I will begin my story about the houses of Tomsk with the largest and the most beautiful one, called here "Emerald House". If you read the post to the end, you will find out why.
The building was built in 1904 by the architect Stanislav Khomich for his big family. The architect came to Tomsk from St. Petersburg in the 1890s and rather quickly "matured" to the provincial architect. It was then that he conceived this masterpiece, successfully combining 2 architectural directions in it: the fabulous Russian style and austere Art Nouveau.
They say that about 50,000 rubles were spent on the construction (for comparison, the salary of a diocesan architect was then 12,000 rubles a year), since a wooden house was built on a brick basement, and brick at that time in Tomsk was worth its weight in gold.
In addition, it was difficult and costly to heat such a huge house, so almost immediately after construction it began to be rented out. However, in those days, tenement houses in Tomsk were a frequent occurrence.
In 1914, Khomich was accused of corruption and was forced to write a letter of resignation and leave Tomsk. After the revolution, the house was nationalized and transferred to the owner of a sausage factory. Then there was a railway technical school along with a hostel, an orphanage and a children's hospital. In the 90s, the building was transferred to the Licensing Chamber, which restored the house in the early 2000s and which still owns it today.
So why is the house called "Emerald"? According to legend, the house of Khomich inspired the creator of the fairy tale about the Emerald City, Alexander Volkov, who lived in Tomsk during his student years. In the city at that time, roofs and fences with gates were painted green.