On having enjoyed the panorama of the square, let us come to the building of Derzhprom (the House of State Industry).
Its grand silhouette can be well seen from Sumska Street, Lenin Avenue,
Trinkler Street and the district adjacent to the railway station.
On March 21, 1925 the Economic Council of Ukraine
ordered the Supreme Council of National Economy of Ukraine to prepare
a project of the House of State Industry (Derznprom). After six weeks
an all-Union competition of the projects of this house-giant was announced.
The terms of the competition were discussed in detail
and the prizes were instituted for the winners. After a thorough study,
the first award was given to the «Uninvited Guest» project by Leningrad
Derzhprom. View from the Military University
Serafimov, S. Kravets, M. Felger.
As soon as the financing of the construction started,
the preparation of the working drawings began. To provide for an
efficient management, all the services and offices were located in a one-storey
wooden barrack very close to the construction site. Various changes
were frequently made, they depended on the refinement of the relief,
the details of the facade, the interior design, the quality of the
components of the future building. It was planned that the building
would house 22 republican trusts, 10 People’s Commissariats, the
Prombank Board of Directors and other organizations, conference halls,
a technological library etc. It was recommended that the large trusts
should be on the ground floors and have separate entrances.
When we look at Derzhprom, it is difficult to believe that the initial earthwork was done with spades, crow-bars
«A self-invited Guest» — the project by the architects S. Serafimov, S. Kravets, M. Folher
They used sledge hammers to crush granite, spades — to
prepare concrete mix, horses — to dispose of spoil. A grand, even by
modern standards, multi-storied
of monolithic concrete with 4500 window openings and 17 hectares of
glazing was erected within an exceptionally short period, from
1925 till 1928.
During the construction period Kharkiv was visited by H. Barbusse,
Th. Dreiser, V. Mayakovsky. Of course, the construction was conducted
under the close supervision of the Soviet government and, in
particular, by F. Dzerzhinskiy, whose name the Square had borne for
a long time.
At the end of the 1920s a laconic address «Kharkiv,
Derzhprom» became known in different corners of the country. The
constructivist building, famous for the rich plastics of its facades,
harmony of the forms and perfection of its proportions, became not only
the glory and the visiting card of Khakiv, but also a world-class architectural monument.
Derzhprom building — a successful example of administrative buildings design
In 1934, when Kyiv became the capital again, the
government offices moved from Derzhprom and the building accommodated
the Regional Executive Committee and other organizations.
With the beginning of the occupation period, Derzhprom
became deserted. The fascists’ efforts to blow up or to set fire to the
building were useless — its monolithic constructions withstood
everything, though the glazing and window frames, ventilation, heating
and other communications suffered badly. There is a war-time legend that for some time the only inhabitants of Derzhprom were the monkeys that fled the zoo because of hunger and cold.
The post war period also added many pages to the
history of Derzhprom.
By its 75th anniversary Derzhprom was decorated with spotlights
A central role is occupied here by the first
Ukrainian amateur TV center, where people from different cities of the
country used to be trained.
At present Derzhprom accommodates administration
offices of different branches of economy and its service departments.
In 2003 Derzhpron celebrated its 75th anniversary with the renovation of its facade walls and redecoration of its interior.