Moscow's Building Boom Brings Glitz to a Dowdy City

New skyscrapers tower over the old landmark Stalinist buildings and onion-domed churches.

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The envisioned Crystal Island development, billed as the world's biggest building.

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As old Moscow struggles to survive, there's no stopping the new. Crystal Island was approved despite staunch criticism—Klimenko, for one, dismissively labels it a "Buddhist temple, stupa, or pagoda." On the peninsula, market workers hadn't heard of plans for the oddly shaped megastructure. Sniffs Lyubov Ivanova, a pensioner tending a stall of baby clothes, "I suppose we'll have to pick up and move elsewhere."