Forgotten Achievements of the Russian Empire: People's Houses
Forgotten Achievements of the Russian Empire: People's Houses

Video: Forgotten Achievements of the Russian Empire: People's Houses

Video: Forgotten Achievements of the Russian Empire: People's Houses
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The People's House of Emperor Nicholas II in St. Petersburg, in which the First All-Russian Congress on Public Education was held from December 1913 to January 1914, teachers from all the depths of the Russian Empire gathered to discuss the current problems of public education, and the adopted plan for a general MANDATORY learning

The People's House was a public cultural and educational institution in pre-revolutionary Russia. Russia was the first country in the world to build similar houses for the people.

The first People's House was founded in 1882 in Tomsk, and in St. Petersburg the first People's House was opened in 1883.

In Germany, a similar institution was founded in 1903 in Jena by the Karl Zeiss Foundation. And only in 1887 a new type of People's Houses appeared in England - multifunctional institutions that provided evening education for adults and extracurricular education for children.

In the United States, a country in racial division, such a phenomenon did not exist at all!

Until 1914, most of the people's houses were state-owned (for example, zemstvo and municipal houses of guardianship for popular sobriety), but there were often also non-state people's houses built and financed by private benefactors.

Establishing from the end of the 1880s, the People's Houses began to be built especially widely after the 1900s. Gradually, People's Houses began to open in many cities of Russia. After the events of 1917, they were partially converted into clubs and even theaters, but for the most part they were occupied by Soviet institutions or destroyed.

A garden, also known as the garden of sober entertainment, was also laid, located on Voskresenskaya Mountain near the White Lake.

The history of the garden is inextricably linked with the "Society for the Promotion of Physical Development" founded in 1895 in Tomsk. In April 1896, the founder of the society, Vladislav Stanislavovich Pirusky, asked the city council for a place for the activities of the society. One of these places at number 2 was the site "on Voskresenskaya Mountain near the Salt Barns (on the White Lake) - 800 sq. Fathoms".

In 1913, the guidebook "Tomsk in your pocket" described the garden as follows:

"Gubkinskaya Zaimka. An extensive garden, on Voskresenskaya Hill, where the Novo-Voskresenskaya playground is located. Society for the Promotion of Physical Development. Entrance to the garden from Belozersky Lane. public festivities (entrance fees 10 and 15 k.)."

In the literature, there is a mention of the Gubkinskaya Zaimka as a garden, "where in 1909 one promenade was organized, which attracted up to 2500 people."

A prominent figure of public education in Siberia, Pyotr Ivanovich Makushin, in 1882 laid the foundation for the "Society for the care of primary education in the city of Tomsk", with the motto: "not a single illiterate."

In 1882, the Ministry of Internal Affairs approved the charter of the Society for the Care of Primary Education in Tomsk (one of the first such societies in Russia). A library was also founded in 1884.

The use of the library was announced free of charge. From the information collected by the Council of the Society, it can be seen that among the library's readers there were about 77% of primary and county school students aged 12 to 16 years. Another important direction in the activities of the Society was the organization of public (people's) Sunday readings since February 1883. During the first year 11 readings were organized.

Pyotr Ivanovich Makushin (May 31 (June 12) 1844, p. Putin, Perm province - June 4, 1926, Tomsk) was the son of a clerk, studied at the Perm Seminary and the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. From 1868 to 1872 he worked as a superintendent of the Tomsk Theological School. On his own initiative in Tomsk in 1889 the foundation of the Museum of Applied Knowledge was laid. In 1889, the St. Petersburg Literacy Committee awarded Makushin the gold medal of the Imperial Free Economic Society for particularly outstanding works in public education.

Much attention in the activities of the Society was given to the students themselves. The Council of the Society annually collected information about the property and family status of the poorest students, and annually organized collections for poor students for warm clothes and shoes. For the first year of the Company's existence, expenses in this direction amounted to 5100 rubles. 43 kopecks In addition to the distribution of clothes and shoes, the students were supplied with the necessary books, manuals, stationery, they were given cash benefits, scholarships, the most distinguished in their studies, and also from the funds of the Society, funds were allocated to study in gymnasiums for the most talented primary school graduates.

