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Residents were sleeping, but the house was driving: How, where and why buildings were moved in the capital
Residents were sleeping, but the house was driving: How, where and why buildings were moved in the capital

Walking along the streets of Moscow and admiring the historical buildings, few people think that some of these houses, some hundred years ago, stood in a completely different place. In the last century (especially in its first half), domestic engineers actively practiced moving houses. Buildings of many tonnes were not dismantled, but moved as they are - sometimes together with the residents. The reasons for moving buildings could be different. But the result, as a rule, was the same - success. Such professionalism of engineers and builders is simply amazing!

Moving houses in the century before last

The relocation of the first wooden building is considered to be an experiment carried out in 1812 in Morshansk, when a wooden church was relocated under the leadership of a certain Dmitry Petrov.

The first experience of moving a brick house was undertaken at the end of the nineteenth century in 1897 at the initiative of the engineer of the Nikolaev railway Osip Fedorovich - the building sold by the NZD by a philanthropist and owner of a cement plant in Moscow, Jane (Eugenia) McGill, the widow of a wealthy native of Scotland, was moved. When moving the house, Osip Markovich used both American experience and his own developments.

First, all things and furniture were taken out of the building, the stoves were dismantled, the plaster was beaten off, the partitions and doors were dismantled, then the foundation was cut off. After that, the 1840-ton structure was moved 100 meters to the side. The movement was carried out with the help of rails; during the work, horse-drawn traction (60 horses) was used.

Movement of J. McGill's House

Since there was a moat on the way of movement, it was previously filled up. Having delivered the building to its final point, it was lifted and put on a new foundation.

This event caused a great resonance in the society and glorified both the engineer and Mrs. McGill, who, by the way, personally paid for all the work.

Another famous movement of buildings in the century before last occurred in Moscow in 1899 and was associated with the construction of a church on Malaya Gruzinskaya. Engineer Rosten moved two small houses before carrying out construction work.

Cathedral on Malaya Gruzinskaya. Vintage postcard

Houses were moved together with tenants

After the revolution, the first experience in moving the building is considered to be the work carried out in January 1937. In Aprelevka near Moscow, the record factory was moved - a small building that weighed 690 tons.

Then several houses were moved, which interfered with the straightening of the Moskva River in Serebryany Bor. This work was more difficult, as the buildings had to be seriously deployed and the trajectory of movement was also difficult. When moving buildings, hydraulic jacks were used, which was the first experience in such works.

After the successful relocation of houses on the Moskva River, a trust was formed specifically to carry out the relocation of buildings. His first job was to move to Sadovnicheskaya Street (in those years - Osipenko Street) house 77, which had the shape of the letter "G". The long part of the building was moved to the side, turning almost 20 degrees. Despite the great difficulties (the house was new, but not very strong, moreover, it was built on swampy ground), the move was successful. People were not resettled when they moved home.

Moving the house on Sadovnicheskaya

Another well-known movement of the building - and also together with the tenants - was the "move" of house No. 5/6 on Serafimovich Street, which interfered with the construction of the Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge. During the work, the building even had to be raised by almost two meters. Despite the unstable ground, the work was also crowned with success, especially since the building was quite strong. The movement also took place without resettling the tenants. The work was carried out under the guidance of the civil engineer Emmanuel Handel, a great specialist in the implementation of such projects.

The transfer by the engineers of the trust of the most beautiful building of the former Savvinsky courtyard on Gorky Street (modern Tverskaya) became legendary. The building, which, by the way, weighed about 23 thousand tons, was decided to be “hidden” so that it would not stand on the first line. They moved it at night, along with the sleeping tenants. More about the history of this house and about the movement itself can be read here.

A fragment of the building today

By the way, the tenants of the house, who were very worried, anticipating the "move", were deliberately not told in advance about the specific date and time of moving the house - so as not to bother. The movement of the house (it was moved along the rails) happened so smoothly that most of the residents did not even notice it. Meanwhile, the house "moved" deep into the street for almost 50 meters.

Work on moving the house on Tverskaya

About this move, there was even a legend (and, most likely, the story is real) that one girl living in a house on Gorky Street left towers of cubes in the room that night, and when she woke up, she found that not a single cube fell.

The Soviet authorities decided to hide such beauty

The City Hall was also moved

The building of the Moscow City Council (now the capital's mayor's office) was also moved on the same street. This movement was quite dangerous, because the relatively old house had a U-shape and the load on the building was uneven. In addition, the building housed a large hall without strong partitions. Such a structure had to be moved as carefully as possible, but the Soviet authorities demanded that this be done in record time, and this was a serious risk.

Moving the building of the Moscow City Council

The house was moved with the help of two winches and dozens of jacks. They managed to move it in 41 minutes - on the whole successfully, but not without disastrous consequences: cracks formed in the walls. Later, the building was added on and columns made of metal appeared.

The building of the Moscow mayor's office was also moved once

Subsequently, dozens of houses, both stone and wooden, were moved in Moscow.

Relocation of the house of the Russian publisher Sytin

Alas, after the Great Patriotic War, the buildings were no longer treated so carefully - the interfering buildings were simply destroyed. The exceptions were literally a few displaced buildings. Among them - house 24 on Lyusinovskaya (it was moved along a previously dug trench, and the work went on for several months), the old building of the Moscow Art Theater in Kamergerskoye (in 1980, it was divided into two parts, putting walls between them, and thus it became slightly longer and "went" deeper into the quarter), as well as the movement in the 1970s of Sytin's house at 18 Gorky Street (Tverskaya, 18b).

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