Helsinki City Museum has 7 filial museums. In the main bulding of the City Museum (a department store from the year 1913) is the exhibition "Helsinki Horizons", which offers a clear view over 450 years of the City´s history. Museum shop. Extensive photograph archives.
Helsinki City Museum
Next to the Finland Hall, in an elegant villa from the 1840s changing exhibitions are on display. Hakasalmi Villa was built in 1843 by the procurator and privy counsellor Carl Johan Walleen as a combined city and country residence. The architect was E.B. Lohrmann from Berlin. Two wings were added to the front of the main building in 1847, the north one served as a bakery and the south one as a greenhouse. The villa was surrounded by a large English garden.
The City of Helsinki leased the villa plot to Walleen for 50 years. The low, partly rocky sea-shore plot was formerly a pasture area. When the lease expired in 1896, the city bought the villa from Walleen’s step-daughter Aurora Karamzin, who, however, lived in the villa until her death in 1902.
The ground floor of the villa was leased to the State Historical Museum as exhibition premises between 1906 and 1911. The Helsinki City Museum started operating in the same space in 1911. The upper floor was occupied by the Applied Art Society until 1929, when the City Museum gained control of the whole building.
Oy G. F. Stockmann Ab bought the Sofiankatu 4 plot from the city in 1911 to build a department store. The old house on the plot was demolished and a three-storey building designed by Lars Sonck was constructed in its place. The new department store, which opened at Christmas 1913, sold building supplies and tools. Two floors were added to the building between 1919 and 1921. Stockmann continued to operate at the Sofiankatu 4 premises until 1930, when the present department store opened.
Sofiankatu 4 housed the police department from the 1930s on, and in the 1980s the building was refurbished for use of the city planning department.
The Helsinki City Museum moved into the building in late 1994/early 1995. The building is now home to office and working facilities as well as exhibition premises. During the day the City Museum also has at its disposal a film theatre Kino Engel, which shows short films about Helsinki. There is a museum shop on the ground floor.
A museum devoted to the Helsinki trams is located at the City´s oldest tram depot (from 1900), which is a part of Korjaamo Cultural Factory. The refurbished museum presents tram history on grassroots level, from a passenger´s point of view.
The beginning of electric tram traffic saw the area change into a large, modern transport depot. A tram hall, the present Tram Museum, was built in 1900. The architect was Valdemar Aspelin. This brick structure with its shallow saddled roofs and simple ornamentation is typical of late-19th century industrial architecture. Originally there were doors at both ends of the building, so the trams could drive straight through. A farrier’s workshop also operated in the building.
The oldest (1818) wooden building standing in its original place in downtown Helsinki. The Burgher’s House presents the domestic life of a middle class family in the 1860s. The house is furnished as the home of Head Fireman Alexander Wickholm and his family - his wife Erika and three children Augusta, Alexander and Frans.
Information about the furnishings and the property of the head fireman’s home were obtained from estate inventories, which indicate a considerable amount of property. The family was evidently fairly well off. Because the entire estate was sold at an auction after Wickholm’s death, the furnishings used in the Burgher’s House are from the City Museum’s own collection.
The Burgher’s House is furnished as an imaginary household, in which some of the objects and furniture are inherited, some purchased when the home was set up, and some bought at a later date. The overall impression is a combination of different periods and different styles.
The yard building contains two chambers. In the first chamber is presented the conservation of the Burgher's House and in the other housekeeping and children's life in the 19th century.
Tuomarinkylä Manor Museum
The house of merchant Johan Sederholm at the corner of the Senate Square is the oldest building in Helsinki city centre. The stone house, built in 1757, was in its time the most impressive private home in Helsinki. It was probably designed by the German-born master builder Samuel Berner. The building of the house was an indication of Helsinki’s growing affluence in the mid-18th century, when the construction of the Suomenlinna sea fortress began. There was a shop and business premises on the lower floor of the house and an apartment upstairs. The vaulted cellars were used as storage room. Sederholm’s descendants owned the property until 1822, after which the property had a number of different owners.
Architect Konstantin Kiseleff bought the house in 1865 and drew up a renovation plan, and led in 1866 the windows were enlarged, balusters installed under the upstairs windows, and three doors were inserted into the facades facing the street. In the 1850s and 1860s the building housed a tobacco factory, a girls’ school, various restaurants and a bakery. Several small shops occupied the ground floor. Tenants also lived in the house. The Kiseleff family owned the property until 1912. The City of Helsinki acquired the building in 1949 and converted it for the use of the city court. When the city court moved elsewhere in 1985, the building passed to the City Museum.
Museum of Worker Housing
Tuomarinkylä Manor (from 1790s) stands on a hill surrounded by fields in northern Helsinki. Exhibition Elegance in the main building presents interior design in Helsinki from Baroque to Functionalism through the City Museum's fine collection of furniture and decorative objects.
Visitors to the museum have long wished for a cross-section of old interior design styles in the rooms of Tuomarinkylä Manor. The Elegance exhibition introduces visitors to a range of styles from baroque to functionalism using a selection of interiors and choice items representative of a given style selected from Helsinki City Museum’s fine furniture and interior design object collections.
The exhibition features an extensive sample of objects used to decorate and adorn Helsinki homes through the centuries. Besides furniture, there are works of art, handicraft, silver, glassware, ceramics, furnishing fabrics, fashion plates and designers’ sketches on show. The exhibition features not only the main characteristics of the various styles, but also the novelties and inventions influencing interior design in different eras.
The homes and lives of worker families in Helsinki, and the history of the Finnish everyday life in the 20th century as well, are presented in a cosy museum nearby the Linnanmäki amusement park. The Worker Housing Museum is located in the oldest apartments built by the city for its own workers in Helsinki. The one-room apartments, so called stove rooms, have been furnished and decorated as homes of people that lived in the house in different times.
Not much remains of the tightly built working class neighbourhood that sprang up behind the Pitkäsilta Bridge at the turn of the 20th century – the museum building is one of the few houses left. Next to the Linnanmäki amusement park, the hundred-year-old wooden house brings to life the working class lifestyle of 20th century Helsinki.
In the beginning of the 20th century, in order to improve the poor living conditions of the working class, the city of Helsinki decided to build well-equipped apartments for its own workers on a street then called Kristiinankatu. The apartments were let to workers who had served the city for a long time, and who preferably had large families. The rents were high but the tenants happy.