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March 21, 2021 09:02 am

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Street name pointers. Photo by S. Pominov. 1998 year. Main Archive of Moscow

Massive renaming of streets in Moscow began after the October Revolution – this was due to the need to consolidate the new ideology.

In Moscow, the names of lanes, streets, squares and other urban spaces have changed more than once. The main archives told how and why such renaming took place.

The street names began to be massively changed after the establishment of Soviet power. This was primarily due to ideology: the new system was glorified, and the foundations of the old world were eradicated.

Thus, on June 22, 1921, the Presidium of the Moscow Council of Workers ‘and Soldiers’ Deputies issued a decree “On the procedure for renaming streets, driveways and squares in the city of Moscow.” Before officially changing one or another city toponym, the issue was necessarily considered by a special commission at the improvement department of the Moskommunkhoz and the Moscow Communal Museum. During its work in the 1920s, the commission proposed to rename 447 streets, lanes, boulevards, squares and embankments of the city.

In the early 1930s, attempts were made to assign similar responsibilities to the Architectural and Planning Administration of the Moscow City Council, as well as the Department of Administrative Supervision and External Service of the Moscow City Militia, but these organizations could not cope with the task assigned to them. These events are described in detail in one of the materials of the Glavarkhiv.

After a while, the authorities returned to renaming. On March 24, 1959, the executive committee of the Moscow City Council established the composition of the commission for naming Moscow streets. Its staff included architects, historians, writers, specialists in the field of urban economy, public figures. The composition of the commission was re-elected every four years.

Its participants in the 1960s worked hard to eliminate a huge number of toponyms of the same name, of which there were more than 800. They appeared on the map of the capital after the annexation of towns and villages near Moscow, among them Biryulevo, Davydkovo, Kuntsevo, Lyublino, Perovo, Tushino, Chertanovo, Yasenevo other.

At present, the city interdepartmental commission on the names of territorial units, streets, metro stations, organizations and other objects of the city of Moscow deals with the issues of metropolitan toponymy. The coordination of its activities is carried out by the capital Department of cultural heritage… The commission includes experts in the field of history, Moscow studies, philology, linguistics and urban planning activities, as well as representatives of the executive authorities of our city.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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