Rotermann Quarter




Once the industrial center of Tallinn, the area was founded in 1829 by Christian Rotermann, who produced construction material.  1850 saw the building of the Rotermann department store, now the oldest building still standing, which has since been used by numerous educational institutions.  The district, located between the Baltic Sea and the old town, grew to include a distillery, a pasta factory, a flour mill, a lumber mill and a wool factory.


The Soviet occupation of Estonia in 1940 resulted in the nationalization of all companies.  The buildings in the Rotermann Quarter became untended and rundown to the point where repairs were considered impossible.  With the independence of Estonia in 1991, changes began in the Quarter.  The first was the renovation of the salt warehouse in 1996, which today houses the Estonian Museum of Architecture.  In 2001 the area was given heritage status, recognizing the historical value of the limestone buildings, and the decision was made to renovate and repurpose the former industrial buildings with the addition of contemporary architecture.  A height limit of 24 meters was established, being the height of the grain elevator. 


The plan for the Quarter has been to create a “live-work” area with a pedestrian friendly environment.  The flour storage facility, barley mill, and lumber workshop have all been renovated.  The beautifully restored Quarter now encompasses shops, restaurants and offices, and the main square is home to festivals and outdoor performances.





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