Photograph

Architect: Juhani Viiste, Camera shop "Union", Sortavala

Brick frame, plastered facade

Juhani Viiste (1) Valamonkatu (14) Greek Catholic church (1) Winter (24) Sortavala (112) 1940 (69) 1925 (22) church council (1) church (1) Kivinen (8) 1939 (75) Herman (16) Karjala (2)

The Church Council of Finland's Greek Catholic Church moved from Vyborg to Sortavala in 1925, and the church constructed an administrative building on Valamonkatu that, considering the scale of the town itself, was monumental in size. The building was completed in 1932. Designed by the Vyborg architect Juhani Viiste, the five-floor building influenced by neoclassicism was the largest of the buildings built for communities in Sortavala and also the last significant building to be constructed before the recession. The business facilities of the building were located on street level on the Valamonkatu side. In 1939, the building housed car dealership Autola owned by V. Lakka, a sales representative for Ford; the office of newspaper Karjala; Via Kivinen's interior design shop Koti-Pirtti; the Greek Catholic book shop; Sähkökoneliike selling electrical equipment; the Sortavala flower shop, and photography equipment shop Kuva. The largest apartment on the fourth floor (door B) of the building was reserved for the bishop and was inhabited by Arch Bishop Herman and his daughter Lucia. The hallway on top of the arch gate joining the eastern and western parts of the building could be accessed from the bishop's apartment. In a large-scale Winter War air raid on 2 February 1940, the building of the Church Council of the Greek Catholic Church caught fire and parts of it were damaged. The Finns had time to carry out a full restoration of the building during the Continuation War. After the wars, the Soviet Union turned the house into rented accommodation. The new inhabitants of the building dubbed the it the "Ford building" based on an advertisement painted on one of its walls. In 1973, a children's art school established by Kronid Gogolev in 1967 was moved to a former meeting room. The current director of the school is Maria Gogoleva.

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