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Fine Stalinist Era Elevator Decoration at The House of Free Press

February 22, 2020

Fine Stalinist era decorative art: the Soviet “Hammer and Sickle” framed by ears of wheat, finely chiseled in the marble decoration of elevator doors, inside the House of the Free Press building in Bucharest.

Normally there is no free public access in the building, as there are government offices and private companies, but you can try to negotiate with the doorman (as I did) to let you have a look inside:)

The House of Free Press in Bucharest is a most interesting monument. A replica of the famous “Lomonosov” Moscow State University, the edifice built in the characteristic style of the large-scale Soviet projects, was the first major project and a symbol of the newly established political regime.

The building was created to bring together in one place all publishing houses in Bucharest. Construction started in 1952 and was completed in 1957, a few years after Stalin’s death that occurred in 1953. It was popularly known as Casa Scanteii (“House of the Spark”) after the name of the newspaper, Scanteia (“The Spark”), which was based in the building. Scanteia was the official gazette and ‘voice’ of the Communist Party in Romania, a main propaganda tool for decades.

Communist insignia such as “Hammer and Sickle” and the Red Star can be seen all over, carved into medallions adorning the façade, or as ornaments on the marble staircases or marble elevator decorations inside. It is the only building in Bucharest displaying communist symbols on such a scale, and of such fine craftsmanship.


Stalinist era elevator decoration House of Free Press Bucharest

Stalinist era staircase decoration House of Free Press Bucharest

House of Free Press (Casa Scanteii -House of the Spark), Bucharest

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