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Tapanila in English

31.10.2008

Tapanila is an old villa district in north-east Helsinki. Its history goes back to 1500’s when there were 12-19 farm houses on the area, located near the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna main road. At that time, Tapanila was one of the biggest villages at Helsinki area.

A new era in Tapanila history started in 1862. Railroad was built to connect Helsinki and Hämeenlinna and Tapanila was chosen to be a place for a railway station. The station was called Mosabacka which is the Swedish name of Tapanila.

Habitation of Tapanila area was activated by Ab Parkstad-Wanda-Puistokylä Oy (Ltd.) that bought land from the area and started ”renting” it at 1906 to Helsinki people for a good price. People were offered a 10 year payment period to get ownership for their piece of land.

Most active building era was 1910 – 1935 and at that time Tapanila got its characteristics. There are still few houses left from the first building boom.

1946 Tapanila was joined to Helsinki city and it became the biggest suburban area of Helsinki by population.

During 60’s and 70’s there was a real threat of tearing down the old houses and building of big, grey concrete blocks of flats instead. Due to actions from Tapanila-Seura, the local village union, these thoughts were taken back and the area survived.

In the beginning of 80’s, the long term building prohibition was finally ended by a proper building plan. Some old houses were fixed or extended, some were taken down from the way of new houses or row houses.

Nowadays Tapanila is a green suburban area with romantic gravel roads and small houses. There are more than 10 000 inhabitans on the area. Overall look of houses has stayed quite the same during ages, of course there are also exceptions. New areas, Hiidenkivi and Fallkulla, have risen the amount of inhabitants a lot. Still, they are part of Tapanila village.

As a place for living Tapanila is a suberb, peaceful area with very good train connection (3-8 trains/hour) to Helsinki center (17 minutes). Most services are found within 1-2 km reach (Malmi, Tikkurila) and basic services (general stores, bars, pizzerias, a bakery(!), florist, barbers, gift shop, sausage stand…) are still found on area. Sports facilities are offered by Tapanilan Erä – bowling, squash, gymnastics, floor bandy, volleyball, wall climbing, martial arts – variety is huge.

Hopefully this short description gives a basic picture of Tapanila as an area.  Unfortunately there is no further information in English since majority of Tapanila people are Finnish speaking, but you can always contact puheenjohtaja@tapanila.fi for details.