Tallinn Central Library

The distinguished historicist structure at Estonia pst 8 is a 2-storey, T-shaped building, characterised by a lofty main section along the street front and a lower section towards the courtyard. The floors on both sides, positioned at different elevations, are linked by a central grand staircase. Erected in 1894-1895 for the Tallinn Russian Society, the building, originally known as the Russian Club, witnessed vibrant social activities. The sketch project was crafted by academician M. Preobraženski, with the final project designed by R. Knüpffer.

The Tallinn Russian Social Society operated here until 1918, after which the building transitioned to house the public library in 1920, a precursor to today’s Tallinn Central Library. Subsequent reconstructions in 1925 (architect H. Johanson) and 1938 (architect E. Mõttus) brought about partial changes to the interior layout, eliminating the original design. A comprehensive restoration effort took place in 2000-2001, reinstating the building’s historical charm.

The ongoing study aims to conduct a thorough examination of the structures, a prerequisite for formulating the restoration project focusing on the building’s facades. In adherence to the special conditions outlined by the heritage protection department of the Tallinn City Planning Board, key objectives include preserving the plaster surfaces on the facades and executing repairs with a similar plaster composition (with a recommended laboratory study). A technical expertise survey is also underway to identify the causes of cracks and the deterioration of cornices. Additionally, archival research is being conducted to discern the restoration works undertaken in recent years.


Photos from private collection of Richard Viies

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