In 1889 a pharmacy landlord Octavian Belsky purchased a piece of land in Kmitovy ravine. Four years later the first mansion, which was designed by an architect Nikolay Kazansky, was constructed. This house survived until nowadays. Later Belsky, why by that time had already owned a pharmacy in Podol, purchased the bordering piece of land and constructed another mansion, which was bigger than the first one. The owner divided the house into two 5-roomed flats and leased them.
During that time this land attracted a lot of scientists, writers and people of art. For instance, K. Paustovsky and O. Schmidt used to live there. Ponds, picturesque forests and marvelous landscapes created an inspirational mood.
Years later the park was made the nation’s property. In 1930s a fence was built around the mansion that was turned into government residencies.
USSR People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Vsevolod Balitsky used to live there as well. He was the one who initiated the process of transition of Ukrainian capital from Kharkov to Kiev and ordered the churches to be closed and people to be repressed. This state official spared no expense on maintaining his residency in order. He added arbors, park sculptures, artificial lakes, bridges and park arches. Soon after he was recognized as an enemy of the state, he was shot, and the mansion was turned into a children’s summer camp.
In 1943 the mansion was given to Nikita Khrushchev, who first was a member of the Military Council of the First Ukrainian Front, then head of the government of the Ukrainian SSR, and the first secretary of the Communist Party. He moved into this large house, and 1948 a few more bedrooms were added to the building. Khrushchev used to sit in a chair on a terrace with a newspaper or wander around the beautifully decorated park. There were peacocks and bears, who even had their own castle. When Khrushchev moved from Kiev to Moscow, the mansion belonged to the first secretaries of CC. Kiev diggers are convinced there is an underground hall with tunnels that link this building with the building of the former Party School.
The last state official who got to live here was Peter Shelest. In 1972 he was demoted and had to move out. Six years later Institute of Pediatrics occupied the place.
Nowadays the so-called Khrushchev’s summer residence is abandoned, but it still attracts a lot of tourists’ attention.
Address of Khrushchev’s summer residence: Hertsena street, 14.