With the façade extending for 794 ft along the eastern side of Red Square, the Upper Trading Rows were built between 1890 and 1893 by Alexander Pomerantsev (responsible for architecture) and Vladimir Shukhov (responsible for engineering). The trapezoidal building features an interesting combination of elements of Russian medieval architecture and a steel framework and glass roof, a similar style to the great 19th century train stations of London. Nearby, also facing Red Square, is a very similar building, known formerly as the Middle Trading Rows.
It was Catherine II of Russia who commissioned Giacomo Quarenghi, a Neoclassical architect from Italy, to design a huge trade center along the east side of Red Square. The existing structure - defined by William Craft Brumfield as "a tribute both to Shukhov's design and to the technical proficiency of Russian architecture toward the end of the 19th century" - was built to replace the previous trading rows that had been designed by Joseph Bove after the 1812 Fire of Moscow.