Why Stalin spent so much money on the subway in Moscow

History 04/01/20 Why Stalin spent so much money on the subway in Moscow

the Moscow metro, whose construction was planned by tsarist Russia, was built in difficult and crucial Soviet years. In the view of Lazar Kaganovich, whose name metro was worn from 1935 to 1955, it became a symbol of the victory of socialism “…that great war which we are waging for decades and especially in recent years…” And its an apt phrase said in the speech in the Hall of columns 14 may 1935 on the occasion of the launch of the metro “Victory of the metro is the victory of socialism” became winged.

Indeed, for Stalin, this building became symbolic. It showed that the Soviet Union is not inferior to the leading powers of the world, where has been built underground. Moreover, given the scope, engineering features, architectural and artistic masterpieces that have been implemented during the construction, talked about the fact that the Soviet Union surpassing the world capitalist powers and, therefore, socialism is more progressive and advanced systems.

How much money was spent on all this splendor? Still not disclosed all the archives, but published information suggests that in financial terms the construction was massive.

So to build the first underground line — from 15 June 1931 15 may 1935 (the first 13 metro stations) has been spent 700 million rubles (“Komsomolskaya Pravda, a room from may 15, 1935, article “Triumph of Winners”, excerpts from the speech of Kaganovich). From the beginning, not everything went smoothly, difficulties arose at the stage of project preparation. The initial cost was estimated at 400 million rubles (Rotert project, approved in 1931, the capital city party Committee).

the labor Shortage and the underestimation of the peculiarities of the Moscow ground has led to that already in 1932 Metrostroy overdrawn budget at the same time, the annual plan was fulfilled only by one third. Pafter hearing these results, Lazar Kaganovich were personally involved in the development of the General Plan of Moscow, associated with the construction of the subway, including those he personally supervised the demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Historian Roy Medvedev in his book “the inner circle of Stalin. Colleagues of the Leader” writes: “…it is known that Kaganovich incognito went to Berlin to explore the Berlin underground. When he returned, he said that in Berlin the entrance to the subway is a hole in the ground, and we should have beautiful pavilions…”

the Crossing construction have led to huge cost overruns and, at times, illiterate use of the allocated financial resources. So, on the equipment, which subsequently has been used, spent over 9 million rubles As recalled engineer-metro I. V. ISAR: “Some of the equipment worked for a few days until it became clear that manual labor Komsomol members are more productive than imported cars…”.

For decoration and decoration of the halls and pavilions of the money spared. Because the subway had to be not just a functional element of the transport infrastructure, and ideological symbol, the dazzling passengers. Indicative of such a case: the objections against the draft of the metro station “Palace of Soviets” (now Kropotkinskaya) of the architect A. N. Dushkina that it is similar to the Temple of Amun at Karnak, the author replied: “…they Have palaces for the pharaohs, and we have — for the people!”

According to the head of Metrostroi — Paul Rotert, the use of granite, marble and porcelain slabs in the design of metro, as well as performed at the request of the government commissions of touches, led to the fact that the budget was exceeded by almost two times.

the Second phase of construction – 1937-1938 year, distinguished architectural and engineering diversity. For example, built the world’s first column station deep Foundation (Mayakovskaya), implemented arched design of the station Airport, used national motifs in the decoration of the halls (Kiev). The value of the cost of the second phase was 30% less heat first.

the Third phase was interrupted by the Great Patriotic war. The plans of the Soviet Union was the complete destruction of the subway, but when the enemy was driven from the capital, the construction was continued. Civic motifs in the design were replaced with military-Patriotic, great importance was paid to the topic of defense. Most estimates of the General Plan of this period are still classified, according to various estimates, the cost of subway construction in 1938 – 1945 ranged from 500 million to one billion rubles.

the Fourth stage — from the end of the war to Stalin’s death marked with special pomp and splendour is the prosperity of “Stalin’s Empire”. Special attention was paid to security measures in connection with the beginning of the cold war. A new deep-level stations (Arbatskaya line) was supposed to be a bomb shelter for Muscovites in the event of a nuclear war.

experts estimate the cost of the embodied projects were at least half a billion rubles. Given that the post-war years was particularly heavy for the country, which needed to be restored, building up literally from the ruins, it was a huge waste!

since the beginning of the metro construction until Stalin’s death according to various estimates, implementation plans Metrostroi it took about 3-4 billion rubles.
After the death of the “father of Nations” at the XX Congress of the CPSU in the framework of the plans of “overcoming the cult of personality” by decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers № 1871 “On elimination of excesses in designing and construction” it was decided to minimize all architectural excesses, including in the construction of the subway. Metrogiprotrans immediately reacted with the development of new standard designs of stations and other structures underground. But since a number of already initiated projects were in limbo, for a significant savings it’s brought immediately.

© Russian Seven

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