U.S. Embassy In Moscow: A Structural Stalemate

by Marion Hart, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering�ASCE, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 3, Pg. 71-74

Document Type: Feature article


The fate of the nearly finished American embassy in Moscow should be decided by next fall. In the meantime, it stands empty. On April 15, 1987, Congress made public a National Bureau of Standards report on the structural integrity of the American embassy's office building in Moscow. Though the report found the building generally structurally sound, it stated that some important defects need to be addressed, including the office building's vulnerability to progressive collapse. Until these issues are resolved, American diplomatic staff continue to work at the existing embassy building located a block away. Under a simultaneous occupancy agreement, Soviet diplomatic staff will not move into the new Russian embassy, now under construction in Washington, until the American embassy is ready. The troubled American embassy office building is just one of eight buildings in the 738,846 sq ft complex sitting on 10 acres of Moscow land. This article traces the history of the American embassy office building, the phases and problems of its construction, and then presents the conclusions of the National Standard Bureau's report on remedial measures to be taken.

Subject Headings: Government buildings | Commercial buildings | Standards and codes | Structural failures | Public buildings | Progressive collapse | Legislation | Moscow | Russia | Europe

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