Wooden House, Prechistenka Embankment #40 (Late 19th Century), Vologda, Russia


This view of the wooden house at No. 40 Prechistenskaia Embankment in Vologda was taken in 1998 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Before the founding of Saint Petersburg in 1703, Russia depended on a northern route through the White Sea for trade with western Europe. One of the important centers on this route was Vologda, founded in the 12th century. Vologda remained a transportation and commercial hub in the Russian north, and by the beginning of the 20th century its residential areas consisted primarily of two-story dwellings built of logs, with milled siding and decorative details. A fine example is this house, built around 1900 on Prechistenskaia Embankment facing the Vologda River. (The embankment derives its name—“most pure”—from the nearby Church of the Nativity of the Virgin na Nizhnem dolu.) The front rooms of the upper story overlook the river, whose bank at that time was not overgrown, as it is today. The main entrance of the house was recessed to the side and covered with a decorated loggia, seen here with clothes lines and a flower box. Once an integral part of the ambiance of historic Vologda, these well-built structures have steadily diminished in number as a consequence of neglect and fire.

Last updated: January 11, 2016