The Moscow Metro station of Krasnye Vorota actually has two entrances. The most famous one, and the one you see pictured above, is the South entrance, a subterranean vestibule with mezzanine stairwells and a distinctive shell-like pavilion designed by Nikolai Ladovsky, that stands on the south side of the Garden Ring (with an open Red Gates – Krasnye Vorota – plaza in front of it), on the intersection of Myasnitsky drive, Boyarsky side-street and Khoromny lane. This entrance was built in 1934-1935 and today the structure remains practically intact, also thanks to the fact that it has been recognized as a regional monument.
Work began on Krasnye Vorota station in the spring of 1932 and proceeded smoothly despite fears that the untested three-arch design would collapse under the weight of the soil. It was one of Moscow’s first four deep-level stations, and one of the first two to employ a three-arched design with three parallel, circular tunnels. In this type of station, the outer tubes (which house the tracks and platforms) are separated from the larger central hall by heavy pylons. This design was planned to be used for the first time on the four central-city stations on the first Metro line, Krasnye Vorota, Chistye Prudy, Lubyanka, and Okhotnyi Ryad. However, due to construction difficulties a simpler two-arched design was implemented at Lubyanka or Chistye Prudy.
The station opened without a delay on 15 May 1935 and a model of it was exhibited at the 1938 World’s Fair in Paris, where it was awarded a Grand Prix.
In 1952 the first turnstile in the Moscow Metro system was installed at this station. Between 1962 and 1986 the station was renamed Lermontovskaya in honour of the Russian author Mikhail Lermontov. There is still a bust of Lermontov at the end of the platform.
The second entrance was built into the ground floor of the Red Gate skyscraper (which was the seat of The Ministry of Construction of Heavy Industry of the USSR), designed by architect Alexey Dushkin and opened on 31 July 1954, the architecture carries resemblance of the more flamboyant Stalinist style.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, here’s a list of the other Moscow Metro stations I’ve already talked about (and shown pictures of!) here on the blog:
- Komsomolskaya and introduction to the Moscow metro system
If you are planning to visit Moscow and you’d like a tour of the best metro stations (above and below ground), accompanied by a photographer and a Russian native speaker (myself and my wife), do get in touch and we’ll make this plan come to life!
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