The Building of Leather Tannery in Minsk
Architecture, Industrial buildings
The construction of the building of the leather tannery in Minsk took place in 1895. But originally the construction didn`t house the big tannery but only leather workshops belonging to five entrepreneurs: Rubin, Salmon, Goltberg and Den Impot. After the October Revolution the Bolsheviks came to power and seized the workshops and the building from the rightful owners. In the premises of the workshops a vocational tannery school and four state-run enterprises were established. There were few machines and no ventilation and electricity, a pit was built for effluent disposal in the yard, so the newly established manufacture couldn`t be regarded as a plant.
The situation improved only in ten years when a machinery hall, raw material base and chrome leather production were launched in the building in Oktyabrskaya Street in 1927. So the «Bolshevik» tannery came into existence and occupied the building in 19 Oktyabrskaya Street. In 1929 that plant was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. In 1933 M.I. Kalinin a prominent figure in the USSR visited the plant.
The «Bolshevik» plant was developing frenetically at that period. In the war years the production decreased rapidly and the members of the Resistance used to gather secretly in the plant`s premises as evidenced by a memorial plaque installed in the wall of the building. However already in 1944 the production was renewed in the full power again. In three dozen years there was a need to create two subsidiaries located in the villages of Smilovichi and Gatovo, in the end of 1988 the entire production was moved there from Minsk. In 1992 the «Bolshevik» was reorganized into public company Minsk Leather Production Association and produces leather for haberdashery, shoes and furniture now.
The main building of the leather tannery has the asymmetrical composition of the faсade. The central part is emphasized by the attic wall of stepped configuration. The wall is divided by fanlights with wide frames between. The body of the structure is united with a single-storey building of the entrance control post. The white coated decorative elements stand out against unplastered red brick. The administrative two-storeyed construction is adjacent to that area. Vertically glazed stairwell is attached to the main part of the building with the faсade strictly divided by the frames between window openings.
Today the building of the tannery is leased. It`s occupied by offices and cafes. Discussions are currently under way with local authorities for reconstruction of the building and its transformation into a three-star hotel. However apparently the project wouldn`t come true due to the tough restrictions of architectural and construction commission: the historical building up of Oktyabrskaya Street excludes the existence of high-rise buildings within its area.
The rich history and impressive architecture of the tannery building in Minsk attract a lot of tourists.
Annually many tourist groups visit the 19th century monument of the historical building up of the Belarusian capital.