44 Lenin Avenue

A researcher's journey to Siberia

44 Lenin Avenue: A Research Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Wilson Bell at 7:26 pm on Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hi everyone,

This blog is for updates related to my new research project, “44 Lenin Avenue: Siberia’s tumultuous 20th century as told through its most remarkable building.” Construction of this building in Tomsk, Russia, finished in 1896, the year of Nicholas II’s coronation as the last Tsar of the Russian Empire. The building initially served as an Orthodox school. In 1909, partially due to revolutionary sentiment, the headmaster of the school, a very conservative Orthodox Priest (who had replaced a far more progressive headmaster) was strangled to death by two of the pupils. From roughly the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, the building was the local headquarters of the notorious NKVD, Stalin’s secret/security police, and the building included a remand prison in the basement. In the latter decades of the Soviet period, the building was mostly a residence, with rooms in the basement used by youth clubs in the city, and in the post-Soviet period the building has included an internet cafe, retail shops, a bank, and a museum dedicated to the victims of Stalinist repression. In short, 44 Lenin Avenue encapsulates the tumultuous 20th century history of Siberia.

This project is supported by a two-year (2015-2017) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Grant money is being used mostly to hire student research assistants and for a seven week trip to Tomsk, from mid-June to early-August, 2016.

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May 26, 2016 @ 7:26 pm   Reply

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