It's been hailed as a masterpiece of design and Russia's answer to the Eiffel Tower, but pretty soon the Shabolovka radio tower, also known as the Shukhov Tower, could disappear. Late last month the Russian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting agreed to dismantle the tower, the New York Times reports, setting off a wave of debate and even protests in Russia.
The 50-story cone of metal spans was commissioned by Lenin in 1922 to spread communism to the masses through the then-new medium of radio. A shortage of materials kept it shorter than the Eiffel, and unlike the Eiffel it's in an area inaccessible to tourists—which helps explain why it's been allowed to rust. Meanwhile real estate prices in Central Moscow are booming, and developers crave the tower's spot because it's zoned for such a tall structure, World Socialist Web Site explains. Some have suggested moving the tower, but architects and other defenders say the context of the town around it, with its early-Soviet-era housing, is essential. (Read more Shukhov radio tower stories.)