21/06/2018

History of the House of Journalists in Ekaterinburg

History of the House of Journalists in Ekaterinburg
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The Ekaterinburg Region's House of Journalists, a cultural landmark and a typical modernist estate dating to the early 20th century, is hosting the Ekaterinburg City Press Center for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The building is next to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, built in place of the notorious Ipatyev House where the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, his family and servants were murdered in the early hours of July 17, 1918.

Initially, the House of Journalists was a common residential building owned by mining engineer Pavel Utyakov, a deputy of the Ekaterinburg City Duma. Begun in 1907, construction was completed in 1911.

Although no one knows who designed the building, experts say that the architect did a great job. The single-story wooden modernist building features a stone foundation and lower wall pedestal. The asymmetrical mansion also has a high gate in a matching style as well as several different façades. The building is dominated by a large porch, large windows on the lower level and the attic's dormer-window. The building's interiors feature numerous corridors.

The convenient and beautiful house is famous for its spacious storerooms, amazing window sashes/casements and stoves with the most advanced technology of that period. Obviously, Utyakov helped build the stoves. While reconstructing them, workers found that they featured a user-friendly chimney-draft system for safety.

The main porch with pillars is surrounded by a blind concrete fence. This is unusual because concrete was seldom used in the early 20th century.

An orchard and a vegetable garden surrounded the fenced-in mansion that also had two courtyards. One courtyard was used for keeping utilities, and the other one was used for promenades and open-air parties.

Pavel Utyakov spent only two years here before dying in 1913. But his family lived in the mansion through 1927. After that, the building was nationalized and housed communal shared apartments. In the 1980s, it was converted into an office development.

Although its owners frequently changed hands, the old building's basement floor retains its unique brickwork. The main floor's log walls also remain intact. The same can be said of the stove's facing tiles, stucco ceiling beams and panel-type doors.

In 2007-2009, the building was renovated for its 100th anniversary. Restorers and builders cleaned it and replaced some of the stove's facing tiles. They also restored the mansion's doors, window sashes/casements and other interior elements using archive documents and photos, and the building now looks like it did originally. They also rebuilt the verandah, demolished in the 1980s, and an overhanging footbridge and improved the grounds. Only natural materials matching the historical originals were used during repairs and restoration.

Today, the House of Journalists hosts gatherings of local media outlets, authorities, the business community and public activists, as well as various exhibits and cultural events.

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City Press Center in Ekaterinburg