This hand-sketched ad for Red Square, the artsy, “luxury rental” apartment building on Houston Street between Avenues A and B, comes from a 1990 issue of Interview.
Anyone who has seen the building, which towers 13 stories over a low-rise stretch of Houston, will recognize the big block “Askew” clock on top, with its out-of-sequence numbers.
The other unusual feature on the building’s roof—the statue of Russian dictator Vladimir Lenin, his hand raised in victory—wasn’t added until 1994.
So why is a statue of the leader of the Russian Revolution on a Manhattan apartment building?
It’s a nod to the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union back in 1989, the year the building—appropriately named Red Square—was built, reports this New York Times article.
“The 18-foot Lenin statue was originally a state-commissioned work by Yuri Gerasimov, but the Soviet Union’s implosion prevented the statue from going on public display. It was found by an associate of [a building co-owner] in the backyard of a dacha outside Moscow.”
And it’s no accident that the statue of Lenin is positioned so it’s facing the Financial District.
“Mr. Shaoul noted that Lenin faces Wall Street, capitalism’s emblem, and the Lower East Side, ‘the home of the socialist movement,”’ added the Times.