articles

panorama:
candlestick 152kt

panorama:
the rapids 1897
heavy 1480kt
light 646kt

panorama:
the east side of the rapids 357kt

video:
hämeensilta 1929 2623 kt

[THE OLD TOWN CENTRE] - [HÄMEENKATU BECOMES THE MAIN ROUTE] - [FROM ANNEXATIONS TO ESTATES]

Hämeenkatu becomes the main route
Ilona Koivisto and Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

The eastern shore of the rapids belonging to Messukylä turned into a suburb of industrial workers and lacked both a town plan and all conveniences. The tenant farmers of Juhannuskylä and Kyttälä built their small dwellings on lots they had leased from Hatanpää Manor; by the mid-1860s the area already had 2000 inhabitants. The city coveted the area for extra land, railway, and the water power of the rapids. The annexation happened in 1877 and tripled Tampere's land area. The rebuilding of the area began in 1892, and more than 2000 people got evicted from the area. Hämeenkatu was extended directly from the bridge to the railway station. Ronganoja brook got dammed and water pipes and street lights were installed in the area.

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The new city plan made Hämeenkatu into a long and wide main street. The beginning of the century was jugend time in terms of building the city centre. Domestic flora and fauna were an endless source for ornaments, and national romanticism flourished. Tampere's enriched merchants competed in building magnificent residential and commercial buildings. The development of engineering skills introduced new building methods and electricity brought elevators to buildings which grew taller and taller.

The style of houses at the beginning of Finland's independence initially adhered to simplified classicism and since the 1930's functionalism. Airiness, free design and level roofs were characteristic of the unadorned houses of the era. Among the public buildings of the city centre, the railway station and the bus station are representative examples of the era.

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Parks were planned to Tampere not only to beautify the city, but also to prevent fires. The city's esplanade, that is Hämeenpuisto, was visible already in the plans of the 1830s. The city's own gardener and beautification committee were given the task of thinking about the city's outlook and pleasantness; in addition to boulevards, Koskipuisto park was built on the eastern side of the rapids in the 1890's. Statues, fountains and water kiosks provided the parks with extra attraction. The roots of the many summertime street cafés lie in the parks' water kiosks and the coffee booths of the city squares. Walking along the ”Hämppi” has been a popular pastime among the city dwellers. Banks and insurance companies centred their activities in the main street already since the 1930s, but in the 1980's their multiple offices conquered space from Hämeenkatu specialised shops. Today, the increasing pubs, restaurants and fast food joints attract people to spend their time along the main street.

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