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Entries / People's Houses (entry)

People's Houses (entry)

Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Public Buildings and Edifices

PEOPLE'S HOUSES, cultural and educational institutions of a club nature, meant mainly for workers and craftspeople. They were created in St. Petersburg from the early 1880s, as a rule, in the suburbs, subsidized by the Municipal Duma, country councils and donations of private individuals. Some People's Houses were under the jurisdiction of St. Petersburg Trustees for Peoples' Soberness. Each People's House featured a theatre and a lecture hall, a library with reading and tea-rooms, often Sunday schools for children and grown-ups were organised. One of the first People's Houses became Demidovsky Workingmen's House opened in 1882 (39 Ofitserskaya Street, today Dekabristov Street, architect N.V. Dmitriev; not preserved), that featured a park (Luna Park). In the 1890s the People's Auditorium of Baron V.N. von Derviz (48 Sredny Avenue of Vasilievsky Island, architect A.F. Krasovsky; currently a club for the Produce Association of Tobacco Industry), forming a part of a residential suburb for workers of E. Nobel's plant, was established. In 1897-1900, the People's House at 19 Lesnoy Avenue was constructed (architect R.F. Meltzer). The Ligovsky People's House played an important role in Petersburg social life (1899-1904, architect Y.Y. Benois), constructed on funds from Countess S.V. Panina (63/10 Tambovskaya Street - 22 Prilukskaya Street; today a House of Culture for Railway-workers). In its main building P.P. Gaideburov Public Theatre operated; an observatory, a savings-bank and a legal advice office functioned. The second outbuilding hosted a mobile Museum of visual aids. During the revolution of 1905-07б the Ligovsky People's House served as a venue for meetings and conferences. Similar in purpose to the People's house was the House for the Trustees of Peoples Soberness with a functioning church at 116 Obvodny Canal Embankment (1904-1908, architect G.G. Grimm, A.L. Gun, G.G. von Golli) and the House of Education Establishments in memory of 19 February 1861 at 181 Obvodny Canal Embankment (1911-1912, architect N.V. Dmitriev; present House of Culture (A.D. Tsyurupa House of Culture). St. Petersburg largest People’s House became Emperor Nicholas' II Public House in the Alexandrovsky Park, it was opened in 1899 in the former pavilion of Nizhegorodskaya Art Industrial Exhibition of 1896 (burnt down in 1932, the Lenin Komsomol Theatre is now located on this site). Plays and musical performances took place in the Opera Hall of this people's house (1910-12, architect G.I. Lyutsedarsky). In 1917, meetings were arranged, here also the First All-Russian Congress of Peasant Deputies Soviets took place. From 1919, the People's House bore the names of K. Liebknecht and R. Luxemburg. In 1922, in it the Fourth Congress of Comintern was held, in the 1920s-30s several theatres (opera, puppet, children’s musicals, Red and people's comedy), and a Music-hall functioned. The side-shows exhibits of the People's house park burnt down on 16 October 1941, as the result of bombardment. In 1950-88, the former Opera hall housed Velikan cinema, where premier projections and film festivals were held. There the Stereokino cinema hall was established. In 1959, a Planetarium was opened. After the reconstruction of 1988, the building housed Music Hall.

References: Черняев В. Народный дом // Нева. 1980. № 12. С. 208-211; Аспидов А. П. Метаморфозы Народного дома // ЛП. 1983. № 7. С. 33-37; Яковкина Н. И. Народные дома Петербурга в начале ХХ века // Петербургские чтения-97. СПб., 1997. С. 672-675.

A. A. Alexeev.

Benois Yuly Yulievich
Derviz Pavel Pavlovich
Dmitriev Nikolay Vsevolodovich
Gaydeburov Pavel Pavlovich
Goli Gustav Gustavovich von
Grimm German Germanovich
Gun Andrey Leontievich
Krasovsky Alexander Fedorovich
Liebknecht Karl
Luxemburg Rosa
Lyutsedarsky Grigory (Georgy) Ippolitovich
Meltzer Roman (Robert-Friedrich) Fedorovich
Nicholas II, Emperor
Nobel Emmanuel Ludwigovich
Panina Sofia Vladimirovna
Tsyurupa Alexander Dmitrievich

Dekabristov St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 39
Lesnaya Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 19
Obvodny Canal Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 181
Obvodny Canal Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 116
Prilukskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 22
Sredny Ave of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 48
Tambovskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 63/10

Яковкина Н. И. Народные дома Петербурга в начале ХХ века // Петербургские чтения-97. СПб., 1997
Черняев В. Народный дом // Нева, 1980
Аспидов А. П. Метаморфозы Народного дома // Ленингр. панорама., 1983

The subject Index
City Duma
Music Hall


Alexandrovsky Park

ALEXANDROVSKY PARK (Pushkin town), a landscape monument, situated to the west of Catherine Park, forming a part of the Tsarskoe Selo palace park ensemble and comprising of 120 hectares

Society of Public Universities

SOCIETY OF PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, St. Petersburg, founded in 1906 by a group of scientists and public figures in order to render assistance to working people in receiving regular education. The society numbered about 1,200 people by 1910 with Count I