The huge store called Detsky Mir, or Children's World, is the latest landmark to be torn down or renovated in the 'malling of Moscow'.
The $200 million renovation project, which is to be completed within three years, will increase retail space.
The owner and developer pledge to restore the exterior and return the store's centrepiece carousel after the store's transformation into a "modern trade and entertainment complex". Plans include a glass dome, a multiplex movie theatre, underground parking and a food court.
Some Russians are welcoming the prospect of an overhaul, but many architects, preservationists and Muscovites fear the landmark will be transformed into another mall, like dozens of Western-style shopping complexes that have sprouted in and around Moscow amid the economic recovery.
(Source: Associated Press)