Hotel Moskva (Moscow)
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (June 2011)|
The Hotel Moskva name has been used for two identical buildings on the same spot in Moscow, Russia located near Red Square 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 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 two different designs for the wings of the building, with the intention that Stalin would select one of the designs when he authorised the plans. However, he simply signed off the blueprints, likely failing to take note of the two choices. This confused the builders, and afraid to make the bold move of informing Stalin that he had failed to select a design, they simply constructed one wing of each on either side of the building. One design included large windows and a more ornate facade, while the other maintained smaller windows and the simpler details of the rest of the hotel's facade.
A modern 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. The hotel portion will open in 2014 as the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, along with the apartments.