Wolfe is making an indispensable work of retrieval of documents related to Soviet early architectural experimenters. Look in particular his pages on Leonidov, on Leonid Sabsovich’s Urbanism, and the Socialist City (1929-1931), on the Okhitovic’s Disurbanism (which we also wrote of, here at Socks), Aleksandr Vesnin.
Also of interest: an excerpt about Leonidov’s project of the “Palace of Culture” from the pages of Sovremennaia arkhitektura, 1930 (no. 5, pgs. 2-3) we have also borrowed from Wolfe’s blog.
“In publishing projects for the Palace of Culture to be built on the Simonov Monastery site as discussion material, the editors of SA observe that not one of them provided a generally and entirely satisfactory solution to the problem. The arguments which have developed around these projects in the press, higher education establishments, and in public debates have mainly emphasized the design submitted by I. Leonidov, and as a result have come to assume the character of an undisguised persecution and baiting of the latter.
The editors of SA are perfectly well aware of the shortcomings of certain of I. Leonidov’s projects: ignoring the economic situation today at the same time as indulging in certain elements of aestheticism. All these features are undoubtedly a minus in Leonidov’s work.
But the critics of Leonidov’s work totally fail to see what from our standpoint is a great plus in it, which for all these shortcomings makes it in certain respects better and more valuable than the work of his competitors.
…The editors of SA, whilst recognizing that some of the accusations made against him are correct (abstractness, schematicism, etc.) consider that despite this the works of Leonidov are highly valuable as material of an investigative and experimental character, and they most forcefully protest against the groundless persecution of him.
the Editors of Modern Architecture”