The Palace of Trade Unions, a columned edifice overlooking the city from the picturesque Tauras Hill in Vilnius, will soon be demolished to make way for a new concert hall. Demolition works started on Wednesday.
The white-plastered building sporting a neo-classical columned portico stood partly abandoned over the last few decades. The site will be cleared by the end of the year at the cost of 1.8 million euros.
A stained glass work by Algimantas Stoškus from the building will be preserved and moved to the National Museum of Art.
A new national concert hall, designed by the Spanish firm Arquivio Architects, will be built on the site by 2023.
The Palace of Trade Unions was constructed in 1956 after a typical Soviet project designed in the style of socialist historicism, also known as the Stalinist imperial style.
The building is a prime example of Soviet transitional architecture that followed the 1955 resolution condemning excesses of Stalinist building. Constructions planned before the decision were completed, but the buildings were stripped of all neoclassical ornamentation.