Kruunuvuori Villas Part II

My last post was all about how I ended up exploring the Kruunuvuori Villas. This post contains more pictures and a brief history.

In the late 19th century some wealthy inhabitants of Helsinki started looking for a place to build their summerhouses. They found Kruunuvuori and built the first villas. Others soon followed.

In 1905 a german consul bought one of the biggest villas in the area. In 1913 he bought the whole area and built several other buildings to the immediate vicinity of his villa.

As there were a lot of Germans living in Helsinki back then, the area became the center of their social life. They had dinner parties with beer and wine flowing all through the Finnish prohibition era.

In the 1930’s there were eight villas and five smaller cottages in the area. The German owner passed the ownership of Kruunuvuori to his nephew.

Then came the second world war. As Germany and Finland on its side lost it, all German property in Finland was confiscated and became the property of Soviet Union.

The area was rented to a group of communist party workers. They used the buildings as apartments. The bigger villas were used by several families at the same time.

Communist rule ended in 1955 when the Soviet Union sold the area to a local businessman, and the party workers were evicted.

The businessman had a plan to demolish the villas and build more than 600 new apartments. The city didn’t grant planning permission.

As the villas now stood empty waiting for the plans to proceed, the owner hired them to his employees and old friends.

In 1977 the owner applied for a new building permit, but was again denied. In 1982 he changed the plans and reduced the amount of apartments, but was denied.

The decline had already started in the late 1970’s. Youth gangs and homeless people started breaking in the villas, which were only used during summertime, made a mess and stole things. The inhabitants got fed up and villa after villa was abandoned.

In 1998 the owner once again wanted to get a planning permit for a new residential area, but this was denied.

Most of the inhabitants had left by 2000 and the area became a playing ground for vandals.

Some buildings were demolished, others collapsed. There were also fires.

The last villa was abandoned in 2013. After that there were multiple fires.

The owner died in 2013. In 2016 his estate sold the area to the city of Helsinki.

The area was planned as recreation area. The plan was taken to courts, which dismissed all complaints about it.

When the plan finally was approved by the court, only one villa was left standing.

At first it was planned to preserve it, but it was deemed to be in such a bad shape, that it was slated for demolition.

In late 2020 new hope appeared. The town discussed selling the villa to someone who would restaurate it.

The final villa was destroyed by fire in May 2021. The story of the area had come to an end after around 130 years.

The area is still used by the citizens for recreation.

All the photos from this location can now be found in the gallery.

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