a sofa left outside

Abandoned houses in my home town Akaa

Digital Stories

I’ve lived in my home town Akaa for almost a decade. Some years ago while walking in the neighbourhood, I noticed these two big houses which had their windows boarded shut and seemed totally abandoned. I have always been interested in local history and all things forgotten, so the houses piqued my interest.

The houses are located in conjoined plots and seem to be from maybe 1930s or 1940s. The outhouses and the well in the yard seemed to implicate that there had been no running water or modern toilets in these houses. Why were these two large houses in the middle of a small suburb abandoned? How long have they been abandoned and who lived in them? Time to find out!

Video: A panning of the two abandoned houses in Akaa. NOTE: if you have troubles viewing the videos, please try Chrome browser.
abandoned house and outhouse
One of the outhouses is already in bad shape with the roof partially collapsed and walls cracking.
porch of abandoned house
The houses are identical, with two entrances at the top of the stairs. Typically in these kinds of houses, one entrance leads to first floor and the other to the apartment upstairs.
Video: One house is sheltered by trees so its not very visible from the road. The place has been used as a drinking spot and there is quite a lot of debris lying around.

Google Street View to the rescue!

Now I’m sure plenty of people with a longer history of living in Akaa would know the story of these houses. I figured I might as well find out too and write about it online, if only to have it on record. When I first searched for information, I typed the houses’ address to Google Street View. My searches didn’t produce very good results, because trees were blocking the view at almost all angles.

Good thing is that Google has two sets of pictures from the address. First is from 2009 and the second from 2019. Below you can see a view to the outhouse 10 years apart.

In 2009, there was a gravel road leading to the yard of one of the houses.
The nature has taken over and there is almost no sign of the road anymore. I certainly didn’t spot it when I visited the premises.
old house in Akaa
Above is another Street View shot from 2009.
old abandoned house in Akaa
And from dystopian future of 2021.
a well, rusty canister and a roller skate
The well is still there, buried under shrubbery and a discarded roller skate.
rusty canister and a roller skate.
In good shape!

Akaa newspaper article tells the story

Further searches from Google revealed a couple of local newspaper Akaan Seutu articles, which discussed the fate of the houses. The municipality of Akaa owns the houses. It seems that in 2004, local political parties were considering of repairing the houses. The city council deemed the repairs too expensive and chose to build a replacement building elsewhere in 2013. The houses were known as the houses of Tarpia (finnish: Tarpian talot) and they were intensive service housing for special needs groups, like recovering alcoholists. Akaa abandoned the buildings in 2013 and there were plans of tearing them down and building new apartments in their plots. That hasn’t happened yet, who knows if it ever will.

Such is the backstory of these two abandoned houses in Akaa. I’m sure there are a lot more tales to tell about them. If you have some additional pieces of information, please leave a comment and I might add it to this story.

Up to four persons could use the outhouses simultaneously!
A look inside reveals how the roof has broken and a beam has crashed down. I think next winter will crash the roof all the way.