he Kremlin Presidium, also known as Building 14 was constructed in 1934. It formerly housed the Supreme Soviet, the highest legislative body of the Soviet Union. Currently, it houses various offices of the Russian presidential administration, the Kremlin Commandant’s office and offices of the FSO and is thus a highly secured and restricted area closed to the public. At present, only the southern corner façade, opposite the Tsar Bell can be viewed.
The four-story building has three wings opening towards the Senate, connected by a central building which faces the Taynitskaya Garden to the south. The southern facade has a row of Ionic order columns, with a gable roof in the center, reflecting the Neoclassical style of the adjacent Senate building. However, the wing halls are much simpler and less conspicuous. The building has three floors and is painted in the same yellow color as many other administrative buildings within the Moscow Kremlin.
The Presidium stands on the site of Chudov Monastery, founded in 1365 by the Metropolitan Alexius and the old Ascension Convent. These were among the historic buildings with the grounds of the Kremlin ordered to be destroyed by Joseph Stalin as part of the state atheism campaign, which resulted razing of religious structures from all over Russia. Work on a new administrative building for the Soviet government began almost immediately, and Ivan Rerberg, a prominent Moscow architect who had designed Kiyevsky Rail Terminal was assigned to the task.
The new building was completed in 1934, two years after Rerberg’s death. Initially, it had no name, and was used as the Red Commanders School, a military academy for Red Army leaders. The school was relocated in 1935, and from 1938, housed the offices of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, whose head was the titular de jure head of state of the Soviet Union. From 1958-1961, part of the building was converted into the 1200 seat Kremlin Theatre.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.