JRL NEWSWATCH: “Stalin’s Soaring Moscow Towers Sorely Need Body Work” – New York Times/ Neil MacFarquhar

Moscow State University file photo

“… Most of [Moscow’s] so-called ‘Stalin high-rises’ – both residential and government buildings – desperately need renovating. … stuck in limbo … over who will foot the substantial bill. Since the residential apartments were privatized in the 1990s, the government considers the owners responsible. The residents, particularly … impoverished elderly who inherited apartments from … now deposed Soviet elite, believe … City Hall or the Kremlin should restore structures considered historical monuments. * * * The heavy stone cladding and crenelations of their fortresslike exteriors would fit right into Gotham City …. one almost expects the Batmobile to come roaring out …. In a city previously dominated by church bell towers, the buildings’ spectacular scale reshaped the skyline. … symbols of Moscow … [that] defined the modern face of the Soviet Union. …. * * * The KGB, which supervised construction of the Embankment and University buildings, used prison laborers ….”

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