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September 15, 2021 11:17 am

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The platform hall of the Botanichesky Sad metro station. Photo by L. Velikzhanin. May 4, 1958. Main Archive of Moscow

The metro station was built at the beginning of 1952, and in 1966 it received a new name.

The metro station “Prospekt Mira” was originally supposed to be called “Botanical Garden”, but now it belongs to another station of the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya line. How it was built and why it was renamed – the documents tell Glavarchiv Moscow.

The project of the future station was approved by the Mossovet on September 15, 1950. Famous Soviet architects Vladimir Gelfreikh and Mikhail Minkus, as well as design engineer Boris Prikot worked on its development. The pylon type was chosen for the station – Vladimir Gelfreich had already created something similar: together with the architect Igor Rozhin, he designed the Electrozavodskaya, which had been opened six years earlier.

The new station was named “Botanical Garden” in honor of the nearby “Apothecary Garden” – the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. It is the oldest botanical garden in the country, founded by Peter I in 1706.

The station design was dedicated to the Stalinist plan for the transformation of nature. According to him, from 1948 to 1953, it was planned to create several vast forest belts with a length of more than five thousand kilometers in the steppe and forest-steppe regions. The strips were supposed to protect from drought, sand and dust storms and help to boost crops.

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The architects decided to install marble busts of Russian scientists on 16 pylons of the station, including Mikhail Lomonosov, Dmitry Mendeleev, Kliment Timiryazev, Ivan Michurin, Vladimir Vernadsky, Vasily Dokuchaev and others.

One of the walls of the central hall was to be decorated with a colored marble mosaic with a map of forests from the plan for transforming nature. A bas-relief portrait of Joseph Stalin was also placed here – it was dismantled in 1956 after the debunking of the personality cult. Later, the work of Andrei Kuznetsov “Mother of the World” was installed at this place.

While the station was being built, adjustments were made to the project: instead of busts above the eaves of the pylons, reliefs of wreaths, leaves, buds and banners appeared. They framed images of agronomists, florists and gardeners. The walls of the station were faced with pink Tagil marble.

The Botanical Garden received its first passengers in early 1952, and in 1966 the station changed its name: it was renamed into Prospekt Mira in honor of the highway at the beginning of which it was located.

In 1978, the name “Botanical Garden” returned to the metro map. Then the status of the leading botanical garden of the capital was given to the Main Botanical Garden named after N.V. Tsitsina. The new station was named after him.

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

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