Housing conditions in Western Siberia in the second half of the 19th early 20th centur

Goncharov Yu.M. (Barnaul, Russian Federation)


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The study of housing conditions in Western Siberia in the second half of the 19th early 20th century constitutes an important and scientifically relevant problem of everyday history. Housing conditions are one of the most important indicators of the level and lifestyle of the population. This subject matter has so far received little attention from historians. The study is aimed at identifying the specifics of the housing conditions in an important province of the late Russian Empire. In order to study provincial housing conditions in the second half of the 19th early 20th century, a fairly wide range of sources was used: records of city magistracies; statistical studies, with one-day city censuses being of particular value; memoirs of contemporaries; periodicals, etc. The concept of the dwelling existing in the cities of pre-revolutionary Russia differed slightly from that in rural areas. While in villages the concept of the dwelling, as a rule, meant a family home, in towns, the concepts of flat or room were of particular importance. Some townspeople lived in their own houses, others rented out their property (apartments, rooms or even part of a room), while those having no property were forced to rent it. One of the most common types of buildings was a two-family house, whose lower floor was usually occupied by the owners and the upper floor was rented out. Most of the buildings were modest-looking, with many of them being battened and painted. Most often the territory of the yard was fenced, with a large high gate being placed in the middle of the fence, behind which there was a house on the left; outbuildings and sheds on the right; stables at the back of the house; as well as a vegetable garden next to the house. The housing conditions varied significantly among different population groups. Changes that occurred in the housing conditions in the region in the second half of the 19th the beginning of the 20th century were primarily associated with the socio-economic development of post-reform Siberia. Rapid population growth often resulted in slum development. Urban planning reflects new trends, intensified following the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which helped overcome the economic and cultural isolation from the central regions of the Empire.

Key words: Siberia, city, the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century, house, dwelling, estates.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted: 19.11.2019

Accepted: 19.12.2019

Article is published: 02.03.2020


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Goncharov Yu.M.

Altay State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation