Once Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov, an outstanding Russian engineer, came to his study and saw that the wastebasket was turned upside down, and on it was a pot of ficus — rather heavy. This is the cleaning lady, wiping the dust, forgot to put the pot back in its place. And then the scientist clearly imagined the construction of his future tower, the thought of which had been ripening in his head for a long time.
The tower began to be built in March 1920 on the then deserted Shabolovka (hence the second name of the tower - Shabolovskaya). At first, it was planned to build a tower of nine sections with a height of 350 meters (to exceed the Eiffel Tower with a height of 323 meters), but in the difficult post-war years there was not enough steel, so they limited themselves to six sections, and as a result, the height of the tower was 160 meters. The openwork tower turned out to be light - 2200 tons, much lighter than the Eiffel one (7300 tons).
The construction of the tower was carried out by a telescopic method, without scaffolding and cranes. Each section was assembled inside the base of the tower, and then on blocks with the help of winches was lifted upward together with the climbing workers (a team of 22 people).
In 1921, in a severe frost, an accident happened during the construction of the fourth section. The third section broke, the fourth fell and damaged the second. Three workers were killed. The cause of the accident was not a miscalculation of the engineer, but the fatigue of the poor quality metal. But still Shukhov was accused of sabotage and sentenced to "conditional execution" with a postponement of the execution of the sentence until the end of construction, since there was no second Shukhov.
Construction continued at a record pace, and already in March 1922, the first radio broadcasts were broadcast from the tower. The sabotage charges were dropped and the execution sentence was overturned.
The Shukhov Tower became the world's first hyperboloid structure. More precisely, not the first, but the second - after the 25-meter water tower, created by Shukhov himself for an industrial and art exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1986.After the exhibition ended, it was bought by a wealthy landowner and patron of the arts S. Nechaev-Maltsev and installed in his estate Polibino in the Lipetsk region. The tower still stands there today.
The unusual shape of the tower made an impression on the writer Alexei Tolstoy, and he wrote the novel "The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin".
In 1939, the tower underwent a strength test. A mail plane flying past from Kiev touched its wing with a cable stretched from the top to the ground. The plane itself, having received serious damage, fell in the courtyard of a neighboring residential building, but the tower was not damaged at all.
Since March 1939, after the completion of the construction of the television center, television broadcasts began to be broadcast from the tower, which were received by more than a hundred television sets. And soon the Shukhov Tower became a symbol of Soviet television, its images constantly appeared on screens as screensavers for many programs, including the "Blue Light".
After the construction of the Ostankino tower in 1967, Shukhovskaya lost her leadership, but was again needed when in 2000 a fire broke out at the Ostankino TV tower.
During its existence, the Shukhov Tower has never been repaired, and gradually it began to collapse. If the tower fell, its debris would be scattered within a radius of 150 meters.
In 2015-2016. emergency response work was carried out on the tower, but restoration is required to fully restore the object. The restoration project is under development, and after restoration, as promised by the Moscow government, in 2018 the tower can be opened for visitors.