Jun 12, 2013

Verkatehtaankatu

I had been wondering about the name of the street between blocks 10 and 11 for a long time before I finally decided to find out about it a couple of years ago. The name of the street is Verkatehtaankatu (broadcloth factory street) and it is very short, just 300 m. I checked that on the web site of the National Land Survey of Finland. I can't show the map due to copyrights, but the link opens it, showing the street marked with a blue line.

The explanation for the name was really simple. The street used to go to the light gray building you can see near the top of the map and that was the factory. It is actually called "Kalevan navetta" (Kaleva cattle house), although it has never served as a cattle house, but has been a factory. The building looks like this:


The photo is from this morning as I went for a little walk. I got a slight surprise when I got there. This is a photo I took in February 2012:


As you can see, there is a building to the right of the factory building and even a fence around it. (Actually, you can see that building in the map, shown in dark purple.) This is how that area looks now:


All that is left of the other building is a chimney and piles of rubble and tiles. There were no fences and no signs saying "keep out," so I went to take a closer look.



The other building has been demolished to make way for new houses. There is a large billboard by Vapaudentie showing the plan for the area:


The street going from left to upper right is Vapaudentie and it goes past our house (one of the three in the upper right corner, on the left side of the street). It goes from north (left) to south (right). The red brick houses with green roofs are the new ones to be built where the chimney is now. The factory will remain behind them as I think it is a protected building. Of the three houses in front of the red brick houses, right by Vapaudentie, one looks like the one already there:


But it looks like the yellow building on the left in this photo will have to go. The old building nearest to the intersection is already gone.

Of the two big white office buildings with a circular building between them, only one has been built so far:


One problem in making the area (on the east side of Vapaudentie) a good place for people to live is that the only way for pedestrians and cyclists to get to the center is over the Vapaudentie bridge (where I was when I took the photo below), which means having to take a detour. The straightest route to the center would be between the bridge I was on and the one to the east of it:


I have read about plans to build a pedestrian bridge. It'll be interesting to see how long that'll take. I know I wouldn't be interested in buying a home in the area, if there was no bridge, but the building of the bridge may not be seen as justified until there are some houses there, so it's a sort of a catch 22. I guess the first buyers will be people who own cars.

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