that the sleepers inside did not even suspect anything until the very morning! uploads/2022/05/8fbf363b5e2f296f4f4b6218fac3c6c0.jpg” width=”620″ height=”421″ class=”lazy-image__image _align-center” data-v-64ca9b5a=”1″ alt=”Wandering houses: where, why and why Moscow high-rise buildings were transported” />Itinerant houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transported

Chekhov Moscow Art Theater (3 Kamergersky Lane)

One of the last movements of Moscow buildings dates back to 1983. To be quite precise, there was not quite a displacement, but rather completion. & nbsp; The building was cut to move the stage back and improve this area of ​​the theatre.

Wandering houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transportedItinerant houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transported

Sytin House on Tverskaya (Tverskaya, 18B)

In the seventies, correspondents, journalists and reporters of the Trud newspaper, located in Sytin's house on Gorky Street (now Tverskaya), “live” watched the move of their own editorial office almost 50 meters deep into the street. “The arrows on the instruments showed a force of 170 tons. The powerful shiny cylinders of four jacks rested against the steel beams on which the house, ready for moving, rested, and it slowly rolled along the rails along the main street of Moscow. Thick steel rollers rotated at the speed of the second hand, and almost imperceptibly to the eye, the colossus of the building floated away towards Mayakovsky Square,” – the employees wrote in a report dedicated to this event.

Wandering houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transportedItinerant houses: where, why and why were Moscow high-rise buildings transported

Based on materials from the MSK1.ru portal

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