Nirnsee's House

TASS
The architect Ernst-Richard Nirnsee built several houses in Moscow, but only one bears his name: a residential high-rise in Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky Pereulok (Bolshoy Gnezdnikovsky Lane). There is quite a story behind this house. Nirnsee paid his own money for the land underneath it, planning to build Moscow's first high-rise, or "cloud-cutter," of nine storeys with small apartments and an in-house refectory on the top floor. It was Nirnsee's design that earned the house its alias: Bachelors' House. The design was given flesh in 1913. The eclectic building, welding Art Deco, Neoclassicism and the nascent Constructivism, towered over Tverskaya Ulitsa (Tverskaya Street). Lest his creation's no-frills facade depress the locals, Nirnsee designed each balcony with flower boxes, so that his cloud-cutter might look green in summer. The banker Dmitry Rubinstein lived here, and they say that the royal family's close friend, Grigory Rasputin, attended Rubinstein's soirees in 1914. The Krysha (Roof) Restaurant and observation deck opened on the roof of Nirnsee's House in 1915. In 1918 the building was nationalized and renamed 4th Mossovet House. Top-ranking Soviet officials moved in, the likes of Vadim Podbelsky, Ivan Likhachyov, Andrey Vyshinsky, and others.