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New St. Petersburg north of Neva: the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg at the end of XIX beginning of the 20th century

d. S. Smirnov


Work is presented by department of the Russian history the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor I.V. Alekseeva

In article the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg at the end of XIX-the beginning of HHv are described. from the point of view of their place in functional structure of the city, the structure of the population, infrastructure and building and also in the context of process of an urbanization. In article areas Forest are considered, Citizens, Specific and Kolomyag, the conclusion that at the beginning of the 20th century this part of the city turned into the settlement of new type combining lines of the country suburb and scientific center which is the place of residence of the wealthy citizens moving to suburbs in the conditions of growth of the city is drawn.

D. Smirnov


The article describes the northern suburbs of Saint-Petersburg in the late 19th - early 20th centuries from the perspective of their place in the city&s functional structure, composition ofpopulation, infrastructure and housing system and also in the context of the urbanisation process. The article covers the Lesnoy, Grazhdanka, Udelnaya and Kolomyagi areas. The main conclusion of the article is that in the early 20th century this part of the city converted to the new type of settlement that combined traits of a summer suburb and scientific center inhabited mainly by wealthy citizens moving to the suburbs due the city&s growth.

At a boundary of X1X-XX of centuries the city of St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire, endured the period of intensive growth and development. Growth of the population, growth of borders of the city, intensive construction, development of city infrastructure, transport, all these processes were characteristic not only of the historic center, but also of the outskirts of the city. At the beginning of the 20th century many former suburbs actually merged with the city, having become its outskirts (though administrative borders of the city were moved apart very reluctantly, without keeping up with its actual growth). On these outskirts, trends of development of the city during this period were often observed most sharply: industrial growth and growth of working class, transformation of purely country areas to places of permanent residence of achieved categories of the population, development of science and technology, intensive construction, etc.

In this article it will be a question of the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg which by the beginning of the 20th century were allocated as it will be shown below, the specifics. It is often said about the cities of a classical industrial era that their historic center was surrounded with "an industrial belt" of suburbs. In general to St. Petersburg the beginnings of the 20th century it is definition it is quite applicable, but only an insignificant part of this "belt" was on the northern outskirts, their functional purpose in an organism of the city was other.

We will consider these outskirts in more detail. During consideration each area will be characterized as follows: in -

the first, borders of this area and its situation concerning other parts of the city will be considered, secondly, the most noticeable objects important for economic, cultural, scientific activity and also infrastructure facilities, thirdly - social composition of the population of the area, fourthly - the prevailing building types will be listed.

By the beginning of the 20th century the suburbs of St. Petersburg which are north of Neva keep half city, half country and rural character. Especially it belongs to Forest which besides got also a role of scientific center.

The broad concept Forest at that time, except Small and Big Kushelevka, at the beginning of the 20th century included also Sosnovka, and is frequent also the Citizen. "Under the name "Lesnoy" the St. Petersburg public means the country area in six versts from St. Petersburg on the right side of Vyborgskoye Highway, - reported "The guide to country vicinities of St. Petersburg for 1903" [2, page 25].

One of the central objects Forest at the beginning of the 20th century, deserving unconditional attention, is the Polytechnical institute and also Forest institute. Both of these educational institutions at the beginning of the 20th century turned Forest into a certain similarity of the Russian Cambridge, according to the historian of St. Petersburg A.V. Kobak. The polytechnical institute was founded in 1899 and located in Forest in 1902 by Vidnoye the supporter of creation in Russia of polytechnical higher education institutions there was S.Yu. Witte, and

also the companion of this minister V.I. Kowalewski, in 1902-1916 - the chairman of the Russian technical society. Among founders of Polytechnical institute it is worth mentioning also D.I. Mendeleyev. All constructions of this institute were constructed from scratch for the shortest time in 1900-1905. After opening of institute Forest became the third after Vasilyevsky Island and the area of Institute of Technology the academic downtown.

As for Forest institute, it was founded in the 19th century. For years of the existence this institute from educational institution turned into scientific center which activity was not limited only to the woods, covering also wide fields of natural sciences.

Besides Forest institute and Polytechnical institute it is worth mentioning also their general a child - the Commercial school founded in 1904. This school had to not only give to pupils secondary education at the rate of a gymnasium, but also train them for receipt in higher educational institutions. Some teachers of Forest and Polytechnical institutes worked part-time in Commercial school that favourably distinguished it from usual gymnasiums.

The industry in Forest at the beginning of the 20th century was practically absent, an important exception was the New Ayvaz plant founded in 1912. The plant intensively developed and to World War I turned into one of the largest industrial enterprises of the city.

