11.08.2022

The deputy and the church proposed to rename Sverdlov Square to Alexander Nevsky Square

Sverdlov Square was proposed to be renamed into Alexander Nevsky Square. The question of renaming Sverdlov Square was raised five years ago – then they wanted to give it the name of the architect Kryachkov

Andrey Panferov, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Novosibirsk Region, proposed to rename Sverdlov Square to Alexander Nevsky Square. In addition, in his opinion, a public transport stop in the city center should be named after Alexander Nevsky. He announced the initiative to Metropolitan Nikodim of Berd.

And he, in turn, turned to the mayor Anatoly Lokt with a request to consider such a possibility. We asked politicians, historians and architects what the name should be for one of the central squares of Novosibirsk and whether it is worth changing anything at all.

Sverdlov Square in the center of Novosibirsk is named after the Bolshevik, Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee Yakov Sverdlov. Almost the entire ensemble of the square was created by the architect Andrey Kryachkov. In 2016, the townspeople proposed to name the square after the architect. They were refused.

Anna Tereshkova, Head of the Department of Culture and Youth Policy of the Novosibirsk Mayor’s Office:

– As a resident of Novosibirsk, I am categorically against changing history. We already have a small history of the city of Novosibirsk. And why constantly rename? I am in favor of giving names to new streets, new squares. At one time we gave the name of the South Square – now it is called Budagov Square. We named the park “Mikhailovskaya Embankment”. That is, in honor of the founders of our city. I am still in favor of such names when we name new places. Renaming something is for me to open Pandora’s box. In our city there will always be a lot of complaints about what they call it. We will never come to any construct.

And the old names are still our history, whatever it may be. Someone likes it, some don’t.

Indeed, people have asked many times to rename Sverdlov Square. It was proposed to name it and Kryachkov Square, and the square, including the stop of the Philharmonic named after. Katz, and Nevsky. That is, you see, the residents do not have a unanimous opinion. And when we started voting and looked at the results, our citizens’ opinions constantly differed. We did not accept the issue of renaming precisely because there was not a single proposal that would have won more than 70% of the votes of the residents.

Igor Maranin, historian, author of the book “Mifosibirsk”:

– I am a supporter of renaming the square, because I believe that the toponyms of Novosibirsk should be related to the history of the city. Sverdlov has nothing to do with our history. But if you rename, then I would still call it not Alexander Nevsky Square, but Kryachkov Square. Moreover, there is his monument and houses built by the architect.

Why are they against renaming the square into Alexander Nevsky Square? For the same reason. Because I am in favor of the names that left their mark on the history of Novosibirsk, remain on its map. Moreover, we have done very little to perpetuate the memory of Kryachkov.

I am against mass renaming depending on political, ideological situations. It is not clear to me what many people had to do with the city. Incidentally, I am not against perpetuating the memory of Kirov, albeit excessive. He’s been here for a while. Therefore, my approach is not ideological, but local history, let’s say.

Igor Popovsky, architect, associate professor of the Department of Architecture at NSUADI and a member of the town planning council of the Novosibirsk Mayor’s Office:

– If a proposal is submitted, then there are rules: consideration in the commission for renaming, and then, if a decision is made, a vote. Personally, this renaming does not bother me in any way. At one time, I advocated renaming the name of the architect Kryachkov. But this proposal was not accepted during the voting.

Now, apparently, this is not so relevant, since there is already a Kryachkov square. However, there were proposals from veterans to call it Victory Square, since there was a meeting there in 1945. I think this can also be considered. Personally, I haven’t submitted any more proposals, so most likely I will not vote.

Anna Navolotskaya, Associate Professor of the Department of Architecture and Reconstruction of the Urban Environment of Sibstrina:

– The city is like a paper on which every time he writes his story. And the city is interesting for its diversity, when some elements of its history are preserved in its names and architecture. This complexity attracts attention, makes the city a city. Therefore, on the one hand, I do not want to cut down such layers (this square, by the way, had another historical name – Bazaar Square, and Krasny Prospekt was called Nikolaevsky Prospekt).

On the other hand, we have many such names: Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Krasin. And we completely forgot our own heroes, thanks to whom our city was formed. Zhernakov, for example, Litvinov. How much Zhernakov did for our city, not a single mayor of our city did. Thanks to him, the Altai railway passed through Novonikolaevsk when there were several options. That is why we had such a multimodal hub already at the beginning of the 20th century, and the city received a great potential for development. Why are these people not on the map of our city?

It is understood that these councils have been very active in perpetuating and renaming. But it turned out to be a big inflection point. So in this situation I am in favor of returning some other names to the city.

Nearby is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the first stone building (if you do not take into account the Fedorov Baths). This is the first stone building from which the city began. The cathedral is dedicated to Alexander III, who laid the railroad. And named after Alexander Nevsky, because he is considered his heavenly patron. Therefore, all this is closer to the history of our city than the names of Sverdlov, Krasin and so on. I do not believe that we should completely eradicate that Soviet period. There were many good things and so on, but I do not think that Sverdlov has less to do with our history than the personality of Alexander III.

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