P. P. Smirnov Mansion

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS
Vodka magnate Pyotr Smirnov had acquired the old-fashioned mansion at Tverskoy Bulvar (Tverskoy Boulevard) from the old Russian nobles, the Bazilevsky family, in 1900. The Empire-style building was not to Smirnov's taste, and he commissioned architect Fyodor Schechtel to fully reconstruct the building. This was how one of Moscow's most remarkable Art Nouveau buildings was born with its semicircular windows, flowing soft lines, decorative stucco work and wrought iron balcony that looked like a ship. The contemporaries were even more amazed by the building's amenities, such as steam heating, electricity, and ventilation, and the furnishings of the main halls, each done by Schechtel in its own style. There was a Greek hall, and a Roman hall, and a Egyptian hall for the receptions, and a Gothic-style cabine. The children's room was done in the style of Russian folk tales. Smirnov's children later remembered that they studied the history of art in those rooms. Amazingly, the Military Prosecutor's Office, which spent most of the Soviet years in this mansion, did not destroy the interiors. In 2006, the mansion underwent a large-scale and very thorough restoration, and today various event are held here.