The building is credited with resembling the Woolworth building in Manhattan. The architectural appearance dates back to the English Gothic: its feature is the rigid ribs that emphasize the height of the building and the upward orientation. The building has a tiered structure with a gradual narrowing and lightening of the masses up. The ends of the tiers, unlike other high-rises, are flat-without towers or vases and decorated with merlons

The Central part of the building consists of 27 floors, its height is 172 meters. The plinth is faced with red granite, and the facade is decorated with light ceramic blocks. On the main facade, at a height of 114 meters, the coat of arms of the USSR is installed, which is mounted in reinforced concrete and covers an area of 144 m2. The portals of the building are decorated with metal lattices and stucco, made by the sculptor Georgy Motovilov. On the sides of the portals are large obelisks made of dark gray stone. the Central part of the high-rise building passes through the ledges of the tiers to the side 16-storey wings, and behind them — to the 6-storey ones. These buildings connect the building’s array with the surrounding residential development

According to the project, the Central part of the building was crowned with a rectangular tower. In 1951, the building was almost completed, as evidenced by the memorial inscription on the high-rise itself. a year Later, the spire was completed on the personal instructions of Joseph Stalin(according to other sources, the instruction to install the spire on the already finished building was given by Lavrenti Beria). Objecting to Mr Gelfreich it was said: “If You don’t do this, instructions will be given to another architect” Lightweight top of the building would not stand stone add-on, so I decided to install a decorative, assembled from ochre painted steel sheets, the total weight of the spire was 350 tons, height — 56 m Its fragility was the reason that the building of the Ministry of foreign Affairs is the only Stalinist high-rise, not crowned with five-pointed star. There is a legend according to which the architect Minkus after Stalin’s death wrote a letter to Nikita Khrushchev with a request to dismantle the spire, but was refused with the comment: “Let the spire remain a monument to Stalin’s stupidity»

Between 1972 and 2009, the spire was examined at least six times. Engineers noted its unsatisfactory condition due to corrosion of the skin and frame. Complete replacement of the skin, as well as partial platforms and fences were recommended in 1983, but repairs were never made. In 1984, one of the spire towers collapsed. in 2014, specialists of the Central research Institute of building structures named after Kucherenko studied the state of the structure. They revealed complete corrosion of some elements, and also found that the load-bearing capacity of the structure is less than 50 %. However, it was not possible to start repairs because of the peregrine Falcon’s nest in the spire

In September 2016, they started replacing the spire. in 2017, it was completely dismantled and sawn for Souvenirs. On September 15 of the same year, the construction of the new spire, which is a complete copy of the previous one, was completed. Its frame is made of black steel, and the lining is made of stainless steel, the external structure is covered with ceramic tiles. The weight of the new structure was 250 tons. at The same time, roof fragments were replaced in the building, technical rooms and ventilation chambers were repaired, pylons and high-rise cladding were restored, and new engineering networks were laid.


Author: Nadezda Pushkina

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