Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The 8th Sister - Never Built
The Grand Palace of the Soviets was designed to be the largest, grandest, most Stalinist building the whole world. The plans began in the '20s and depicted a building larger than the Empire State Building. As if that wasn't enough, the contest-winning architect added a giant statue of Lenin on top, since the peasants had been going cray over monuments since his death (I guess having him displayed like Sleeping Beauty wasn't enough?). This wasn't just any giant statue though. It was to be nearly twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. So the Empire State Building + Giant Statue of Lenin = World's Tallest and arguably most ridiculously Soviet building eva.
Stalin intended for this building to be the grand poobah of the 7 existing sister buildings in Moscow. All of these buildings were built with the large and in-charge Stalinist architecture and could be seen from virtually any point in the city. Even though this building was to be so large you would be able to see it from Vladivostok, Stalin decided he needed to blow up a 70 year old church in prime real estate.
Construction on just the foundation took two years, three people died constructing a plastic model, and then construction halted due to the advancement of Nazi troops. The USSR needed all the building materials from this project to repair train tracks, build war machinery and reinforce war ships. After the war, the area was left unattended and went to seed. Then, Khrushchev decided this space had to be at least the biggest something, so he made it the world's largest public swimming pool. After the collapse, a replica of the former church was built and still stands today.
The reconstructed church