Vologda Open Air Museum of Architecture and Ethnography is a federal cultural property site. The ensemble of wooden architecture of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries has the status of a Federal Historical and Cultural Memorial (Russian Federation Presidential Edict № 176 of February 20, 1995).
The museum was established on December 14, 1978, by a resolution of the Vologda Regional Council of People’s Deputies “On Establishment of the Vologda Regional Museum of Wooden Architecture” on 98.6ha of designated estate.
The Sixth Architecture and Restoration Shop of the Spetsproektrestavratsiya Institute executed a reference site plan (E.Y. Baranovsky administered the project group).
In 1983, the same project group produced and issued a detailed design of the planning map for the Sukhona sector of the museum: the first museum sector for site tours, the most representational one by occupied acreage and the role in the structure of Vologda regional zoning.
The design proposed creation of a generalized model of a rural settlement with typical for traditional villages line planning (three orders of houses with southward orientation of the major façades) composed in a unified native architectural complex predetermined by environmental conditions. All buildings along the sight tour are situated in a way illustrating typical spatial and structural housing development: from a primitive four-wall log cabin, through the house with joint chamber and six-wall duplet house, to the five-wall houses of contemporaneous construction.
As of 1981, design work had started on St. Petersburg Government memorials recommended for transferring to the Sukhona sector of the Museum (total acreage of 12.7ha). Presently, architectural memorial buildings of the 1850s – 1910s are located onsite the museum. They had been moved here from three localities in the Mid-Sukhona sector of the Vologda Region: the Nyuksenitsa, Tarnoga, and Totma Districts.
In June 1992, several houses of the Sukhona sector were opened for visitors: the Slobodina, Kochkin and Bolotova’s Houses.