One of the most recognizable and iconic symbols of the Russian city of Tver is (or shall we say: was?) the River Terminal or River Station (Тверской речной вокзал). Located at the confluence of the Rivers Volga and Tvertsa, it was built in 1938 by architects EI Gavrilova, P. P. Raysky and engineer I. Tigranov, on the site of the destroyed Otroch monastery. It is, or it at least it was, a three-story building with a tower and spire, symmetrical wings with arches and balconies, built in the style of Stalinist neoclassicism . It is designed for simultaneous reception of 550 passengers. In the years 1969-1975, berths about 400 meters long have been constructed to accomodate passenger ships.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture above (picture from Russian Wikipedia, slightly edited), late on Monday, August 7, 2017, the building collapsed. After the first signs of the beginning of the collapse, the local police fenced the perimeter and therefore there has been no injury as a result of the collapse. At 23:45 the roof of the lower section and the southern wall of the semicircular section both collapsed. Cracks appeared on the bearing columns of the second floor. During the day of August 8, further partial collapse of the rotunda structure occurred: the outer walls of the upper hall and its overlap were destroyed.
Mikhail Smirnov, the head of the Main Directorate for State Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects of the Tver Region, said that at the moment the scenario of the restoration of the building, rather than its demolition, is a priority, but he also noted that the building is protected as a cultural heritage site and it can not therefore be subject to re-planning, which likely will discourage potential private investors, leaving the cost of the rebuild to the state.
I have lived in Tver for over a year. About 400 days. And I always liked the Terminal building, a lot. But looking at my picture archive, I realized that I only have one decent picture of the building, while it was still intact. And I realized that, sadly, I might never get another chance to take a picture of it. As a consequence of that, here comes my
Photo Tip! And this is likely the most important photo tip I ever wrote. Don’t wait to travel or to find the “perfect moment” to take a picture. I know first hand that it is an enormous temptation to postpone photographing the place where you live because “I can do it tomorrow. Today there are too many people, the sky isn’t blue enough or it is too blue” or about a million excuses like that. But, as I was harshly reminded yesterday, there is no guarantee that the building (or the street, or the square, or the park,…) you want to capture with your camera, with your style, with your vision, will still be there tomorrow. The Tver River Terminal stood for nearly 80 years. For the full last one of these years I could have gone and took a picture of it pretty much every day. And I never did. Except once. So, please, “do as I say, don’t do as I do”, or at least don’t do as I did (I really hope it is lesson learned for me, too, this time!) and go take picture of what you like or what interests you in the place where you live. Don’t wait, do it today!