Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Pointing at the Bank Sign!

Through the 1920s, 30s, 40s steel-frame construction and its ilk caused the city to rise up around the churches and cathedrals (foreground left). They no longer dominated the skyline, their spires lost in the sea of cement.

The Seven Sisters (background right) were planned to serve as orientation points for Homo Sovieticus - lighthouses of socialism, rather than markers of the Christian god. At some point in the process it was regulated (that passive construction is intentional; there are a couple of different arguments on whether it was a group decision or a Stalin/Beriia decision, etc.) so that every Sister would have a spire on top, piercing the sky, adding to the height, and entering the "Russian tradition" of spire-construction.

Since perestroika, the traditional building method is to get a concrete shell in place and then to stop. The money has fallen to the wayside (pocketside?) somewhere, and the cranes stand unmoving. They complete, at last, the system of vertical dominants in the city skyline.

No comments: