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Vul. Melnyka, 18 – Ukraina Sport Complex

ID: 1964

The Ukraina (formerly Spartak) Sport Complex is comprised of a team sport venues and outdoor tennis courts. The courts were laid in between 1925-1927. The design of this “Sports Arena” reflects the combined efforts of architects Myroslav Tratch, Mykola Habrel, and Oleksandr Kazantsev.

History

What currently constitutes the Ukraina Sports Complex was begun with the laying in of four clay tennis courts.  Construction work started in 1925 and finished in July 1927. The official opening was held on July 3 of that year. The tennis courts were part of the Pogon sport club and their construction was initiated chiefly by club owner Duke Volodymyr Didushytzky and club adviser Kazimir Bistzhonovski. In winter the courts were used as a skating rink and the grounds for ice hockey (Księga, 160, 181, 191-192; Bryl, 216).  Between 1929-1930 an open air stadium was built to host volleyball and basketball matches (Księga, 216). The stadium was adjacent to Shymonovychiv Street (currently Melnyk) and separated from it by a fence and entrance gate. The stadium had a clay surface and was surrounded by a grandstand accommodating 1,500.  
The Pogon Sports Complex also had a two-storey administrative building located right of the main entrance, next to a small grass playground and 100m race track.  The tennis courts were laid north to south with a solid-block audience stand for 200 spectators set to the east.  Following the completion of the stadium, in winter hockey and skating were moved to the refitted stadium grounds.  The venue hosted regional as well as international competitions.  Among prominent sportsmen who appeared here were hockey players from World and European Cups, Olympic Games, and members of the Polish National Team including Wacław Kuchar, Jan Hemmerling, Albert Mauer, Roman Sabinski, Carlo Weissberg (Księga, 304). The courts hosted games with Lviv champions including Władysław Kurman, Lubomyr Chaikovsky, Mechyslav and Wacław Kuchar, Albert Mauer, Josyp Herda, and 1940 USSR Champion and prominent coach, Fedir Kutsenko.  Between 1960-70 the courts hosted matches for noted players like Toomas Leius, Alexander Metreveli, Teimuraz Kakulia, Vadym Boisov, Galina Baksheeva and later Lviv professionals like Serhiy Gruzman, Oleksandr Zaluzhny, Ihor Pylypchuk and Wimbledon Champion Larysa Savchenko (Kordiyak, 27).  
 In 1945 the Pogon Sport Complex was placed under the management of the Spartak Sport Society, and again in 1987, under the stewardship of the Ukraina Society.  
In 1985 the administration building was torn down and a Sports Arena was erected on the stadium grounds. The project drawn up by M. Tratch, M. Habrel, and O. Kazantsev was completed in 1986 (Vujtzyk, Lypka, 166; Tregubova, 244-245; Lviv, 1999,229-230; Lwow, 201, 131). At the same time the tennis courts were refurbished, the grandstand removed, and the grounds were re-oriented on an east-west line. 
The stadium continues to host tournaments and championships. In winter, the arena is used for tennis. In addition to tennis competitions, the venue hosts Euro Cup fights, Ukrainian Boxing Championships, World powerlifting competitions, and international acrobatic gymnastics tournaments.  The venue has hosted boxing matches featuring Barcelona and Sydney Olympic medalists Rostyslav Zaklychny and Andriy Kotelnyk; weightlifting competitions with world champion Ivan Freidu; and table tennis tournaments with Vanda Latynska and Volodymyr Samsonov. Today the spacious Palace is also used to hold various international and regional industry expos.

Architecture

The Ukraina arena is set among residential buildings, and is made primarily of steel and reinforced concrete.  The main structure has a rectangular main gym with steel truss roof that spans 48 meters.  Service structures have been attached to the main building on three sides which are finished in natural stone and textured stucco.  The vestibule is finished in ceramic tile panels depicting athletic themes (M. Hladkyi, A. Kapysh).  Open tennis courts are located behind the gymnasium.  The central façade of the building echoes the rounded arch style of the main hall and done entirely in glass.

Personalities

Myroslav Tratch – architect
Mykola Habrel – architect
Oleksandr Kazantsev – architect
M. Hladkyi – sculptor
A. Kapysh – sculptor
Wacław Kuchar – hockey and tennis athlete, 1920s–1930s
Albert Mauer – hockey and tennis athlete, 1920s–1930s
Josyp Herda – tennis player, 1930s–1940s
Fedir Kulechko – tennis player, 1930s–1940s, noted Ukrainian coach

Sources

  1. J. Bryl, Wacław Kuchar, (Warszawa: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1982), 216.
  2. Księga pamiątkowa 35-lecia lwowskiego sportowego klubu "Pogoń" (Lwów, 1939), 160, 181, 191-192, 304.
  3. Lwów. Turystyczny przewodnik, (Lwów: Wydawnictwo "Centrum Europy"; Kraków: Wydawnictwo "Via Nowa", 2001), 131.
  4. В. С. Вуйцик, Р. М. Липка, Зустріч зі Львовом, (Львів: Каменяр, 1987), 166.
  5. Львів. Туристичний путівник (Львів: Видавництво "Центр Європи", 1999), 229-230.
  6. Т. О. Трегубова, Львів. Архітектурно-історичний нарис, (Київ: Будівельник, 1989), 244-245.
  7. Ю. Кордіяк, Чемпіони живуть у Львові. Нариси, статті, (Львів: Каменяр, 1980), 27.

Material compiled by Khrystyna Kharchuk and Bohdan Mykhailyunio
Edited by Ihor Zhuk