How Moscow tried to build the tallest building in the world

On December 30, 1922, the First All-Union Congress of Soviets was held in Moscow. It was on it that the historic decision was made to create a new state - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In addition, Sergei Mironovich Kirov, who at that time held the post of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, made a grandiose proposal - to establish in the center of Moscow the Palace of Soviets, which would become the tallest building in the capital.

It is in this Palace, according to Kirov, that the greatest event should take place - the signing of an agreement on the entry into the USSR of the last socialist republic on the planet. The Bolsheviks were confident that in a few years, socialism would finally triumph throughout the world, and all countries would unite into a single state.

All that remained was to decide exactly where this building would be built and how it would look. The idea was taken seriously in 1931, when a competition for the best design of a new building was announced in the Izvestia newspaper. Soon they decided on the construction site: on December 5, 1931, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was blown up in Moscow. It was at this place that the construction of the symbol of world socialism was planned. The results of the competition were summed up in 1933, the project of the architect Boris Mikhailovich Iofan was recognized as the best. According to this project, the building was supposed to consist of several cylindrical tiers with a total height of 415 meters. And at the top of the building is a 100-meter statue of Lenin. Thus, the height of the Palace of the Soviets had to significantly exceed the American Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world at that time, which had a height of “only” 381 meters. It was assumed that the statue of Lenin would be visible from anywhere in Moscow.

At the same time, the statue should be mobile, it was planned that the leader's hand would constantly point to the sun, thus, in a day, the figure of Lenin would make a revolution of 360 degrees. Later, this idea was abandoned due to technical difficulties. However, given that about half of the days a year in Moscow are cloudy, Lenin's hand would be hidden in the clouds.

The Palace of Soviets was still only on paper, but great ideological significance was already attached to it, its images could be seen on campaign posters, stamps, badges and even in school textbooks. Newsreels were regularly shown in cinemas showing footage of the start of construction.

For this construction site of the century, a technique was specially developed with the help of which an almost fantastic project could be carried out. For the supporting structures, they even created a special grade of strong steel, called "DS" (Palace of the Soviets).

As conceived by the architects, the building could simultaneously accommodate more than 30 thousand people. The large meeting room alone was designed for 22 thousand. In addition, it was planned to house the Museum of the World Revolution, the world's largest library, the Marx and Engels Institute, and so on.

It is difficult to say whether the builders would have been able to successfully complete the work or not, but already at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, construction was stopped, and soon the dismantling of the structures began. Anti-tank hedgehogs and railway bridges were made of high quality metal.

After the war, construction was not resumed, and at the end of the fifties, in the pit of the supposed Palace of Soviets, it was decided to equip the world's largest outdoor pool "Moscow".

By the way, the pool also does not currently exist, it was closed in 1994, and a few years later the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was restored on this place.