Moscow: Gosizdat lit. po stroitel’stvu i arkhitekture, 1952. 111 pp.: ill. 29х22,5 cm. In publisher’s cardboards. Some rubbing of the spine and soiling of the boards, otherwise very good.
Scarce. One of 5000 copies. From the series “Praktika sovetskogo gradostroitel’stva” (i.e. Practice of Soviet Urban Planning). This book is the first attempt of generalization of Minsk urban
planning of the time. The book has a historical reference about the appearance of the city, the formation of its plan and settlement in the capitalist period (with plans and photographs of the pre-revolutionary period). It provides information about the improvement in the years of the Stalin five-year plans and the destruction of the WWII period. Among the photos there is a photo of national library - a monument of constructivism which survived the war. It was built in 1926 by famous architect Georgy Lavrov.
During the war, Minsk was almost completely destroyed, and as a result of its restoration, the appearance of the city sometimes changed beyond recognition. So the focus of the book is on planning and new construction. The first post-war general plan of Minsk was drawn up by Belgosproject at the end of 1945. The master plan was preceded by a sketch, in which architects A. Shchusev, A. Mordvinov, N. Kolli, V. Semenov, I. Langbard and others participated. Many of the dilapidated buildings could be restored, as can be seen by looking at the film and photo chronicles of those years. However, prominent architects who came to Minsk from Leningrad and Moscow decided that most of the old buildings should be demolished and a new city should be built. The leadership of the city and the republic supported this decision. The book contains many images from projects submitted for the competition, as well as photographs of the constructed buildings; photos of the postwar reconstruction of streets and courtyards, improvement of parks and stadiums (stadium Dynamo by architect Colley); photographs of the construction process (for example, a house on the station square of the architect Rubanenko still exists today - a typical example of the building period); photos of nurseries, schools and other utilitarian buildings.
Overall, a very interesting account of Minsk architecture before and after WWII. Worldcat locates copies at Syracuse University, LOC, University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Minnesota, Texas A&M University, University of Washington Libraries, Fuller Theological Seminary Library, Stanford University Libraries.