Project: History and architecture of GES-2
The construction of the House on the Embankment meant GES-2 and its environs were effectively shielded from view. Despite its location in the very centre of the city, the area around the power station gradually turned into an industrial wasteland. Until the Patriarshy Bridge was opened in 2004, getting to the power station necessitated circling past sheds, fuming pipes, and outbuildings with obscure purposes.
Excluding the workers at GES-2 and the confectioners at the neighbouring “Red October” factory, few Muscovites knew what went on on the island. This said, some intrepid film directors did make it here: in search of a location that would suitably depict post-war Moscow for his television series The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979), Stanislav Govorukhin wandered onto Bolotny Island. As a result, the power station can be seen in the finale of the fifth episode of the show—when the detective Vladimir Sharapov, having got out of the basement and away from the gang, travels to the maternity hospital and back.
GES-2’s second five minutes of fame would occur in 1991: Eldar Ryazanov’s Promised Heaven (1991) sees the power station serve as the backdrop for the scene in which Olga Volkova’s hungry heroine tries to steal a roll from an experienced beggar, played by Liya Akhedzhakova.