Building

A.E. Ollilainen

Durchmann (5) Uittamo (1) Sortavala (112) A.E. Ollilainen (1) Mikko Savolainen (1) Seminaarinkatu (9) master builder (1) Juho Uittamo (1) 2014 (27)


In 1898, master builder A.E. Ollilainen designed a residential building known as the Uittamo building for the corner of Itäinen rautatienkatu and Seminaarinkatu. A special feature of the building was Sortavala's only belvedere, i.e. a roof terrace where residents could spend time outdoors.
In 1899, the house was inhabited by railway supervisor Juho Uittamo andhis wife Amanda, three children and a maid. In addition, labourer MikkoSavolainen's family were living in the house as lodgers. In the 1920s,the Uittamo house was purchased by Mr de Bruyn-Ouboter, a veterinarianfrom a German-Dutch noble family. With the new owner, the building soonbegan to be known as Töpry house, after the Finnish pronunciation of thename de Bruyn. In addition to the family's residential premises, thehouse also featured the master's reception. According to the memories offormer residents of Sortavala, Ms Durchmann, Director of the CottageIndustry Association, lived in the small apartment for a significantperiod of time. Later, it was inhabited by the family of "Töpry's"youngest son. The son's daughter Yvonne (1934–2013) was elected MissFinland in 1954. Yvonne de Bruyn, who charmed the judges with her"mischievous dimples", remains to date the only Miss Finland of a nobleorigin. In spring 2014, the Uittamo building was found to be in a poor condition but still partly inhabited. A fire had wrecked havoc, and the remains of the belvedere had been piled behind a fence.

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