In 1887, the annual income of the society reached 12, 5 thousand rubles.

The people's houses of Russia in the 19th and early 20th centuries tried to combine all forms of educational and leisure activities. Organizing the cultural leisure of the population, they set themselves the task of developing out-of-school education, fighting illiteracy, and conducting lectures. They housed a library with a reading room, a theater and lecture hall with a stage area, a Sunday school, evening classes for adults, a choir, a tea room, and a bookstore.

At some people's houses, museums were set up, where various types of visual aids used in lecturing in the process of systematic studies, traveling and permanent exhibitions were concentrated.

The objectives of the People's Houses were the following:

"The People's House should" embrace "all the activities of the private initiative in the matter of educational and economic assistance to the people. The People's House should be open to everyone who has not, who could usefully spend an hour or two in it, and reading a good book, and studying this or that general education subject, could have a rest in soul, listening to music, recitation, actors' play, could study seriously and even get the opportunity to get acquainted with some craft or art, could find the help of a lawyer in case of need."

In Orenburg, the opening of the People's House took place on December 25, 1899. The author of the project is engineer F. A. Hagen. The building was located on Konno-Sennaya Square. "On Thursday, May 14, at 2 pm, the laying of the building of the People's House on Konno-Sennaya Square took place … - distracting the masses from the abuse of wine, from ugly drunkenness, revelry and, therefore, from all immoral acts …" Orenburg leaflet, 5 October 1899

"The People's House, built by the committee of guardianship of people's sobriety, is ready. It houses a library-reading room, a tea room with a buffet without strong drinks and a folk theater with seats from 5 to 1 rubles. he was instructed to find 2 professional artists, as well as a prompter and a screenwriter for 800 rubles. The troupe will be amateur …"

"The People's House, starting from this January on Sundays from 12 to 2 pm, will produce free readings on Russian history in order to acquaint listeners with the history of Russia from the founding of the Russian state until recently."

The Pskov Drama Theater was built in 1906 by the architect Eduard Germeier at the expense of local residents. Its original name was "People's House".

The idea of creating a Kharkov People's House was first expressed in 1897 during the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Commission on People's Reading by its chairman S. A. Raevsky. The initiative of the commission, which decided to bring this idea to life, was supported by the Kharkiv governor G. Tobizen. A special commission was created to create the People's House.

However, it was not possible to find a suitable premises for these purposes, and it was decided to start construction. At the request of the commission, the City Duma on September 29, 1897 allocated a land plot for the People's House near Horse Square for free. In the fall of 1898, a campaign was launched to collect donations for the construction. On March 10, 1900, in a solemn atmosphere, the People's House was founded.

Already during the construction it became clear that there would not be enough funds, and it was decided to turn to the City Duma for help, which supported the request and decided to allocate two thousand rubles annually for the maintenance of the People's House. Funds also came from the Kharkiv Provincial Assembly, the Committee of Guardianship of People's Sobriety; P. Kharitonenko made a significant monetary contribution. After the completion of the construction, the general meeting of the members of the Society for the Spread of Literacy among the People elected on November 3, 1902, a special committee, which was entrusted with the management of all the affairs of the People's House.

The opening of the People's House took place on February 2, 1903 (old style). It had two rooms and a library-reading room. It was where lectures were read and concerts were held. Several times (March 5, 1903 and April 30, 1905) F. I. Chaliapin, K. S. Stanislavsky. Evening schools and a drama club headed by a prominent Ukrainian writer, playwright, ethnographer I. M. Hotkevich. The People's House was one of the best in Russia. At the international exhibition in Brussels, the Kharkiv People's House was awarded an Honorary Diploma.

A great contribution to the creation of people's houses was made by the Kharkov and Kiev literacy societies, the Slavic society and the Lecture committee in Odessa, the Lviv society "Prosvita" and others.

Despite the complexity of solving construction issues, the number of people's houses in Ukraine was significant. For example, in the Kharkov province there were 8 people's houses, in Yekaterinoslavskaya - 7, in Kiev - 6. People's houses were built in small towns and workers' settlements. In addition, about 50 workers' clubs functioned in Ukraine in 1912.

