No discussion of the architecture of Odessa would be complete without at least reference to the gigantic stairway leading from Primorsky Boulevard down to the port, the source of most of the city's wealth. It was designed by Francesco Boffo, the architect of the commune of Odessa from 1822 to 1844. Construction began in 1837 and was completed in 1842. Contemporaries called it the grand staircase but now it is better known as the PotemkinSteps, so named for the famous scene in Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin. The staircase is still one of the most dramatic sights of the city, whether looking up from the port or down on the staircase from Primorsky Boulevard. Before the Soviet period, there was a funicular alongside the staircase, which the
Soviets tore down and later built a garish escalator in its place.