Log House, Semakov Street #9 (Late 19th Century), Tiumen', Russia


This photograph of a wooden house at No. 9 Semakov Street in the western Siberian city of Tiumen' was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Founded in 1586 on the site of a Tatar settlement at the confluence of the Tiumenka and Tura rivers, Tiumen’ is considered the oldest permanent Russian settlement in Siberia. Until the 19th century, it existed in the shadow of Tobol'sk, located to the north, on the same river network. (The Tura is a tributary of the Tobol River.) In 1834, Tiumen’ launched the first steamship in Siberia. The rapid economic growth of the city was confirmed in 1885 with the construction of a railroad to the industrial center of Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. The town's prosperity was reflected in its elaborately decorated wooden houses. Constructed of solid log courses on a high brick base (which often contained a basement), these structures usually were clad in plank siding and painted. As illustrated here, the high point of their decoration was the large, intricately-carved window surrounds. The marble preservation plaque on the façade of the house indicates that it is protected as part of the city’s architectural heritage.

Last updated: January 11, 2016