Search graduate:

Anett Anton

  • Faculty of Art and Culture
  • Cultural Heritage and Conservation
  • BA
  • A study of the Industries in Torupilli, Tallinn between 1920–1940. Preservation and Historic value
  • Tutor: PhD Riin Alatalu

The Industrial Revolution started a new era that changed the way the people lived dramatically. 

It arrived in Estonia in the 1870s with the completion of the Baltic Railway, which connected Estonia with St. Petersburg. The intensification of trade within the Russian Empire increased the demand for various goods and services, which raised the living standards of the people and in turn created a demand for consumer goods, materials and machinery to facilitate the ever increasing production needs.

Tallinn became an important industrial city before the First World War, when preparations for the war began. With newly established three large naval shipyards Tallinn was the base for the Russian navy in the Baltic sea. In addition to the large industries various smaller companies were involved in furnishing the ships. With the increase in production volumes came an increase in the number of workers and the population of the city. Due to the lack of living space and infrastructure in a growing city, several large companies built in addition to manufacturing buildings also constructions that served the wider public such as  sawmills, power plants, bread factories, workers’ houses, etc. This meant an increase in settlement density and the emergence of new residential areas close to factories and plants. Despite the economic ups and downs, newly gained independence and multiple rapid changes in the economic policy, the new suburbs remained closely linked to industries of different sizes and sectors until the Second World War.

The thesis addresses the historical formation of the suburb Torupilli and the historic value and preservation of the industrial enterprises with a focus on small and medium industries that operated there from 1920–1940. This was preceded by the collection of data on the industries operating during the given period, which provides an overview of the companies’ areas of activity, operating years, addresses, and allows conclusions and creates a base for future studies on the size and exact location of the listed companies on the respective land lots. The compiled table is known to be the only study on industrial heritage among the historical suburbs in Tallinn.

Based on the data collected on the industries their historical location, current preservation and its future perspective in the milieu were analyzed. The analysis is based upon the current thematic plan for determining the boundaries, protection and conditions of use of Tallinn City’s milieu valuable building areas and the current Heritage Protection Act.

As a result of the analysis, it became clear that the number of heritage sites with industrial history that earlier dominated the whole neighborhood in Torupilli has significantly decreased over time. This may be due to the lack of data set on industrial history in the area and a lack of public awareness of these values. Hopefully, however, this thesis will solve at least one of these shortcomings and will help with the protection of the 20th century heritage in the future.