Hotel Moskva (Moscow)

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Coordinates: 55°45′25″N 37°37′00″E / 55.75694°N 37.61667°E / 55.75694; 37.61667

View of the eastern facade of the old Hotel Moskva from Manezhnaya Square (Manege Square).

The Hotel Moskva name has been used for two identical buildings on the same location on Manezhnaya Square in the Tverskoy District, central Moscow, Russia. It is located near Red Square, and in close proximity to the old City Hall.

The first Hotel Moskva was originally constructed from 1932 until 1938, it opened as a hotel in December 1935. Designed by Alexey Shchusev, it was built to be one of Moscow's finest hotels and was lavishly detailed with works of art and mosaics by some of the finest artists of the Soviet Union. The old hotel was demolished in 2004 for a modern reproduction with underground parking and other features which were not available in the 1930s. It was completed in 2012.

The lobby of the original hotel contained an entrance to the Moscow Metro Okhotny Ryad station.

Old building[edit]

The original hotel was notable for its use of two different designs for the wings off the central structure. The most popular (possibly apocryphal) explanation is that Shchusev submitted to Stalin a single drawing of the façade, with one half showing one design, and the other half a different designs for the wings of the building. However, Stalin put his signature exactly in the middle of the drawing, likely not observing the two choices. Afraid of informing Stalin that he had failed to select a design, the decision was made to simply constructed one wing of each on either side of the building. One included large windows and a more ornate façade, while the other maintained smaller windows and the simpler details of the rest of the hotel's façade.[1]

The label of Stolichnaya vodka features a line drawing of the old hotel.[2]

New building[edit]

Section of the new Hotel Moskva (on left).

A contemporary replica of the original building is currently being completed. It contains a hotel, shopping center, offices, and apartments. The new building follows Shchusev's exterior plans as accurately as possible. The shopping center and offices opened in 2012.[3] The hotel portion will open in 2014 as the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow,[4] along with the apartments portion.[5]

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