California-based architecture firm Page & Turnbull just brought a historic windmill into the 21st century with the launch of the Fort Ross Windmill Project. The windmill is a full-size replica of the 19th century mill that once stood on the Russian settlement that is now Fort Ross State Historic Park. It was donated by Victor Vekselberg’s Link of Times Foundation, a Russian cultural and historical nonprofit organization.
The structure consists of pine, spruce and birch wood native to Russia and measures approximately 25 feet wide, 17 feet deep, and 31 feet high. Page & Turnbull worked with Structural Design Engineers of San Francisco to conceal seismic bracing and mechanical attachments and preserve the original design of the wood log structure. Fort Ross was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America, was founded in 1812 by the Russian-American Company to promote fur trade. Reviving the spirit, the windmill replica which was fabricated in Russia using archaic materials and methods, arrived at Fort Ross in early September and has since then been assembled and erected as a permanent exhibit.
An exciting event for visitors to the Fort Ross Bicentennial Festival, it provides a glimpse into American-Russian history. The newly reconstructed windmill remains true to its original design while still complying with environmentally responsible construction.
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Images ©Paul Miller