By then the mechanical plant, engineering plant and the electrotechnical plant Svetlana were a part of the enterprise.

As Forest those years remained the country suburb, cultural life, entertainments and sport in it were strongly developed, especially quickening in summer months. The main places of entertainments of summer residents in Forest in that a time was Bekleshovsky and Institustky parks and also Sosnovka and the Silver pond. In 1902 the Silver pond had a summer theater. In 1904 by group of professors of Polytechnical and Forest institutes it was created

"Forest society of national entertainments" which basis of activity were public lectures and extensive library.

Forest during the described period was also the center of considerable number of charitable institutions. Among those It should be noted Orlovo-Novosiltsevsky almshouse, the St. Petersburg House of mercy, summer office of a shelter of prince P.G. Oldenburgsky, several smaller, generally shelters.

One of features Forest was the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century it turned into a peculiar sports center of St. Petersburg. In 1912 the ski station in Forest" which organized ski trips for persons interested was open ". The center of serious sports activity was the Polytechnical institute, in it at the beginning of the 20th century there was the most numerous in Russia the student's sports organization. Also in this area the football sports society "Union" founded in 1897 was located

The Finnish railroad and the suburban steam horse tram which went along Vyborgskoye Highway through all Forest was the main transport artery connecting Forest to the city. The 2nd Murinsky was Glavny Lesnogo Avenue.

The tram in St. Petersburg appeared from behind monopoly of owners of the horse tram with big delay. But this monopoly did not extend to suburbs. It is no wonder that Forest, being dynamically developing suburb, the place of summer holiday of wealthy citizens, became an object of attention of the first projects of the St. Petersburg tram. In the summer of 1897 capital newspapers wrote that "there arrived two representatives of the French company of electric roads for obtaining permission to construction of country electric roads; one of them will connect Forest through Murino and Devyatkino to Shuvalov" [1, page 269]. These plans, as well as many subsequent projects, however, were not fated to come true up to construction of the Oranienbaum suburban electric railroad.

An environment in Forest was, perhaps, the most favorable in St. Petersburg

at that time. However improvement of these country places left, as well as in all city, to wish a lot of the best. As it was noted in the review "The St. Petersburg country places concerning their zdorovost" published in 1881 "in the ditches arranged on each side streets connecting in most cases to ponds street sewage, rain and bathing water, slops, as well as parts of liquid sewage flow down..." [2, page 41, 42]. In 1889 the house owners Forest created "Society of assistance to improvement of the area Forest" which set as the purpose development of infrastructure of this new part of the city and its improvement. So, by the beginning of the 1910th, thanks to efforts of "Society", almost all 2nd Murinsky and also Institutsky Avenue, several other streets were paved. During the same period impressive success on electrification Forest was achieved. Activity of society, however, was strongly slowed down by the minimum assistance from most of house owners. Supply with water and the sewerage remained weak points Forest.

Most of the population Forest at the beginning of the 20th century was made by visitors summer residents, students not Petersburgers, other population connected with Forest institute and, certainly, aboriginals. At the beginning of the 20th century in Forest, as well as in other country suburbs of St. Petersburg, the phenomenon of "zimogorstvo" extends - in connection with rise in price of apartments in the central regions of the city, "mediocre" Petersburgers begin to move on the outskirts, renting dachas and houses there that it was cheaper, than to rent apartment. As M.I. Pylyaev in a series of essays "Country places near St. Petersburg" (1898) specified, Forest "is to the most beloved and the most numerous country colony with the population reaching in summertime up to 30 just over thousands from which every year more and more remains in Forest and for the winter" [2, page 85].

the Considerable part of the population Forest belonged to

to prosperous, provided classes: here rented dachas and there lived merchants, representatives of the creative intellectuals, scientific elite, officials, businessmen.

The ideologist of "a legal marskizm" to P.B. Struva, scientists A.F. Ioffe, D.N. Kaygorodov, A.S. Pushkin's nephew L.N. Pavlishchev were prominent inhabitants Forest. A basis of building Forest during the specified period still were wooden houses of country type to one-two floors. The complex of stone multy-storey structures of Polytechnical and Forest institutes and also mansions of rich inhabitants Forest was distinguished from them, many of which remained till our time.

In general Forest it is possible to characterize as the suburb combining lines of scientific center with the country settlement developed by the center of a recreation of citizens during this period. It predetermined also high mobility of the population (in the direction the city suburb) and the seasonality of the movement of the population and also rather specific structure of the population - generally is "middle class" in modern understanding, students, creative and scientific elite.

