Estonian fraternity korp! Sakala has decided to purchase the former Estonian National Museum (ERM) exhibition building, the predecessor of the current main building, located at Kuperjanovi 9 in Tartu.
Korp! Sakala decided to purchase the building, which was designed by Estonian architect Ain Amjärv and built in 1964, at auction from state real estate company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS), according to a press release.
According to Mihkel Stamm, chairman of the korp! Sakala Alumni Association, the exhibition building, which stands next door to the organization's current and historical fraternity house, was built on property which, at the beginning of the 20th century, belonged to korp! Sakala and its members, which is why they were interested in restoring this historical continuity.
"We plan on investing in the renovation of the building and would like to conclude a long-term rental agreement with the city of Tartu on its use," Stamm explained. "As the city of Tartu was also interested in purchasing the building, we will offer the city the opportunity to rent the building so that Tartu social and cultural institutions may operate there." The head of the alumni association noted that their purchase of the building spared Tartu from increasing its already sizeable debt burden and will allow the city to redirect its funds to co-financing EU projects.
Korp! Sakala was established in 1909 by former members of the Estonian Students' Society. Their historical fraternity house, located behind the former ERM exhibition building at Veski 69, is under heritage conservation. Completed in 1911, the building was designed by Finnish architects Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lönn, the authors of the Estonia Theatre building in Tallinn.
Editor: Aili Vahtla