Former Moscow Hotel Building/Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

Nikolai Galkin/TASS
Moving from the Red Square towards Alexander Garden, you can take a look at the facades of the State Historical Museum and the equestrian statue of Marshal Georgy Zhukov – a Soviet military commander, four-time Hero of the Soviet Union who reviewed the Soviet troops during the Victory Parade in June 1945.

Next to the museum and the statue is the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow (formerly Hotel Moskva). Design of the Main Hotel of the Moscow City Council that was supposed to replace the old Grand-Hotel was chosen in the beginning of 1930s through a competition. The winners were architects Oswald Stapran and Leonid Savelyev who submitted designs for a colossal Constructivist building. But the monumental look of the building did not quite fit the nearby architectural setting and another architect, Alexey Shchusev, was invited to co-author the project. In the process of construction he added some Neoclassical decorations, including the eight-column six-storey-high portico with an open terrace and arcade balconies on the main facade. The building's main facade was asymmetrical.

When construction of the new hotel began, the builders decided not to demolish the Grand-Hotel, but to raise its walls to the planned level instead. But in the process the old walls gave way under pressure and the architects were forced to reinforce the whole structure by removing some of the decorations from one of the sides and building over the windows on the lower floors.

The Four Seasons Hotel Moscow is a completely new building reproduced using Alexey Shchusev's original blueprints. The lower-floor windows were left open as envisioned in the original design.