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January 27, 2022, 14:25

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Press Service of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the City of Moscow

The lantern was designed by Vladimir Shukhov. The arch of the light structure consists of several tiers, for each of which a certain glass was selected.

In the building of the Moscow Imperial Post Office on Myasnitskaya Street, the first stage of emergency response work on the main dome is being completed. The building is recognized as an object of cultural heritage of regional importance.

Then the specialists will carry out design and survey work on the roof and facade and develop a concept for the reconstruction of the entire postal district. The task is not only to preserve the post office building, but also to give the space a new and modern content.

“The Moscow Imperial Post Office is a truly unique building that has long needed high-quality restoration. Large-scale preparation for work began here in January 2020. First of all, the specialists securely fixed the light lantern in the main operating room. At the same time, restorers are restoring stucco elements in order to preserve the historical appearance of the hall. All work is carried out under the control of our department, ”commented the head of the capital

Department of Cultural Heritage Alexey Emelyanov.

He noted that for a building that has not been restored since its construction, the condition is very good. In November, experts removed the banners from the facades and carried out laser scanning for further work. In addition, soundings were carried out, which showed that the stone facades were never covered with plaster. Thanks to the completion of the first stage of anti-accident work, the specialists have the opportunity to continue the restoration safely and without hindrance.

The unique light lantern was designed by engineer Vladimir Shukhov. Its arch consists of several tiers, for each of which a certain glass was selected. Some of these glasses have been lost in the more than 100-year history of the Moscow Post Office. Now specialists are carefully extracting the preserved glasses in order to make new ones based on their samples.

Installing the scaffolding in the operating room of the post office was not easy. The drilling equipment was brought in by hand. To install power scaffolding supporting the frame of Novikov and Shukhov’s creations, 212 piles were driven in, each eight meters deep. They securely hold the dome, despite the instability of the ground. In addition, 16 columns of the early 20th century supporting the dome, as well as metlakh tiles in the operating room, are perfectly preserved. The original glasses have been preserved in sufficient volume, the restorers carefully dismantle them in order to use them in their work.

“Restoring the Shukhov light lantern is a priority task. To do this, we securely fixed the dome and put it on 40 supports. They were specially designed taking into account the peculiarities of the foundation. Now we can start restoring this unique engineering structure,” says Ilya Krivogov, Head of the Russian Post Redevelopment Directorate.

All emergency work on the light lantern of the Main Post Office is planned to be completed this year.

Building with history

The laying of the new building of the Moscow Post Office took place in 1910; only two years were allotted for all the work. The construction of the post office was a significant event not only for Moscow, but for the whole of Russia. The building was erected according to the project of Oscar Muntz, architects Leonid Novikov, the Vesnin brothers, participated in the design and construction. The project was based on the idea of ​​concentrating all useful postal operations in one room covered with a triple glass roof. A spacious operating room with openwork galleries on three floors and a spectacular light lantern became the inner core of the ensemble of buildings of the post office, combining parts of the new building and office space.

The interiors of the Moscow Imperial Post Office were copied by the Paris Post Office. The space of the operating room was one of the largest in Europe at that time. There are stamp vending machines in the lobby. As of 1913, the Moscow Post Office handled 12 percent of the country’s correspondence.

Today, the complex of buildings of the Moscow Post Office consists of 22 buildings and structures located on a plot of 2.7 hectares. Three buildings are recognized as objects of cultural heritage of regional importance and are under state protection.

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

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