First Girls' Gymnasium

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS
The four-storey building, occupied today by the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Media, was built in 1878 by architect Nikolay Tyutyunov for the First Girls' Gymnasium The school's music department was headed by composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who had resided in one of the school's apartments between 1905 and 1917. A memorial plaque in his honour is hung on the building, and there is a monument to Rachmaninoff at the boulevard. The high school often staged amateur theatrical performances, and its most famous graduates were the actresses Olga Gzovskaya, Maria Germanova, and the great Alisa Koonen.

After the revolution of 1917, the building was given over to the Communist University of the Toilers of the East, whose students included the future president of Vietnam Hồ Chí Minh and the great Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet. During World War II, the building was transferred to the Radio Committee, and from here the famous voice of anchorman Yuri Levitan was broadcast all over the country.