There are many monuments to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in the world. The likeness of the Bolshevic leader, Marxist revolutionary, and head of the Soviet Union is recognized as far north as Svalbard, as far south as the South Pole, as far east as India and Vietnam, and as far west as Seattle, Washington. But there is a slightly twisted irony to the fact that the leader of the proletariat revolution and proponent of socialist equality wound up on the roof of an expensive luxury apartment building, arm raised, saluting the one and only New York City–perhaps the ultimate monument to capitalism.
The building, called Red square, upon which Lenin’s giant metal feet are planted, is owned by a former professor of radical sociology, Michael Rosen. This particular likeness of Lenin was created by Yuri Gerasimov, who was commissioned to build it by the Soviet Union, but because of the Union’s collapse, the statue was never unveiled and remained so until 1994 when Rosen’s partner bought it from the artist and had it installed on the roof. Since the construction of Red Square, Rosen has focused on building housing for battered women and those afflicted by AIDS, perhaps putting the spirit of Lenin slightly more at ease.
Update, July 2017: The statue has been relocated to a building on Norfolk Street, overlooking the ABC playground.
Know Before You Go
Accessible from F Train at 2nd Avenue Station