History of the Kuokkalan kartano Manor
Born on May 20, 1872, Olivia Mathilda “Wivi” Lönn was the first woman to lead her own architectural firm in Finland. Kuokkalan kartano, completed in Jyväskylä in 1904, was the first building designed by Lönn.
Combining the features of the future classicism and national romance, the Manor was built by Commercial Counsellor Julius Johnson as the residence for his family. The Manor was located right next to the buildings of the Johnson-owned sawmill and at the time was also one of the largest farms in the region. The magnificently decorated mansion was the home of a family of merchants for several decades. The magical garden, large dogs and a privately owned ship were part of the family’s daily life.
Johnson’s estate sold the manor to the city of Jyväskylä in 1946.
From a maternity hospital to band facilities and art cafes
A few years after being sold to the city of Jyväskylä, in the late 1940s, the Manor began to function as a maternity hospital. During the busiest years, more than a thousand children were born at the Manor.
The maternity hospital was closed in 1967 and after that, the Manor was leased to the University of Jyväskylä as a hydrobiological research institute. After a decade of research use, the manor stood mostly empty until the late 1990s. During that time, the Manor was even used as a training facilityies for basement bands.
In 1998, the Kauko Sorjonen Foundation bought thea badly dilapidated cultural site and began an extensive renovation, restoration, and interior design work. Before the current owners, the Manor was used as an office, a café, and an art museum.
The latest page in the manor’s story was turned in late 2020, when the manor was passed on to us. The manor has undergone a worthy renovation and will open to its full glory in the autumn of 2021.
[Sources: http://www3.jkl.fi/historia/nakymat/rakennukset/kuokkalankartano.shtml and http://www.jukkajoutsi.com/jyvaskyla2.html]