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Chekhovsky mood carried away by the time of wooden houses

cheh (3)«If in the whole government there is something interesting, even remarkable, it is only our Cherry Orchard» — says the heroine of the play by A.P. Chekhov «The Cherry Orchard». And in the play the garden – is not just an ordinary lot with fruit and berries, but a full hero, unwrapped symbol of the beauty, Russia itself and its destiny. Therefore, it is sad and painful to read a remark in the end of the play: «There is a silence, and it is only heard as axe knocks on wood far away in the garden.»
Chekhov was a great play-wrighter, who reflected the social and political changes in the country in drama and poetic form of his plays, which regarded the Smolensk government, too.

Once there was an apple Boulevard in Smolensk too…The apple boulevard created some comfort for tourists in Dokuchaev Street, which earlier was named as Great Odigitrievsky – as the name of the wooden church, located in the western end of the street. Then the church was demolished to extend the street. The name by V.V. Dokuchaev, a well known scientist, the founder of soil science research and our countryman, the street got in 1971.


The house
(Dokuchaev street, 3)

In the 18-19 century, the Dokuchaev Street had mostly wooden houses, where merchants met and had their local merchant meetings. As for today, from all wooden houses in the street there is only one house — the house №3, which is a model of a wooden apartment building of late 19th century, built in the tradition of late classicism. Of course, it was difficult for the wooden house to survive in the war, and in 1941 it burned down, but the foundation remained. In 1950 the house was restored, having recreated its original appearance.
Currently, the object is used for housing.


cheh (4)
The house 

(Dzerzhinsky street, 4)

Another of the few survived examples of wooden architecture – is the house №4 in the Dzerzhinsky street. While only the second floor of the house is wooden, basement walls and first floor of the house are made from brick. The building is a good example of classical solutions in the form of an apartment house, which is a part of the old historical buildings in Smolensk.

The first floor has the traces of the original plan. During the war of 1941-1943, the building was badly damaged, it was restored in 1950, preserving the original form.

Currently, the object is used for housing, the ground floor and basement premises are used for the offices placement.


cheh (2)The house of merchant Turaev
(Vorovskoy street, 24)

The hills that got down to the Dnieper River, once drowned in the cherry blossoms in spring. And in the midst of the flowering was located the merchant’s Turaev house. Looking on it, we can imagine Smolensk building on the late XIX — early XX centuries. The house is located in the street Vorovskoy in the western part of the city, where once settled wealthy citizens, and those, mostly, were people involved in the trade.

One of these wealthy citizens was a merchant Turaev Theophilus Alexandrovich, who ordered to build this house .

The building does not have striking stylistic features, but the architectural elements of it can be attributed to the period of eclecticism.

The house was destroyed in the Great Patriotic War, but in 1945 was rebuilt in its original form. In the same year the house got its third floor made of wood.
From the Piatnitskiy stream Street (the old name of the Vorovskoy Street) related an interesting story: in Soviet times near Pyatnitskiy stream between the upper and lower parts of the street there was built a wooden staircase. But almost every year during snow melting, an abounding Piatnitskiy creek overflowed and took a wooden structure away. Finally, local authorities admitted themselves defeated by nature and stopped to restore a wooden staircase.
Nowadays, in a time of new computer technologies, 3D volumes and massive skyscrapers having looked at the mentioned above three wooden houses, there is the light fraction of the melodic melancholy, which is peculiar to Chekhov’s plays. In fact these fine examples of wooden architecture have lost its relevance today, the same way, the cherry orchard did, and the «new people» needed it no longer. But life is not in vain has the spiral shape, and can be carried away by time, and may be once, the wooden houses will be at the height of fashion trends again. Today in the Dokuchaev Street citizens can see the newly planted apple trees …