Not too far from Maidan Nezalezhnosti is the House with Chimaeras. It was built in 1902 by architect and avid hunter Władysław Horodecki, earning him praise as the Antoni Gaudí of Kiev. He originally intended the house to be used as an upscale apartment building, with one unit on each floor. I spent a good 15 minutes examining the animal sculptures attached to it.
The House with Chimaeras had to be sold after Horodecki ran into financial troubles. It changed hands several times before being nationalized by the communists in 1917. It was later converted into a clinic for Communist Party elite, who used the building until the early 2000s.
Finally, in 2002, the president got involved and forced the clinic to vacate the crumbling structure so it could be renovated. Since 2005, it has been used as an official residence of the President of the Ukraine.
The Presidential Administration building is conveniently located across the street. The building was completed in 1939.
Both buildings are located on Bankova Street, which is partially pedestrianized because of the Presidential Administration building. Walking north on the street is the National Writer’s Union of Ukraine, another beautiful building. The union was founded in 1934.
At the end of Bankova Street and to the right is the very impressive National Bank of Ukraine, once a branch of the Central Bank of the USSR. It opened for business in 1905 and had two stories added onto it in 1933.