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12.07.2006
Ivan Fomin house-studio at prospekt Mira

MAPS has received worrying news concerning the precious legacy of Ivan Fomin (1872-1936), architect of Krasnye Vorota and Teatralnaya (former Ploschad Sverdlova) metro stations and one of the most talented and intelligent interpreters of Classicism in the 20th century, both before and after the 1917 Revolution. After Fomin moved to Moscow from Leningrad in 1930 to work on Krasnye Vorota station, a two-storey building at the back of 52 Prospekt Mira was built to his designs to house his studio and accommodate him, his family and his colleagues. Fomin lived in flat 43 in the building until his death in 1936, after which it remained in the possession of his family.
Fomin's former flat and studio are in all but name a Fomin museum, since not only the original fittings, but also archive material related to his life and work survive inside. But the city government has never provided any support since Fomin's death and almost all the necessary repair work since then has been done through the efforts of the inhabitants. Not only did the flat serve as an important gathering point and cultural centre for numerous architects and artists, it is still home to the granddaughter, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of the architect.
But the building has now been declared a dangerous structure by the Moscow city government on the basis of the poor state of the services and floor on the ground floor and there are plans to build a high-rise structure on the site, even though the building is located in a conservation area. Quite apart from the loss of a living link with one of the greatest 20th century Russian architects, the construction of a new building on the site would do a lot of damage to the surroundings, which include the historic 19th century Olginskaya hospital and park, both during the period of construction and afterwards, in terms of the irreparable harm done to the historic streetscape.

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