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Thread: Stalin Skyscraper Will Morph Into a Hilton

  1. #1

    Default Stalin Skyscraper Will Morph Into a Hilton

    Business http://www.themoscowtimes.com/storie...09/29/043.html

    Friday, September 29, 2006. Page 5.

    Stalin Skyscraper Will Morph Into a Hilton
    By Dan Shea
    Staff Writer


    Vladimir Filonov / MT
    A view of the 28-story Leningradskaya Hotel at 21/40 Ulitsa Kalanchevskaya.
    Hilton will open its first Russian hotel in a renovated Stalin skyscraper in July.
    Mike Collini, Hilton International's vice president of development for Northern Europe, said Thursday that the hotelier would franchise its name to management firm Interstate, which will operate the 275-room, four-star hotel in what is now the Leningradskaya Hotel, one of Moscow's seven Stalin skyscrapers.
    "We're delighted to be opening our first hotel in such a landmark property," Collini said.


    Built in 1954, the Gothic-style, 28-story Leningradskaya closed for renovation last November as the hotel's owner, Sadko Hotel, sought an international brand to take over operations.
    Hilton signed the agreement with Sadko and Interstate to franchise its name Wednesday, Collini said. Sadko is the country's largest hotel owner and controls all three of Moscow's Marriott hotels, which are also managed by Interstate. Restoration of the Leningradskaya is expected to cost $50 million.


    Hilton is the last international heavyweight to enter Russia, and it is all but certain to find success in a city with a severe shortage of hotel rooms. "The interiors of the hotel are practically exotic," said Marina Usenko, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Moscow. "There's a certain spirit there. It's almost urban chic." She noted that Hilton's franchise acquisition of the Leningradskaya followed three failed attempts to enter the market.


    Stephane Meyrat, associate director at Colliers International, said the hotel would probably ask for $250 to $280 per night, but its proximity to three railway stations was not ideal. The hotel is located near Kazansky, Yaroslavsky and Leningradsky stations. Meyrat also said Hilton probably would have preferred to have secured a management contract, allowing the company to operate the hotel, rather than the franchising contract. "But Hilton has been under pressure to show something," he said.
    Collini said Hilton's impetus to move into Russia was prompted by the unification of Hilton Group, which had run the brand's North American hotels, and Hilton International, which oversaw operations in the rest of the world. "It's been the platform for aggressive development plans," he said.


    Hilton's further plans for Russia include up to 12 hotels in Moscow, six in St. Petersburg and at least one in every city with more than 300,000 people in the next three to five years, Collini said.


    Meyrat said the hotel's opening would boost Moscow's image. But, he added, the city will have to wait for Hilton to build one of its five-star Conrad hotels. As to why the hotelier opted not to open a Conrad at the Leningradskaya, he said: "All that glitters is not gold. The rooms might not be very big, and they'd rather start from tabula rasa."



    From Wikipedia,


    Hotel Leningradskaya is one of Moscow's Seven Sisters -- skyscrapers built in the early 1950s in the stalinist gothic style. Stalinist gothic mixes Russian neo-classical with the style of America's skyscrapers of the 1930s. A main element of stalinist gothic is the use of socialist realism art. The hotel, completed in 1954, was designed to be the finest luxury hotel in Moscow.

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  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Prague has one of these Stalinist hotels -- the Praha International Hotel.

    I stayed there back in the winter of '91 - 92 shortly after what was then still called Czechoslovakia had revolted against Communism. At that time the Western corporations had not yet given Prague a make-over (hardly a billboard or advertisement anywhere in the city) and the International still had the heavy set women sitting at tables at corridors' end, keeping an eye out for who knows what.

    It was a very cool place to stay -- and I even got a decal, like this ...


  4. #4

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    IIRC these buildings were inspired by the municipal building in NYC.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luca View Post
    IIRC these buildings were inspired by the municipal building in NYC.
    I've often thought the same.

    Also, Cleveland's Terminal Tower.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    I've often thought the same.

    Also, Cleveland's Terminal Tower.
    I actually read somewhere (can't remember where) that Lenin (not Stalin) sprecifically endorsed the design and had been impressed by said building in NYC.

  7. #7

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    Said building under construction, 1904:



    1935:





    1941:





    2006:



  8. #8
    The Dude Abides
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    That second picture from 1935 is so classic-looking.

    Anyone know what that hexagonal building is in the bottom right corner of the second to last picture? Is that part of the civic complex?

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    It's the NY State Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street ...

    They use the front steps on "Law and Order":





    under wraps and surround by media trucks:



    http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/b...ings/index.htm

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    The Dude Abides
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    Thanks, lofter. I knew it had to be a legal or courts building, but never knew it was hexagonal. I was extra confused after just having seen Wall Street. That final scene depicts one of those civic buildings, but I think that particular building was circular...

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    You can see in ablarc's photo that the inner part of the building is circular --- with connections to the outer hexagonal building and lightwells in between.

    60 Centre Street is definitely worth a walk-through if you get the chance ...







    http://www.rion.nu/v5/archive/000292.php

    ©1999-2006 Rion Nakaya.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The 60 Centre Street Rotunda Ceiling:



    And back to the Municipal Building :


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post
    Sad news.
    Tell us why. You must know something; I'm curious to hear about it.

  15. #15

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    Amazing pics. Where didja get these?
    One of my main sources of fascination where NYC is concerned is the transitional period / golden age between the 1880s (virtually no skyscrapers as such) and the pre-1950s/60s glass crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    1935:






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