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Even with residents: why and how houses were moved in the USSR

Yulia PoteriankoNews
According to eyewitnesses, the houses were moved so smoothly that residents did not even notice that they were being moved. Source: Created with the help of AI

The Soviet Union went down in history as a country that implemented a lot of gigantic, incredibly complex, but often pointless projects. For example, the Baikal-Amur Railroad, which was built for half a century, turned out to be practically useless.

Moving entire buildings with the residents inside was not the most incredible thing that was done in the USSR, but it did happen sometimes. OBOZ.UA tells one of the most illustrative stories.

Why houses were moved in the USSR

In the 1930s, the young state began to build and develop intensively to demonstrate the benefits of the communist regime to the world. Cities grew rapidly in size and infrastructure. To build roads, entire neighborhoods had to be demolished, which took time and money, and required the resettlement of people in new housing. To speed up the process, it was decided to try to move the entire buildings.

The first such relocation was carried out in Moscow in October 1935. The building was in the way of laying tram tracks on the Garden Ring, so it was simply moved to another location. In January 1937, one of the buildings of the gramophone factory was moved. It was planned to create an alley in its place.

How the house on Tverskaya Street was moved

One of the most ambitious projects in Moscow was the reconstruction with a significant expansion of Tverskaya (then Gorky) Street. Even though this is the very center of the city, where historic buildings were located, the master plan provided for the demolition of some of them.

Residents of building No. 24, which was included in these plans, decided to appeal to the authorities to leave it intact. Somehow, their letter got to Nikita Khrushchev, who was then the First Secretary of the City Committee of the CPSU. He agreed with the people's arguments and ordered that the building not be demolished but moved to a new location.

The weight of the object was approximately 23 thousand tons. Engineers insisted that it was impractical to move it. However, the party ordered the building to be moved anyway.

The preparations took over 4 months. Special paths were dug under the house, into which beams were inserted to prevent its destruction. Rubble was poured into the basement and rails were installed on top of it.

The house was moved in just one night. According to eyewitnesses, the work went so smoothly and silently that no one in the house even woke up. In the morning, people just saw that they were living in a new place.

All work was completed at 15:00 on the same day. Building No. 24 received a new address – now it is No. 6. It is still standing there.

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