Leading figures of Russian and Ukrainian culture took part in the creation of the people's houses. So, in 1901 in Poltava with the direct participation of M. M. Kotsyubinsky, P. Mirny and V. G. Korolenko, the people's house named after N. V. Gogol was opened (the author of the project was architect A. S. Trambitsky). An important role in the social life of Ukraine was played by the people's houses of the Literacy Society in Kiev, the "Workers' House" in Kharkov, and others.

The main function of the people's house was considered to be the satisfaction of the spiritual needs of workers and the organization of leisure. In this regard, the report of the commission for the construction of the people's house in Kiev said that "Kiev, as a large center with thousands of workers and artisans, does not have suitable institutions to meet the spiritual needs of this population." The central element of the building was a hall designed for meetings, lectures and performances, equipped with a small stage. In addition, the premises included a library, a reading room, a bookstore, a museum, halls for choir classes, and science classrooms. Some houses, especially temperance societies, also provided shelters, teahouses and canteens.

In Chelyabinsk, the People's House, which was its official name, was built in 1903 by the architect R. I. Karvovsky. He developed the project of the building completely free of charge, and the construction was carried out with donations from the townspeople.

Before the revolution, the People's House was the main cultural center of the city with the largest concert hall, a library-reading room and a tea house. All significant citywide events took place here. However, the People's House did not last long in such a cozy "format". During the Russian-Japanese war, it housed a military hospital, and at the end of hostilities, in 1910, it was decided to build the first kindergarten in Chelyabinsk and the Urals.

In the city of Kyshtym, Chelyabinsk region, at the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a need to organize healthy and sober leisure for workers and employees of the plant. Baroness Klavdia Vladimirovna Meller-Zakomelskaya suggested using a wooden chopped warehouse of fluxes located on the bank of the factory pond for organizing folk entertainment. The city's intelligentsia supported the proposal. The warehouse is being rebuilt. In 1903, the House of Folk Entertainment was opened, with an auditorium for 80 seats, with rooms for the work of circles. The library, the choir of teachers and doctors are transferred here. The folk theater begins its work. A string orchestra of workers and employees of the iron foundry is being created in the new location.

In the House of Folk Entertainment, evenings were organized, and artists from other cities were received. In 1911 the wooden House burned down. The new People's House was built in 1913.

The Society of Folk Entertainment was a subdivision of the Joint Stock Company of the Kyshtym Mining Plants and was financed at its expense. The charter was adopted, approved by the Perm governor. The Society for the Device of Folk Entertainment "… was intended to facilitate the delivery of moral, sober and inexpensive entertainment to the employees and workers of local factories and the rest of the population."

The subjects of the society's activities were: the organization of folk festivals, readings of concerts and dance evenings.

The Lukyanovka People's House was founded in 1897 by the Southwest Branch of the Sobriety Society and was initially housed in a small wooden building.

In 1900-1902, a separate building was built for the People's House according to the project of the architect M. G. Artynov.

On December 12, 1900, there was a solemn consecration of the building of the People's House, named "The institution for folk entertainments of Emperor Nicholas II". It was the largest People's House, in which from December 1913 to January 1914 the 1st All-Russian Congress on Public Education was held in St. Petersburg, where teachers from all the depths of the Russian Empire gathered to discuss the current problems of public education and the adopted plan universal compulsory education.

In 1911, a decision was made to build the People's House in Vladikavkaz.

The famous Vladikavkaz architect Ivan Vasilyevich Ryabikin took on the project of the People's House, which was to be built on the banks of the Terek.

A postcard was issued advertising the construction of the People's House and coupons, from the sale of which it was supposed to collect the necessary amount for the construction.

But the First World War, then the revolution broke all plans. The house was not built.

On September 1, 1902, the foundation stone of the Pushkin People's House was solemnly laid in Vladivostok. Construction began in the Zharikovsky ravine, only 5 thousand rubles were allocated for it.

This money, of course, was not enough, and residents of the city came to the rescue: funds for the construction of the house were transferred from charity performances and evenings, artisans, sailors, officers, merchants, merchants donated to a good cause. For example, in 1903 sailors and artisans contributed 171 rubles; each gave as much as he could - 1, 3, 5 rubles.

