Kharkiv: gospodarstvo Ukraini, 1932. Item #1088
, 45 pp.: ill. 26.4x35.4 cm. In owner’s cloth binding with original wrappers preserved. In a good condition. Front endpaper, front wrapper, title-page and few pages detached.
Scarce. Second edition. First edition published in 1930 with design by Mark Kirnarsky. In contrast to the previous edition, this second edition features upgraded photographs of the construction and lacks an introductory letter and photographs of Stalin, Kalinin, Petrovsky, Rikov, Kosior, Chubar, Sukhomlin, etc. The last four personas were executed during the Great Purge.
Design by Nikolay Mischenko (1895-1960), Soviet graphic artist, painter, and a member of the Ukrainian avant-garde group Soyuz semi [i.e. The Union of Seven].
A RARE DOCUMENT OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE LARGEST SOVIET POWER PLANT.
The erection of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station (Zaporozhye, Ukraine) became one of the most outstanding events both in the Soviet electrification and industrial architecture. For centuries, navigation along the Dnieper was hampered by the ridge of rapids. Before the October Revolution, Russian and Ukrainian architects proposed over 10 projects to tackle the problem of navigation. However, the urge to raise the water to a height of 35 meters collided with the interests of private owners whose lands were subject to flooding. In the mid-1920s, the State Commission for Electrification approved Professor Ivan Aleksandrov’s project, which suggested building a large dam with a hydroelectric power plant of an extra-large capacity. On November 27, 1926, the Central Committee announced a competition for the best architectural project of the plant. The erection of the station began in April 1927, shortly after the contest revealed its winners, constructivist architects Viktor Vesnin (1882-1950) and Nikolay Kolli (1894-1966). The first unit of the plant was launched in May 1932, and the grand opening took place on October 10, 1932. The station became the largest Soviet power plant at the time and the third-largest in the world.
The energy generated by the Dneproges became a powerful base for the development of Soviet industry, which experienced the emergence of such enterprises as the Kommunar plant, the Zaporozhye metallurgical plant, a chemical plant, etc. Importantly, on the site of the small town of Aleksandrovsk (on the Dnieper), the construction of the modern city of Zaporozhye began. Later, Zaporozhye would turn into one of the largest industrial cities of the USSR.
The edition features numerous black and white illustrations (including folding plates) depicting different elements and stages of the Dneproges construction. Each illustration has captions in Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Armenian, Tajik, etc. Among the photographs presented in the album are the general view of the dam and hydroelectric power station from the downstream side by the beginning of 1931, construction work in the middle channel, turbine impeller installation, the construction of metallurgic factory, etc. The edition is particularly important as the plant, which was dynamited during World War II, lost its initial appearance and was restored in the period from 1944-1949. A separate section is dedicated to the construction of Zaporozhye. The illustrations depict neighbourhoods and houses of the new city.
Overall, the album provides rare insights into the erection of the largest Soviet plant and the construction of the popular industrial city Zaporozhye.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition at Harvard University Libraries, New York Public Library, and Museum of Fine Arts.