The Story of Gallery Vanha Kappalaisentalo

The story of Gallery Vanha Kappalaisentalo

The history of Kappalaisentalo began in 1760, when Porvoo burned. Baker Bergman’s house, which laid on top of Vuorikatu, caught fire and ruined most of the wooden houses in the town. Around 200 families were left homeless. After the fire it was decided that the public buildings from then on were to be in stone.

Stone houses in the middle of the town

The mayor of the town, Gabriel Hagert, traveled to Stockholm to ask for tax freedom and a loan for the repairment of the town. He returned from his trip with drawings of Raatihuone and Kappalaisentalo.

At the same time builder Gotthard Flensborg moved to the town, and he was given the job as the architect. Earlier in his life, the Danish born Flensborg had worked as builder for Viapori (now Suomenlinna).

According to the appreciation for the church and Kappalaisentalo, it was decided that Kappalaisentalo was built at the mill of the square of Raatihuone. The yard had previously belonged to burgher Haikman. In return Haikman was given some money and a new yard. At the same time another part of Haikman’s former yard was given to merchant Holms, who’s new and stylish house demanded a bigger yard. Holmin talo is now a part of the museum of Porvoo.

The building of Kappalaisentalo started in 1763, and the next year chaplain Joel Petrejus moved in. For about hundred years the building worked as a home for the chaplain of the parish.

From a bakery to art gallery

The building was sold at an auction to baker Alfred Rannström year 1865. The ground floor was renovated to suit that time’s bakery. Together with Tobias Tomander, Ramström trained himself to become a baker until 1899. The building remained a bakery to 1975 (F. Henriksson. Jalmari Lehto, Erik Bärlund, Paul Jokinen).

At the beginning of the 20th century, the town’s first rental car entrepreneur J.F. Fallström, who also practiced some sort of dispensing operation. After him tailor K.J. Fransson lived in the house, until bakerentrepreneur F. Henriksson started his business.

The city of Porvoo reclaimed ownership of the building in 1977. It was renovated to an art gallery, and the first exhibit was opened in May 1978. The ground floor is rented to café-entrepreneurs. The sign on the outside wall tells of the buildings long history as a bakery.