The other suburbs of St. Petersburg which are north of Neva in the shape were rather similar to Forest owing to the "country" nature of these areas. The Citizen who at the beginning of the 20th century was absolutely small settlement and occupied significantly the smaller space, than now the district of the city with the same name stood a little alone. The Citizen of that time consisted of three settlements which were located approximately along modern Grazhdansky Avenue - the Road on the Citizen, Colony the Citizen and the Russian Citizen.

The main remarkable line of the Citizen at the beginning of the 20th century are the German colonies which were located here, first of all Colony the Citizen or the German Citizen. The German colonists appeared in Russia in general and in the St. Petersburg province in particular in the 18th century, at Catherine II. Up to the beginning of the 20th century the colonists led the isolated life, their life and even appearance significantly differed from other population of the city. The citizen was also the country place, but the semi-rural spirit was felt stronger here, than in Forest, and the cost of the dachas which are handed over in the summer to citizens was lower.

Besides agriculture and country trade, the German colony in the Citizen was engaged also in "nursery trade". Colonists took on education (and also used as gratuitous labor) orphans and foundlings from the St. Petersburg Educational house.

A peculiar pride of the Citizen was the local fire team which was, perhaps, the best of all suburban fire teams. The financial position of this team and its equipment was the best, than at team lesnovsky. Created in 1898, the team was also peculiar center of public life in the Citizen.

In amusements and cultural life the Citizen could not offer summer residents practically anything - it was the place for budget quiet summer holiday.

Wooden rural lodges and estates were the Citizen's basis, as well as all other country suburbs, houses of colonists were especially allocated: "Houses are quite big, to two floors; are sheathed by a yew; ahead a small garden in which beds of flowers are broken. All houses are built on one type with inevitable two balconies on a facade. The fences and front gardens painted by white paint stand directly, exactly, precisely stood at attention" [2, page 330].

The following northern suburb which it is worth mentioning was Specific. This settlement, and from 1900th - the suburb was formed in the 19th century around the Specific agricultural school closed after an abolition of serfdom in 1861. Construction of the Finnish railroad and a construction of the Specific station gave a new impetus to development of this area. History Specific as country place began. In general Specific during that time lasted on the North along the Finnish railroad north of Forest.

The guide of 1902 reports: "Poklonnaya Gora has a city border from which there is Kolomyazhskaya Road making continuation of border and kind of including St. Specific Finlyand. railway in city line which belongs to the Wood lot. An interval from Forest... entirely built up

dachas adjacent. on the other hand. to Specific. Thanks to low cost of the message, this area is always full summer residents as here on the one hand - fine "Udel-ninskiy" the park, and with another - the pine forest." [5, page 240].

Extensive territories of the former school found new application - actually buildings of school gave for Temporary country hospital, the part of the territory departed to the railroad, a part laid the foundation for Udelny Park, the southwest part of the territory departed under the hippodrome constructed in 1892

Near country hospital the Almshouse of the insane was located. Representatives of exclusive classes were inhabitants of this institution. The country hospital by the beginning of the 20th century was turned into a psychiatric clinic too, but for patients is simpler and poorer.

The observer of the St. Petersburg vicinities V.K. Simansky in an essay "The St. Petersburg country places concerning their zdorovost" described Specific so: ".sovmeshchat in itself: extensive park of the former agricultural school, specific farm, two hospitals and group of dachas. Flowing water is not available, inhabitants use water from wells. Inhabitants mainly - only summer as for winter of construction are not adapted at all" [2, page 387]. These lines were written in 1881. By the beginning of the 20th century. Specific began to lose the purely country character, turning including into the permanent address of citizens. The defect of water was eliminated by construction of the artificial pool, and the railroad gave an opportunity to fast communication with the city. As well as Forest, Specific turns into the "zimogorsky" area which inhabitants in the summer, and most often and in the winter, live in Specific, regularly visiting St. Petersburg. Also infrastructure of the new suburb was improved. The Almshouse became the center of improvement here. With its assistance in the 1910th. Specific it was electrified and provided telephone connection. However, as well as in Forest, in improvement at the beginning of the 20th century in Specific essential gaps were observed.

First of all it concerned the sewerage and a water supply system that was a city problem in general. There was in Specific also the slum area around the doss house nicknamed "Surga-novsky monastery".

The Udelny Park and also pine forest on Poklonnaya Gora were the centers of rest and cultural life in Specific. In Specific there was the club playing a role of country theater. The theater with a summer garden for festivities operated on Yaroslavsky Avenue. In the 1910th in Specific two cinemas constantly worked.