The foundation stone of the building according to the project of engineer P. A. Mikulin took place in September 1902, and in 1905 the people's house had already begun to work, however, it was not completed - it was all the fault of the Russian-Japanese war. Only two years later, the interior work was completed, although it was not possible to find funds for the exterior decoration.

The People's House, designed in 1897 by F. O. Shekhtel, was planned for construction in Moscow, on the Devichye Pole.

The project of the People's House, drawn up in 1897 at the request of A. P. Chekhov, envisaged the construction of an elliptical building in the plan, which included a theater, library, reading room, classrooms, lecture halls, shops and teahouses. The facade of the house was designed by Shekhtel in forms that in general terms recreated the samples of Yaroslavl-Rostov architecture of the second half of the 17th century.

On April 20, 1903, the Ligovsky people's house of Countess S. V. Panina was opened in St. Petersburg

It houses classrooms, an observatory, legal advice, a savings bank. Since the fall of 1903, the Public Theater of P. P. Gaideburov and N. F. Skarskaya has performed here.

The main building of the People's House on Tambovskaya Street was opened in 1903. It housed a theater hall, a reading room, classrooms for classes, a free canteen, a tea room for the poor and a cheap one for those who are able to pay 5–10 kopecks for lunch. In the basement, workshops were set up: locksmiths for boys, and for girls - for teaching sewing and bookbinding. The tower housed an observatory.

In the House of Countess Panina, labor, moral and spiritual education was the main one. In special classes, adults could receive primary education. If desired, they then graduated from the second-level courses and, having successfully passed the exams, acquired a diploma of a people's teacher.

There were classes for children, in which, simultaneously with their studies, the children mastered the initial skills of some professions. People from poor working families were provided with food and clothing.

The public observatory, which accommodated twenty-five people, was especially popular in the People's House. Everything that could be seen was recorded in a special book. The observatory observed Jupiter, Venus, mountains on the lunar surface. One of the employees wrote: "It was noticed that the persons who visited the observatory once, looked there the second and third times."

The structure of the Ligovsky People's House included departments performing recreational, educational and social security functions (department of healthy entertainment, out-of-school education, charity), whose activities were of a non-commercial nature; library-reading room, cheap dining room or tea room. Sometimes, book sales points and a book warehouse were opened at the libraries.

The material base was as follows: a theater hall, a foyer, a reading room-library for 200 people and a tea-dining room for 200 people, offering, in addition to cheap food and tea, a gramophone, magazines, newspapers, checkers; art gallery, warehouse and sale of books for the people.

On July 29, 1903, at a meeting of the Ufa City Duma, the mayor proposed for discussion a report on the allocation of space for the construction of the People's House (without any connection with the name of Aksakov). Three options were proposed: on Nikolaevskaya (Sennaya) Square (the area of the current Chernyshevsky and Gafuri streets), Troitskaya (at the current Friendship Monument) or behind the John the Baptist Church (now there is I. Yakutov's park). On October 28, 1903, the city council decided to allocate Nikolskaya Square (the area of the tram ring on Pushkin Street) for the construction of the people's house. But another 5 years passed before the city authorities returned to this issue.

On November 30, 1908, in the hall of the Nobility Assembly (now the Academy of Arts), a meeting was held with the participation of all segments of the population, which made a decision (it was unanimous!): To build the Aksakov people's house in Ufa with voluntary donations. And again this would have remained a good wish if on December 1, 1908, Governor Alexander Stepanovich Klyucharev had not said his word at the next provincial meeting in support of the proposal to perpetuate the memory of the writer Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov, a native of the Ufa province, "by building a people's house named after him in Ufa" …

The development of a new solution was entrusted to "local forces". As a result, the project of the provincial engineer Pavel Pavlovich Rudavsky was adopted, drawn up according to the drawings of the chairman of the governor's committee A. S. Klyucharev. For the construction of the Aksakovsky house, the best in the city was "requested" from the Ufa city public administration. The solemn consecration of this place took place on April 30, 1909 - on the day of the fiftieth anniversary of the writer's death. The foundation stone of the People's House was solemnly accomplished on September 14, 1909.

