Railway Station

The year 1878 was marked by the completion and opening of the Ural
Railroad that connected Ekaterinburg and Perm. The euphoric mood and high
hopes for the future, which reigned in the local community, inspired architect
Pyotr Schreiber in his design of a lavishly decorated railway station building conceived in the pseudo-Russian style. “Hardly any of the Moscow, St. Petersburg or
Nizhny Novgorod railway stations can rival Mr. Gubonin’s creation with its grandstyle vaulted ceilings, fanciful columns, high ridges, and sturdy oak furniture,”
sharp-tongued Mamin-Sibiryak wrote, asking who was going to meet the deficits of the Ural Railroad. The above mentioned Mr. Gubonin, born into a family
of bonded peasants, highly successful in building his career, and informally known
as “the railway king,” was the general contractor for the construction project. He
did an excellent job, though it cost him five million of his personal money. A stunning example of taking personal money to cover additional expenses on the public project.
Another railway station building was built in the 1910s, to the east of the fanciful Schreiber building. Architect Konstantin Babykin designed it as a no-frills
functional building without decorative intricacies. Twenty-five years later, in 1939,
architects Vladimir Smirnov and Georgy Valenkov offered and completed a project
for renovation and expansion of the Babykin building. The facades were embellished with a colonnade and bas-reliefs. Elegant staircases led up to the platforms.
In 1961–1962, the main building received two additional buildings adjoining
it on its western and eastern sides. The overall architectural style was successfully retained.

Photo: ural-n.ru
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