As well as in Forest, in Specific sports life was developed. In Udelny Park the Russian national society of fans of sport organized run competitions, on Vyborgskoye Highway there took place cycle racings, in Specific existed the whole two local football clubs - "Hope" and "Specific", subsequently united in Unitas club. "Kolomyagi" founded in 1904 "was other large football club which made a lot of things for development of this sport. From among founders of club subsequently in Soviet period Sergey Gostev and Pyotr Fillipov were entitled zaluzhenny Masters of Sports" [6, page 171]. In general the soccer at the beginning of the 20th century gained popularity, and actively played it also outside clubs including ordinary summer residents. "It was a little similar to modern soccer: there was no certain form, not all had also boots, rules were badly developed, were a little observed. The one who kicked great the ball and gave "свечку" was considered as the good player;" [3, page 263].

As well as Forest, Specific at the beginning of the 20th century was the country and city area where representatives of "middle class" of that time and merchants lived in the basic. The population Specific in the 1900th was in the winter 30 thousand people, and doubled in the summer. In Specific usual country wooden building prevailed, but, as well as in Forest, there were many mansions here - wooden and stone, for example, "Willa Kumbergiya", A.I. Osi-pov's villa, a home of count of A.F. Tolstoy.

Among other northern country suburbs of St. Petersburg it is worth mentioning also Kolomyagi.

Kolomyag during the described period were already clamped between Forest and Specific and were often perceived as a part Forest, and the Udelny Park and a hippodrome, in turn, quite often called Kolomyazhskimi. In character Kolomyagi differed from Forest a little and Specific - it was the country place which was very long keeping lines of the rural settlement, even after the Great Patriotic War. Here, as well as in the Citizen, "mediocre" summer residents lodged. However in Kolomyagakh at the beginning of the 20th century an object which costs a separate mention - the Commandant's airfield which was located near the Kolomyazhsky (Specific) hippodrome was located.

Jumps on the Kolomyazhsky hippodrome were extraordinary popular and continued before the revolution. As for airfield, the first flights of the Russian aircraft, test of aircraft were carried out since 1908 directly on a hippodrome, and in May, 1910 the first Aviation week took place here. The aircraft at the beginning of the 20th century was extremely popular, and flights drew not less attention, than jumps. In the same 1910 on the Commandant's field the real airfield was created that at that time did not demand any special efforts and expenses. Opening of airfield was saddened, however, by the famous tragedy - death of one of the first Russian pilots of L.M. Matsiyevich. On the place of his death the memorable sign existing and was established today.

The aircraft at the beginning of the 20th century remained very dangerous business. "The more actively the person conquered the sky, the more sharply there was a problem of saving means. Number of the victims in the world including in Russia, grew. In article "The victims авиации" "Vozduhoplavatel" published in the magazine; it was specified that from 32 accidents registered by 1910 about three quarters fall on the last year. If in 1909 four persons, then in the following - already 24 pilots died" [4, page 50]. Matsiyevich's death G.E. Kotelnikova pushed to the invention of a parachute.

The commandant's airfield became the witness and large aviation achievements, for example, of the first flight to Gatchina (1910), the first

flight to Moscow (1911). The commandant's airfield was not only the place where passed, speaking to the modern language, an air show, but also the place of tests of new models of planes.

In general the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20th century were the place of residence generally of representatives of achieved categories of the population, many of which lived in these areas on a seasonal basis though the number of the citizens - "zimogor" who are constantly living in these areas constantly grew. Respectively, northern suburbs had character of mainly country place with the developed infrastructure for rest, entertainments, sports activities.

As for electrification, development of the sewerage, a water supply system, transport network, etc., though northern suburbs also were in this relation in much best situation, than the working outskirts, extent of development of infrastructure nevertheless was obviously insufficient, especially outside Forest. However, "crisis of the big city", and in quite sharp form, was during the considered period is characteristic of St. Petersburg in general. "Density of the population in the downtown and disorder of the outskirts, absence

normal transport connection between various parts of the city and, as a result, bad sanitary condition was led to big mortality. In 1908 1679 people died of a typhoid in St. Petersburg it is, much more, than in all cities of England combined" [7, page 17].

At the same time the northern outskirts by the beginning of the 20th century turned into one of the academic centers of St. Petersburg, the centers of development of science and technology. They were obliged by this status to the Polytechnical and Forest institutes which were letting out experts in the field of technical and natural science and conducting basic researches. In Commandant's airfield, aircraft of various designs were tested, the first pilots improved the skill. The New Ayvaz plant by the beginning of World War I mastered release of the electrotechnical equipment and electrolamps.

The northern outskirts during the considered period turned actually into the settlement type, new to St. Petersburg, generated by development of capitalism and scientific and technical progress, which is sharply contrasting with the working outskirts - the back of this development.


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