I had once again slept in my summer car, and woken up very early to the sound of birds and the rising sun starting to heat up my car. It was around 6.45 am, when I reached a small town, which I rarely visit.
I drove around the streets of the small centre and suddenly noticed something interesting.
It wasn’t the beautiful old building with bushes growing a bit too close to it, but rather the large yellow functionalistic masterpiece with boarded up windows, which caught my attention. I parked the car and walked closer.
I didn’t get past this first photo, before a very small old lady with a huge German shepherd dog appeared out of nowhere.
“And what are you doing here at this time of the day, young man”, she asked me.
“I noticed the beautiful buildings and decided to have a closer look”, I replied.
“An isn’t it just shameful, how the town lets these historic places be ruined”, she screamed.
She proceeded by telling me that the place was a teacher training college opened in 1899. It was shut down in the 1970’s and instead became a centre of further education for teachers until 1998. A few private education companies followed, until the place became another Chinese affair. A newly founded company bought the premises with the intent of educating Chinese nurses. Nothing came of it and the buildings were abandoned.
The more the old lady talked, the more furious she grew. She went on by telling that she lives nearby and hears sounds of vandalism every single night. She calls the cops, who do nothing. She has contacted the town administration, but they do nothing. Nobody does anything and the buildings just rot. Every morning she takes her dog out on a walk around the premises and locks every door that has been opened during the previous night.
She went on and on and on and soon she wasn’t talking about the building anymore. It had just become a general rant about the covid pandemic and I was politely listening to her thinking, that there is no way to get past the lady, who seemed like the worst nightmare of every urbexer on this planet. Or that was until she ranted about all hobbies being cancelled.
“Oh, and what do you do”, I asked out of sheer politeness.
“Folk dance”, she replied.
“Wait a second, me too.”
That wasn’t a lie. I do folk dance and when I told her about our group, it turned out she had seen us perform on festivals. I told her, that as I can’t dance due to the pandemic, I bought a summer car, try to visit every single current and former municipality in the country and photograph abandoned houses in the process. I told her, that I was really interested about these buildings.
“Oh, let me show you”, she said and started walking towards the older main building.
There were six buildings in the area. Four, she told me, were completely locked and inaccessible, as she had locked the former sauna building just minutes earlier. But she actually showed me all broken entrances to the two main buildings in the first picture.
“So will you call the cops on me if I enter”, I asked.
“Of course not, I’m not the owner. And I can see if a person is up to any good or not, and you definitely are.”
She wished me a nice day and left me standing on the yard in astonishment. I had just managed to talk my way past the worst neighbourhood stalker by folkdancing.
This is the other side of the main building. The yellow building in the background was enlarged in the 1950, and that was when the older building also got a new main entrance shown here.
Otherwise it was a usual classical two storey building, half wooden, half brick. The lady had showed me, that one door was missing a window, so that’s where I entered.
The entrance was directly to the 1950’s main stairway. The old external wall has probably been where the pillars and balcony are now.
The main lobby. The old doors have been preserved, but otherwise the renovations haven’t done very good to this building. There are several traces of rebuilds from the 1970’s or 1980’s, which are not very nice.
Such as the plastic floor and this entrance counter. This actually looks like what has happened with many older railway stations in Finland.
A look to the other end of the lobby. Note the white dust, which was about everywhere in the building.
One of the larger rooms downstairs. The dust extends here and the footprints show, that trespassers often come here.
Cleaning equipment was there waiting for the brave one who would take their time to clean things up. The task was probably too huge for anyone to begin with.
Another one of the rooms downstairs. There wasn’t much to see here.
Although not very well compactible with the old building, I find the main staircase extremely beautiful. The 1950’s and early 1960’s were the last times, when small details of buildings were well thought. After that it was just elements.
And by small details I mean for example the lighting. The lamps are very small.
In the next post we’ll go on with the upstairs.