Take a note - the Tear of Socialism

26 June 2020

Saint Petersburg is famous not only for its pre-revolutionary architecture but also for buildings of the Soviet period. One of those unusual buildings - the House-Commune of Engineers and Writers on Rubinstein street, 7. In common parlance the house was called the "Tear of Socialism."

The House-Commune of Engineers and Writers is an avant-garde building of constructivism in Saint Petersburg. Its inhabitants quickly became known as "slezintsy" (it derives from the Russian word “sleza”, which means “tear”). The house was built on shares by a group of young engineers and writers in 1929-1931 by the architects A. A. Ol, K. A. Ivanov and A. I. Ladinsky "to fight against the "old way of life"". This fight against the “old way of life” consisted in arrangement of a common bathroom and kitchen. The house was designed for 200 people.

From the very beginning, a collective living inconvenienced the inhabitants. It was even noted by the poetess, member of Komsomol Olga Bergholz who lived here from 1932 to 1943on the fifth floor in the apartment № 30.

As a result, the "slezintsy" finally admitted that "the idea of the “phalanstery” on Rubinstein street, 7 failed". In the 1960s, the building was redesigned; each apartment was equipped with a separate kitchen and bathroom.

Despite this, the exterior of the building has remained the same. If you want to feel constructivism, you are welcome to admire the "Tear of Socialism" on Rubinstein street, 7.