Vesyegonsk branch of the society of popular sobriety opened in 1903-1904. one of the first people's house in the province, where they showed "live pictures", put on plays and read newspapers. The hall housed up to 350 Viennese chairs and 150 in the gallery. The building was built by "Morotsk" carpenters, who were considered good craftsmen.

The initiator of the construction of this center of culture was the Voronezh district committee of guardianship of people's sobriety. A good deed was also supported by the corresponding provincial committee. The governor personally applied for the allocation of a free plot. The City Duma was a little overtaken, but agreed to the allotment of land - 700 square fathoms at the end of Stary Beg, opposite the Zemsky Hospital. The project was entrusted to prepare the city architect A. M. Baranov, and the direct work is carried out by the contractor P. Moiseev. The construction was supervised by a senior technician of the Excise Department, engineer N. A. Kukharsky.

The foundation was laid in the summer of 1903, and on October 22, 1904, the People's House was solemnly opened. Three-story, it seemed squat due to the side wings, descending to the ground in ledges. In fact, the building was quite roomy. The auditorium was intended for concerts and theatrical performances, and the endless classrooms - for various sections of the Society of People's Universities, which was soon formed. His listeners were ordinary people who were drawn to knowledge. The Extracurricular Education Section (its permanent secretary is the writer V. I. Dmitrieva) organized a series of popular lectures on art issues with the invitation of prominent specialists from the capitals.

The People's House in Kaluga was built in 1911 with voluntary donations for the 100th anniversary of the Patriotic War of 1812.

In Kostroma, the People's House was built in 1902-1903. at the expense of the Kostroma guardianship of people's sobriety. The building was constructed according to the project of the civil engineer I. V. Bryukhanov, who was in charge of the construction. It was intended to accommodate a hall for performances, lectures and meetings for 560 people, a library-reading room, a tea room and a canteen. In 1902, next to the building under construction, in the depths of the quarter, an empty place was acquired, on which in subsequent years a garden was laid out “for summer festivities and entertainment”.

The People's House in Kostroma began its activity in 1904. Sunday school classes, folk readings were held here, performances were staged by the troupe of the Kostroma theater.

People's houses were built all over Russia. St. Petersburg and Moscow, Kharkov and Tiflis, Kiev and Vologda, Tomsk and Chisinau, Samara and Maykop. People's houses help build government bodies and zemstvos, noble societies and entrepreneurs, public organizations. Beyond big cities, small towns and villages are involved in the process. By 1917, in only one, for example, the remote Severo-Dvinsk province, there were 98 people's houses. In the Yarensky district, for example, which was part of the province, there were 19 people's houses with a staff of 15 people, in Solvychegodsky - 18 with a staff of 18 people.

It should be noted that the state authorities acted as guarantors of the formation of people's houses: either they had the initiative to build a house and search for partners and patrons for this (for example, the Pskov people's house was arranged by the city administration), or they morally and materially supported the initiative already shown (for example, The Nizhny Novgorod City Duma decided on October 19, 1905 "to accept the maintenance of the people's house in Nizhny Novgorod at the expense of the city"), or they acted as an intermediary in the search for possible owners of the houses. For example, the Tomsk City Duma leased a people's house built with private funds to the local union of the Russian people.

The state declared its obligation to provide material protection for the people's houses and monitored the adequacy of the content of their work to the requirements that were put forward when they were financed. At the same time, charitable actions of individuals and public organizations played a huge role in the creation and operation of people's houses. So, in St. Petersburg, the already mentioned Ligovsky people's house was opened. Public organizations also acted as patrons: guardianship of people's sobriety, of folk tea houses, a society of folk entertainment, literacy and others.

The idea of the people's house was attractive because the foundation of its creation was:


stake on private initiative;

general availability;


encouragement and support of any creative manifestations, initiatives of the population, organizations and enterprises;

promoting the upbringing of children through vigorous activity;

focus on groups of special attention (socially unprotected and "stressed" categories of the population).

We have given only a small part of what was built throughout the country for the people. Generally available for almost all segments of the population!

In the society of that time, charity was very popular. The scale of activity of all charitable societies, ordinary citizens, practically all segments of the population is striking in its size.