In 1989, the very same year that the Soviet Union fell, the Red Square apartment complex was built in New York’s East Village by co-developers Michael Shaoul and Michael Rosen . The building’s name was chosen for practical reasons more than anything else–it’s square and made of red brick–but the name was also a nod towards events taking place in the USSR and across Eastern Europe.
These big apartment buildings dot much of this part of New York and so most passers-by wouldn’t give it a second glance. Unless of course they happen to look up and spot the 18-foot bronze statue of the Communist Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin perched on top.
But don’t worry, the revolution hasn’t arrived and you can stop writing your bug out bag list!
The Fall of the USSR Just Seemed to Get in the Way
The Lenin statue in East Village was created by the Russian artist Yuri Gerasimov after being commissioned by the Soviet Union in the early 80s. It was originally intended as a celebration of Lenin’s commitment to the international working class. However, following the fall of the USSR it was felt that the unveiling should be postponed… indefinitely.
What Would Lenin Have Thought of Modern Day Wall Street?
It wasn’t until 1994, when Michael Rosen discovered the Lenin statue in a dacha (Russian second home) on the edge of Moscow. The statue was quickly bought and later made its way to the top of the Red Square building where it can be seen to this very day. Lenin was intentionally placed facing south in the direction of Wall Street and many in the area feel the statue has some political relevance given the Lower East Side’s association with the socialist movement.
Anyone who has seen the building will also notice the “Askew” clock on top of the 13 stories of Red Square. Locally dubbed the “crazy clock” the numbers on the face are out of sequence. The clock makes for an appropriately random companion for the Lenin statue. Together they add to the reputation of the building and maybe even ramp up the price tag on what are now termed “luxury apartments”.