Red Square Lenin Statue will Probably Return to the LES Skyline Next Month

Posted on: September 26th, 2016 at 9:23 am by

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Photo: Joan Vipper

The iconic statue of Vladimir Lenin that sat atop Red Square for 22 years has a new home. As first reported here last week, the communist leader will again greet the masses from the roof of 178 Norfolk across the street.

The eighteen-foot Lenin will return to the skyline in short order. The Villager has it that the erection is planned for a few weeks from now. Red Square co-developers Michael Shaoul and Michael Rosen own the Norfolk Street tenement, and decided to keep the statue after the communist-themed rental development across the way sold for $100 million.

“At the moment, the statue is lying on its back on the roof of 178,” Shaoul told the publication on Friday. “He will be installed on a new plinth sometime in the next few weeks — our guess is a month. We intend him to be visible from the street once he is installed.”

Shaoul took it upon himself to remove the renowned red leader and then relocate him to the new spot, just a block away — otherwise, the statue might well have wound up on the scrapheap of history. The sculpture made a brief detour to Queens before returning to the L.E.S.

“Once I understood that the statue would be removed,” Shaoul said. “I worked out a deal with ownership to take him down at our expense and re-erect him at 178 Norfolk St. He has already been hoisted back up to that property, and we will erect him once we have carried out some minor repairs and worked out a way to keep him secure — hopefully, in a few weeks. 178 Norfolk is only six stories tall, but it is opposite the playground that runs to Essex St. along Houston, and so it should have decent sightlines, if not the lofty perch of Red Square. We carried out this move at our expense since we have become fond of the statue over the years,” he said, “and so I am very pleased to see the generally positive response.”

Lenin was originally commissioned by the USSR, but the implosion of that country in 1989 – the year Red Square was built at 250 East Houston – prevented its display. Shaoul reportedly found it trashed in a backyard just outside Moscow and installed it five years later.

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178 Norfolk St.

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