Urban Fold

Recession Aids Preservation in Moscow

The economic downturn has brought much development in Moscow to a halt. But for some preservationists, that's a good thing.

"[S]ome prominent Muscovites see a silver lining. They say the city has gotten a second chance to halt the breakneck destruction of its historic center, and replace the anything-goes building splurge of recent years with a plan to preserve Moscow's architectural heritage.

'During the past 15 years we've lost our Moscow,' says David Sarkisyan, director of the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow. 'Something like 600 buildings, key pieces of the city's architectural cocktail, have been ruined, and 300 more are under threat. But, strange to say, the crisis is helping. All the city's main developers are bankrupt, and the bulldozers have been stilled for the time being.'"

By some accounts, only 5 percent of the city's historic buildings are still standing.

Full Story: Moscow preservationists see silver lining in economic slump

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