Architecture: Deserted history

Marina Chernovol - October 25, 2016

There are plenty of historical buildings in the Kyiv center and on the Podil. However, most of them are in the miserable state. ‘If these are the property of the Ukrainian state, how come the state cannot restore them?!’ — you might suggest.

Unfortunately, it depends. Many of those buildings called ‘historical monuments’ belong not to the state, but to the rich private owners who nevertheless are never going to restore them as the latter is expensive and unprofitable. Much cheaper way is to switch off the electricity, the central heating and to destroy the building in a couple of years because of the ‘disrepair’. After that, when extremely expensive space in the center of Kyiv is free, a new business-center will appear there soon, sometimes matching the city exterior, sometimes not.

Taras Spivak has created a walking route which unites those historical buildings that ‘by purpose or foolishly are brought to their miserable conditions’.