UDK 908:72.036




Original article


Transformation of the Space of the Theater Square (Revolution Square) in Saratov in 1950 — the 1980s


Vanin A. A.



The process of reformatting the space of the Theater Square (Revolution Square) is considered in the article on the basis of factual material from the archives and local periodicals. The reconstruction projects of the square and the buildings and structures located on it are analyzed. The study is based on the use of a complex of methodological techniques, including such special methods of historical science as historical-genetic and problem-chronological, as well as an interdisciplinary approach, in particular methods of art criticism analysis and urban studies. By means of the historical-genetic method, it was possible to identify and follow the origins of the changes that occurred with the space of the square. The use of the problem-chronological method allowed them to be classified, as well as to pay attention to the problem of reception of these processes by the city society. Using the formal-stylistic method of art criticism, the artistic qualities of the square objects that appeared during the designated period are analyzed. It is concluded that in 1950 — the 1980s, the Theater Square was transformed from a commercial and financial center of the city into an administrative one. Despite the fact that a number of projects for the reconstruction of the square were created, none of them was fully implemented. The reconstruction had a point-by-point and gradual character, however, it led to enormous changes in its appearance and social space, while preserving a considerable part of its pre-revolutionary buildings at the same time. The square has expanded significantly and now it has an eclectic and contrasting appearance, featuring both vivid examples of Soviet neoclassicism and Soviet modernism, as well as dissonant objects.


Keywords: Saratov, urban space, social space, regional center, Soviet urban planning, Soviet architecture, Soviet monumental art, central square, Soviet neoclassicism, Soviet modernism


For citation: Vanin AA. Transformation of the Space of the Theater Square (Revolution Square) in Saratov in 1950 — the 1980s. Center and Periphery. 2024;19(2):21—30. EDN RFCASL




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Information about the author:

Alexander A. Vanin, Specialist of Department of Historical Information and Research of the Research and Production Center for Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Saratov Region (86 Michurina I. V. Str., Saratov 410056, Russia), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5142-9702, vaninaa987@gmail.com


Conflict of interests: the author declares no conflict of interests.


The author has read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


The article uses photos from the site “Old Saratov Photos”. URL: https://oldsaratov.ru


The article was submitted 09.01.2024; approved after reviewing 26.02.2024; accepted for publication 04.03.2024.