(Regarding the preservation of the historical S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport) Rimvydas Palys, architect , 2007 11 05

Rimvydas Palys

In brief: The architect R. Palys expresses his concern about processes taking in Kaunas during the latter years – public spaces are thoughtlessly destroyed and used for construction for pragmatic purposes. They are taken away from the society, and the image of Kaunas as an attractive city is being degraded.


Žalgiris stadium (presently - the shopping centre Molas), the biggest part of P.Vileišis square have already been destroyed, part of the Unity square has been turned into a parking lot. Persistent wishes are expressed to intrude with constructions into the territories of the Zoology Garden and Oak Forest.


The recent plans to use part of the historical S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport for construction seem dangerous. Technopolis has been planned from the southern side already. A territory with a sports complex, two covered halls and other buildings for sports (about 70 ha) are planned in the northern side, and only the present runway will be left. Statements that the runway is sufficient for the operation of the airport are very cynical and incompetent, according to the author.


The architect reminds that Kaunas has been the cradle of Lithuanian aviation. The Lithuanian air force was born and developed here. The northern part was the centre of civil aviation, and the international passenger station operated here – aircrafts of Derulufto shuttled by the route Berlin – Kaunas – Moscow. The Lithuanian nation waited for the returning winners of the Atlantic Ocean, pilots S.Darius and S.Girėnas here.


It is not in vain that this airport has been announced a cultural monument protected by the state, and its territory may not be divided according to laws. As life is improving, aviation is coming closer to people. Small aviation of business class could be developed here, aviation festivals and jamborees of historical aircrafts could take place in the airport.


Business wishes to achieve greater profits should not be based on the account of destroying cultural values. Thus, the author believes that the division of the historical S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport and its destruction by the change of function would be an irreparable mistake.

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