Durasov City Manor

Alexander Zelikov/TASS
This mansion, which belonged to the family of nobleman Alexey Durasov, is one of Moscow's best Neoclassical buildings of the late 18th century. When this beautiful house with several annexes and a delicate railing was built, it impressed the Muscovites so much that the neighbouring lane was renamed Durasovsky. Moscow historian Peter Sytin wrote: "Among the courtyards adjacent to the Bely Gorod, the richest and the best developed was the courtyard of Major's wife A. I. Durasova." It has been said that the house was designed by the prominent architect Matvey Kazakov, but no official confirmation has been found. Count Matvey Dmitriev-Mamonov occupied the house after Durasov family, but not for long, as his political views earned him the diagnosis of a mentally affected, and landed him under house arrest in his country estate. Later, the building was given over to the Practical Academy of Commercial Sciences. After the revolution of 1917, the Academy was closed, and in 1932, the building was given over to the Kuybyshev Military Engineering Academy, which required demolition of one of the annexes. Today, the building is home to several departments of the Higher School of Economics, one of Russia's most prestigious universities.