Why Stalin’s skyscraper needed a new steeple

"The new, more durable apex was unveiled recently. The top of the building now looks alien to the whole structure as its color differs in tone from the main building."

"The new, more durable apex was unveiled recently. The top of the building now looks alien to the whole structure as its color differs in tone from the main building."

Mikhail Japaridze/TASS
The new renovated steeple on top of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs building was recently unveiled. The history of its prototype dates back to 1951, when Joseph Stalin ordered the erection of a steeple on top of the building which appeared too American for his taste. The hastily erected steeple was fragile but hung in there until 2017, when it was finally replaced with a new modern tower.

For almost a year the building where Russia’s foreign policy is rolled out has been under construction: Its old steeple has been dismantled and the top of the building covered in scaffolding.

For almost a year the building where Russia’s foreign policy is rolled out has been under construction: Its old steeple has been dismantled and the top of the building covered in scaffolding.

The original plan of the building was approved without a steeple

Surprisingly, the original plan of the building was approved without a steeple. Only later was the peak added to the looming Stalinist Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Legend has it that Joseph Stalin was not happy that the building he personally greenlighted resembles an American skyscraper.

With time the frail construction weakened considerably and was in bad need of renovation.

So to differentiate the superstructure, architects were forced to assemble a steeple out of light flimsy material because the original blueprints did not allow for a heavy summit. With time the frail construction weakened considerably and was in bad need of renovation.

The old steeple was taken down and cut in small pieces.

The old steeple was taken down and cut in small pieces which were then handed out to journalists of the MFA press corps.

The new, more durable apex was unveiled recently.

The new, more durable apex was unveiled recently. The top of the building now looks alien to the whole structure as its color differs in tone from the main building. Architects say, however, it was all blend in within one year.

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