Communal Living in Russia: Photos
Archive: Hallways: A column in the hallway
  Furniture and a column in a hallway. The building once belonged to an institution; people who worked there could get rooms in apartments in the building.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: February 2007

Where: The hallway of a large communal apartment on the outskirts of one of the central districts of St. Petersburg.

Who: One of the apartment's residents, a former military man, stands next to the door to his room.

What: Several decades ago this building functioned as employee housing; that is, apartments there were provided to officers and other staff members of one of Leningrad's military academies. Before that, it housed an officers' dormitory. This explains the unusual layout of the apartment, which has a large shared entryway or hallway with rooms opening out onto it. Two columns in the middle of the hall serve as decoration.

The building was constructed in the late 1930s. In all likelihood the first floor, where this apartment is, was later divided into several sections in order to make apartments.

Although these rooms were privatized a long time ago, the residents are still former or current employees of the academy or their relatives. They trust each other and are not afraid to leave their things out in the hallway or to keep a refrigerator with food in it out in the hall.

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