“Heine’s House” – Administrative centre of Pori association of parishes
Built by sea captain Heine in 1893 with a tower resembling a crow’s nest on a ship.
Currently serving as the administrative centre of the Pori association of parishes, the building, located next door to the town hall and opposite the Pori Theatre, was designed by architect Ricardo Björnberg. Mixing various styles of architecture, it was built by Oscar Heine. It has been owned by the parishes since 1922.
Sea captain’s house
The builder, Oscar Heine, was born in Vähärauma, Pori, in 1854. After years spent at sea, he bought “plot number 45 on the other side of town” in 1891. For a then-bachelor’s home, the house was built surprisingly large; over a thousand square metres.
When the house was completed, the 38-year-old former sea captain married Edith Sofia Vilhelmina Gyllenberg. They had three children: a boy and two girls.
Heine was the first registered clearance, forwarding and coal business operator in Pori. He had offices in Pori, Reposaari and Mäntyluoto. Heine’s family lived on the first floor at the other end of the building facing the town hall. Heine also had an office for his business downstairs. The flats on the second floor were rented by people such as Mayor Caselius and Thesleff, the director of the telegraph office. The basement served as a storage at first but was later built into flats.
Oscar Heine passed away in 1911. His widow and heirs sold the house to the parishes of Pori a decade later. The deeds of sale were completed in 1921 and the house became the residential and administrative building of the urban and rural parish of Pori in 1922.
Built in its owner’s style
The building reflects the revival styles of its time as well as the ideas of its designer, architect Ricardo Björnberg, and its builder, Oscar Heine; it fits into its surroundings while being different and unique. The most distinctive element is the round tower, resembling a crow’s nest on a ship. Heine apparently wanted to incorporate a reminder of his time as a sailor in his new home. The house was build during an era of revivalism by freely mixing various styles. It features aspects of neoclassicism, renaissance revival, Gothic revival, the baroque and art nouveau. As was customary at the time, the courtyard was designed to look simple and plain. The walls in the staircase feature various ornamental and symbolic images.
From a residential house to an administrative building
When the urban and rural parish of Pori separated itself from the Ulvila parish in 1920, it wanted a respectable parish hall. The building at Hallituskatu 9 was bought for this purpose. The second floor housed the parsonages of the curate and the minister, while the first floor served as administrative and meeting rooms as well as confirmation classes and, later, as a chapel. In 1986, the chapel was converted into offices and a new chapel was built in the parish service centre. With Aulis Karén, Minister of Central Pori, moving out in 1976, the house became a fully administrative building. The janitor lived in the house for another two decades.