Töölö

Töölö is the collective name for the neighbourhoods Etu-Töölö (lit. Front Töölö) and Taka-Töölö (lit. Rear Töölö). The neighbourhoods are located next to the city centre, occupying the western side of the Helsinki Peninsula.

Etu-Töölö, the southern neighbourhood, borders Kamppi and is the location of the Finnish Parliament House. Taka-Töölö, the northern neighbourhood, borders Meilahti and Laakso. Contrary to popular belief, Töölö is not the official name of any district or neighbourhood in Helsinki.

Töölö was built in 1920–1930 when Helsinki suffered from rapid population growth and needed more housing. It was the site of the first ever town planning competition in Finland in 1898-1900.
The Töölö Picture Path designed by Helsinki city museum takes the viewer along Runeberginkatu from 1913 onwards. Runeberginkatu is the backbone of traffic in Töölö. It extends from Kamppi Square all the way to the Opera House, forming an arc that combines the areas of Etu-Töölö and Taka-Töölö.
While the village of Töölö was already in existence in the Middle Ages, the majority of Töölö remained unbuilt in the late 18th century. In the late 19th and early 20th century, there were villas here and there in Töölö, along with vegetable plantations between rocky areas. The area was also home to many industrial labourers working nearby. In 1898, the first town plan competition in Finland was organised for the Töölö area. The competition resulted in a town plan approved in 1906, and the new city district started to emerge.

Ox cart at Eteläinen Hesperiankatu 26. The first photo dates from the Second World War; shop windows protected against bombing can be seen in the background.
Corner of Runeberginkatu and Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu. Photo from 1937 by Pietinen Aarne Oy.



Runeberginkatu 54 b in the early 1920s, photo by B. Tallgren and in 2017.




Sandelsinkatu 8. Refilling at Oy Shell Ab's petrol station on the west side of Töölöntori Square in 1933, photo by Pietinen Aarne Oy.

Now (presumably): music and arts school Sandel founded in 1981 as a department of the Brage Association in Helsinki. During its first quarter-century the school was funictioning under the name Brage's music school. Given that its website is fully in Swedish, it is dedicated to Swedish-speakers.

Boys drinking from a well at Runeberginkatu 53 in 1929, photo by K. Kallioniemi. People waiting for a tram, 2017.

Selling balloons on May Day 1934 at the HOK corner, photo by Sakari Pälsi. R-kioski at the same corner, 2017.



sources
Helsinki City museum materials; Finnish archives,
libraries and museums resource Finna; Wikipedia.
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