Kronverksky Prospekt 49

The University’s present-day main building on Kronverksky Prospekt 49 didn’t start out as such. Built in the 1910s in the classical style under the name 2nd House of City Institutions, its purpose was to provide new space for all sorts of public offices: from stores and a chamber of commerce to a small claims court and an auction hall.

An early postcard depicting the building on Kronverksy Pr. 49
An early postcard depicting the building on Kronverksy Pr. 49

After the Russian Revolution, it housed an employment office. It was only in 1956 that the building became the home of the then-LITMO (Leningrad Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics).

Kronverksky Prospekt 49 in its days as a labor exchange, 1918
Kronverksky Prospekt 49 in its days as a labor exchange, 1918

Kronverksky Prospekt 49 circa 1928-1932
Kronverksky Prospekt 49 circa 1928-1932

Next door to Kronverksky 49 is the Sytniy Market. Founded in 1711, it is the city’s oldest market – and remains a common shopping destination for locals to this day.

Sytniy Market in 1918
Sytniy Market in 1918

In 1970, a new building on Sablinskaya Street 14 was constructed, completing the present-day look of ITMO’s main building.

The new building under construction, late 1960s
The new building under construction, late 1960s

At the new entrance, 1972
At the new entrance, 1972

The complete building in 1976
The complete building in 1976

Atop the building is a very special comms dish. In 1994, LITMO helped establish RUNNet (Russian University Network), a nationwide network that connects over 400 universities and research centers even today.

LITMO students near the main entrance, circa 1980-1985
LITMO students near the main entrance, circa 1980-1985

Today, Kronverksky 49 is home to ITMO University’s School of Computer Technologies and Control, Faculty of Photonics and Optical Information, Information Technologies and Programming Faculty, as well as many administrative departments.

Lomonosova Street 9

Although it is now an integral part of the university’s campus, the building complex on Lomonosova Street 9 is, in fact, a fairly recent addition to ITMO’s roster – the result of its 2015 merger with the University of Refrigeration and Food Processing Technologies.

The Imperial Commercial College circa 1900-1903
The Imperial Commercial College circa 1900-1903

The site itself, however, is deeply rooted in learning – as it’s been home to educational institutions for over two centuries. The Imperial Commercial College, established in the time of Catherine the Great, moved here in 1801.

Lithograph depicting a special service in commemoration of the Imperial Commercial College’s 100-year anniversary in 1872
Lithograph depicting a special service in commemoration of the Imperial Commercial College’s 100-year anniversary in 1872

In 1871, a new building, complete with its own church, was built. It closed down in 1919 and later became part of the University of Refrigeration; today, it is known to any ITMO student or employee as the home of the university’s International Office.

Interiors of the Imperial Commercial College’s church; date unknown
Interiors of the Imperial Commercial College’s church; date unknown

The nearby main building, a 70s addition to the neighborhood, stands on the site of the Imperial Commercial College’s garden; in 1941, during the Siege of Leningrad, newly-enlisted irregular troops came here for rifle training.

The building on Lomonosova St. 9 as it appeared in 1980
The building on Lomonosova St. 9 as it appeared in 1980

Today, the building complex on Lomonosova St. 9 is home to ITMO University’s School of Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems, Faculty of Secure Information Technologies, the Institute of International Development and Partnership, the Student Services Office, and the KronBars student sports club.

Grivtsova Lane 14-16

A rare photo of the building on Grivtsova Ln. 14 in the 1920’s, before the addition of a fourth story
A rare photo of the building on Grivtsova Ln. 14 in the 1920’s, before the addition of a fourth story

Built in the 18th century for Russia’s first-ever bank, the building at Grivtsova Lane 14 can rightfully be considered the birthplace of ITMO as an institution. Indeed, it was here that the Petrograd College for Fine Mechanics and Optics moved in 1920 after splitting off from the Prince Nicholas Vocational School three years earlier.

The building on Grivtsova Ln. 14, displaying ITMO University’s old logo, in 2011
The building on Grivtsova Ln. 14, displaying ITMO University’s old logo, in 2011

Today, Grivtsova Lane 14-16 is home to the School of Photonics’ Faculty of Applied Optics and Faculty of Laser Photonics and Optoelectronics; read more about the School in our illustrated article.

Birzhevaya Liniya 14-16

Wine cellars on Birzhevaya Liniya 16
Wine cellars on Birzhevaya Liniya 16

Houses number 14 and 16 on the Birzhevaya Liniya got their start as part of the estate of Prince Alexander Menshikov in the 18th century. And it was here that in 1824 the merchant Pyotr Eliseyev, the founder of the Eliseyev dynasty (of the Eliseyev Emporium fame) began a wine-making business that became the foundation of his trade empire. In the 1860s, the Eliseyev brothers, Pyotr’s sons, came into ownership of the surrounding premises and moved their houses and offices here. At one point, it even housed a chocolate factory!

A study room at the Eliseyev Mansion, early 1900s
A study room at the Eliseyev Mansion, early 1900s

In the 1920s, the building was a residence for the staff of the nearby State Optical Institute (SOI). In 1932-1951, it was home to Sergey Vavilov, the renowned physicist, optical scientist, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and brother to famed geneticist Nikolai Vavilov.

Buildings on Birzhevaya Liniya 14 and 16 in 1948. Note the first story facade, which has remained nearly unchanged since the days of the Eliseyev wine cellars.
Buildings on Birzhevaya Liniya 14 and 16 in 1948. Note the first story facade, which has remained nearly unchanged since the days of the Eliseyev wine cellars.

Today, Birzhevaya Liniya 14-16 is home to ITMO University’s School of Translational Information Technologies, the Faculty of Physics and Engineering, the ITMO Technopark, and the upcoming Art.ITMO.Residency.

All photos courtesy of citywalls.ru and pastvu.com

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