Yerevan as captured by John Reps 55 years ago - Mediamax.am

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Yerevan as captured by John Reps 55 years ago


Photo: John Reps

John Reps
John Reps

Photo: William Staffeld/Cornell University

Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Moskovyan St
Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Moskovyan St

Photo: John Reps

Photo: John Reps

Inside the market building
Inside the market building

Photo: John Reps

Photo: John Reps

Photo: John Reps

Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Amiryan St
Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Amiryan St

Photo: John Reps

Young John Reps with his wife (on the left and in the middle)
Young John Reps with his wife (on the left and in the middle)

I came across these photos of Yerevan by accident, while looking for something completely unrelated.

Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Moskovyan St Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Moskovyan St

Photo: John Reps

The blog where I saw the pictures noted they were made by an American John Reps, who visited the Soviet Union in 1964.

 

Historian, urbanist John Reps wanted to study the Soviet experience in construction of new residential areas and planning of urban environment. His visit to the USSR stretched across Moscow, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Yerevan, and Baku.

Young John Reps with his wife (on the left and in the middle) Young John Reps with his wife (on the left and in the middle)

 

After a little more research online I found out that Mr Reps is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University. He is 98 years old now. 

John Reps John Reps

Photo: William Staffeld/Cornell University

Prof. Reps’ email address was indicated on the university’s website, so I decided to contact him and ask about the visit to USSR, which took place 55 years ago. I had certain reservations, doubting that a 98-year-old man would use email, but these doubts were dispersed.

 

I received the answer from Prof. Reps a few hours after sending the letter.

 

“I made that trip as part of a large group of delegates and observers at a UN meeting on New Towns. I was one of the several observers.  We met for several days in Moscow, then traveled by train to Petersburg, and finally to Yerevan and Baku.

Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Amiryan St Currently the junction between Mashtots Ave and Amiryan St

 

Yerevan was beautiful, I was attracted to the tuff stones of the buildings in the centre, and I thought the market building was stunning.  

Inside the market building Inside the market building

Photo: John Reps

One of the high points of the visit for me was the Armenian historical museum. This was all very long ago, I am now 98, but I can still recall the handsome building around the central square,” Prof. Reps told in the letter. 

Photo: John Reps

Fortunately, the 98-year-old professor does not know that only the facade remains from the stunning market building, and the rest of it is now a faceless three-storey trade center…

 

Read also 8 facts about Noah of Areni, the Decanter World Wine gold medal winner.

 

Ara Tadevosyan  

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