A Little Too Late

I indeed managed to buy a new camera, not a very good one, but then again, nothing could be worse than the one I had used to document my hometown previously. A while after my purchase, a new road was opened connecting the city center to a suburb previously separated by a railroad. When I tried the new connection for the first time, I spotted a building I had never seen before despite spending most of my childhood and youth in the same city. It was yellow, long, yet oddly narrow, and in a state of complete decay. Bricks had fallen off, and It looked like it would collapse, if kicked hard enough.

I paid several visits to the place, but it was impossible to get in. All doors and windows had been boarded shut, and it was located by a parking lot now surprisingly busy because of the new road connection. As there was no way in, all I could do was research the history of the building.

Designed in the 1930’s by famous architect Viljo Revell, the place was originally built for the Finnish White Guard. When the White Guard was disbanded after World War II, it was sold to a co-operative and became their sausage factory. In the late 60’s a local construction company bought the property as their storage facility.

In the late 1990’s the company went bankrupt, and the property, which was listed as protected that year, was left vacant. More than ten years had now passed since that decision, and the building had been subject to weather and vandals during all that time. A ten year court battle had just ended in defeat – one wing of the once so gracious functionalistic masterpiece had been modified and lost its worth according to the museum officials. It was good to go and be replaced by a tower block, the first one in town. And that was when I got on spot with my camera.

Demolition crews have moved in. One end of the building has been fenced, window boarding has been removed and all hazardous material containing asbestos carried out.

This end of the builiding all the way up to the chimney was set for demolition at this point.

The building really looked as if there wasn’t much holding it together anymore.

A view from the busy parking lot I described earlier. As you can see, bricks are missing, and the place is all boarded up. The part set for demolition is just visible in the far right corner.

A closer look at the end waiting for its fate.

And here it is, yet again from another perspective. The advertising board is a promise for fresh new homes on the site of this old ruin. The new house was built, but the two remaining sections of the old one neighboured it for years. After more vandalism, numerous arsons and yet more battles in court, the building was finally demolished for good nine years after this photo was taken. The local magazine even have a short video clip about the demolition.

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