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A. B. Bogart
Geddes's rendering of the Ukrainian State Theatre
Gelatin silver print

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 203, Ukrainian State Theatre, 1930-1932

Summary: Concurrent with his work for the Architectural Commission of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, Bel Geddes entered a Soviet-era international competition to build a State Ukrainian Theatre at Kharkov.

Geddes submitted a plan incorporating three auditoriums: an indoor one seating 4,000; an open-air one seating 2,000; and one for mass meetings with a stage for 5,000 actors and 60,000 audience members.

A May 7, 1931 article in the New York Times reported that the editor of New York City’s oldest Russian daily, Novoye Russkoye Slovo, thought Geddes’s design for underground parking for 650 cars impractical, pointing out that, at the time, there were fewer than half a dozen cars in the city of Kharkov.

Three Americans—Alfred Kestner, Eric Engerder, and Carl Meyer—shared the first prize with German and Ukrainian competitors, each receiving 8,000 rubles. Geddes was awarded a second prize totaling $770.22 U.S., paid to him in 1932. Geddes maintained that many elements of his design were actually incorporated into the built theater.

Hunter Code: TH 38
Hunter Guide: page 195

(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
flat file b 1 Renderings --- Theatre lobby.
flat file b 2 Renderings --- Auditorium.
flat file e 1 Preliminary Sketches --- 20 Plans and elevations.
flat file e 2-13 Preliminary Sketches --- 19 Perspective sketches and elevation.
flat file f 1-14 Drawings --- 14 Plans and elevations.
flat file f 15-32 Drawings --- 18 Sketches plans and elevations.
flat file f 33, 35 Drawings --- 2 Perspective drawings.
flat file f 34 Drawings --- Site plan.
theater box 162 h 1 Photographs --- 4 Goldberg photos of model.
theater box 162 h 2 Photographs --- 6 Bogart photos of renderings.
theater box 162 h 3 Photographs --- Captions.
flat file h 4, 8 Photographs --- 2 Photos of model.
theater box 162 h 5 Photographs --- Record Copy Book.
negative box 54 h 6 Photographs --- 8 Negatives of model. [nitrate]
theater box 162 h 7 Photographs --- Presentation book photostats.
theater box 162 i 1 Publicity --- Clippings 1931, Horizons (1932) excerpt.
theater box 162 j 1 Correspondence 1931-1932.
theater box 162 j 2 Correspondence --- Competition Program excerpts.
theater box 162 j 3 Correspondence --- Project analysis (in Russian).
theater box 162 m 1 Competition Program 1930.
flat file n 1, 5 Photostats --- Prints of plans and elevations.
rolled storage n 2-4 Photostats --- Plans and elevations.
negative box 41 n 7 Photostats --- 1 Photostat.
theater box 162 p 1 Specifications --- Project description, work schedule.
flat file q 1 Drawings --- Photostat of site map.
flat file w 1 Drawings --- 2 Superceded sketches.
flat file x 1 Drawings --- Exhibit prints of plans and elevations.