The World’s Tallest Log Cabin – The Wooden Skyscraper
photo by the constant skeptic
He is Nikolai Sutyagin. He is a man who has seen it all. Well, if not “all”, he’s seen quite a lot. He was born and raised in a lowly communal flat in Arkhangelsk, Russia. That’s in the northern part of European Russia, near the White Sea. He got in some trouble at the tender age of 14 and got sent to a boy’s prison. When he got out he worked in construction to support his single mom and his sister, and because of his insane work ethic he got referred into an “outside the box” type of working in Russia. It’s called shabashing, and shabashniks work for the money they merit, instead of the general working system inside a socialist (read: in this case communist) government. He was earning way more than guys who were far more educated, and when Gorbachev came in and made Perestroyka happen (the restructuring of the government so that people could own stuff) he used his money to buy a lumber yard and start his very own contracting company.
He got rich. Really, really rich. He decided that he needed a house that reflected his status in the Arkhangelsk society (his status was the richest dude in a very poor town) but that he had all this lumber and labor, so why not build his own? What resulted was the house you see in the image above. It started out as a mere two-story building (two-story is the limit in those parts) but he didn’t like the look of it and made it taller. And taller. And taller. It’s a tower of a ramshackle log cabin. It’s a log cabin mansion. And it is in fact so tall now that it’s a danger to even walk around on the highest levels, and the idea of building a fence or railing on the higher levels has been floated. But what would the fence look like? Well, unique-looking fences are all around us, whether they be London, England fences or Richmond Va fences, you can find unbelievable, pristine fences in every city of note. So, it shouldn’t be too hard for Mr. Sutyagin to find inspiration.
The owner of this cabin eventually got put in prison for 4 years. Some accounts say it was a racketeering charge, others say he kept a dude imprisoned in a shack. Either way, his enemies took the opportunity to put all his vehicles into the river, and to steal all his stuff. He came out of prison completely broke, but lives in the first two levels of the house with his wife. In squalor.
The government and the townspeople are not impressed with the structure, and are lobbying to have it demolished. Sutyagin has gone on record saying the top 12 or 13 stories of his house are “purely decorative”, thus making the building proper a mere two stories tall. Who will win? Who do you think should win? Leave a comment below.