House of the Soviet Army

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

House of the Soviet Army

 

(full name: M. V. Frunze Central House of the Soviet Army, TsDSA), a cultural and educational establishment of the armed forces of the USSR. Its purpose is to carry on political education and cultural-artistic work among servicemen and members of their families and among production and clerical workers of the Soviet Army. It was founded in 1925 by a decision of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and opened on Feb. 23, 1928, in Moscow.

The ensemble of buildings of the TsDA (the main building, the southern and northern wings, the fenced parade grounds, and the park with its pond) are a monument of early 19th-century architecture. From the end of the 18th century until 1917 the building housed the Ekaterina Institute for Women (St. Ekaterina’s School). The central part of the building was built in 1779. From 1802 to 1807 the central part was rebuilt by G. D. Gilardi and the wings were added to it. From 1818 to 1827 the building was expanded and the facade was redone under the direction of D. I. Gilardi and A. G. Grigor’ev. From 1918 to 1928 the building was restored according to S. A. Toropov’s plan, with the construction of a formal stairway.

The House of the Soviet Army functions under the direction of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy. It has lecture, concert, movie, and exhibition halls, methodology offices, classrooms, a library (more than 500,000 volumes), and a summer park with a walk-in theater. There are rooms for relaxation, rooms with table games, ballrooms, and a hotel.

The House of the Soviet Army has an evening university of Marxism-Leninism, a people’s university of culture, classes to prepare for military academies and classes in foreign languages, a military science society, a literary group, a chess club, and a stamp collectors’ club. Permanent links of the army and navy with figures in science, culture, and the arts are maintained through the House of the Soviet Army. Agitation-propaganda and cultural-artistic teams and exhibitions are formed there and sent to the troops. Army and navy cultural-educational institutions are given methodological assistance by the house and troop commanders and political agencies get help in organizing lectures, consultations, teaching-methods seminars, and theoretical and practical conferences. The House of the Soviet Army publishes a methods information bulletin, methodological aids, and other materials on cultural and educational work among the troops. On Feb. 22, 1968, the House of the Soviet Army was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

M. I. MIKHAILOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.