Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England

The Pearl of the Black Sea: Architecture and Urban Planning of Odesa, Ukraine WITH VALENTIN PILIAVSKY


Wednesday, May 29th, 2024    
7:00 pm


Lexington Depot
Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington, MA

Event Type

Long referred to as the “Pearl of the South,” the Black Sea Ukrainian coast city of Odesa has a particular architectural style and aesthetic. Over two evenings, author, architect, and expert cultural historian Valentin Pilyavskiy will explore in-depth the architecture and urban planning of Odesa.

Beginning with Khadjibey-Odesa in the context of the Northern Black Sea Region’s history, we will explore the early years, ethnic communities and urban planning; the Age of Classicism: foreign and local architects, “exemplary” designs; Romanticism and Historicism of the mid-19th century; Architecture of Choice in 1870-1890s; the Industrial revolution and the city expansion at the beginning of the 20th century (Art Deco and Art Nouveau local interpretations); Odesa during the Great War, fall of the empire and following urban crisis; Search for the New Architecture (1920-1930s); WWII and reconstruction (1940-1950s); Expansion of the 1970s and early 1980s; the first decade of Ukrainian independence: privatization, corruption and construction boom; and a short summary and Odesa perspectives as seen from abroad.

By looking at the history of its development in the political, economic and cultural context of local, European and world history, we will better appreciate why Odesa’s historic center is Unesco-listed, what has been damaged over the last two years of war, and what is in jeopardy of being lost. Valentin Piliavasky is the author of Architects of Odesa and Buildings, Structures, Monuments of Odesa and their Architects.

Please note: This special event will take place on 5/29 and 6/5.