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History of the Library building

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The Metla library building was constructed in 1907 in the national-romantic "Jugend"-style and it was called Paviljonki (the pavilion) meaning a villa. During the years 1908-1917 the future president of the republic Lauri Kristian Relander lived and worked in this building. He had graduated in agriculture and had his Ph.D. in 1911. The dissertation was titled "Studien über Verwendbarkeit der Präzipinreaktion in der Samenprüfung". During this time Relander was the assistant of plant production at the state agricultural reseach institute. His specialties were agricultural experiments, inspection work and plant breeding.

Relander and his family lived in the second floor of the building. One of the rooms has a beatiful green fireplace from tha era. On the same floor in a separate one-room flat lived the maid of the family. The rooms are now used as meeting facilities and there are few items and photos of the president kept as a "home museum".

Downstairs, in the current library collections, were facilities for sampling analysis. The slide to the door on the north side was built for bringing in samples with horse and carriage or tractor. The bridge has not been used to its original purpose since 1950s.

In the third floor, where the quest rooms are now, lived single magisters, meaning researchers. The term researcher was not used, perhaps an academic title sounded fancier in those days. The basement was filled with storages. The current sauna facilities used to be the storage for poisons of the agricultural research institute. In the small kitchenette, used to house bachelors in the 1940s and 50s. These men were doing weather observations.

After the war (1944-1952 , Mauno Pekkala, a forester, was the prime minister. He was also the director general of Metsähallitus. One of his advisors was a well known agricultural chemist, Pauli Tuorila who also worked here. Pekkala was a communist (which was common in those days). Tuorila was conservative (IKL). For ages have wise and prosperous people been able to collaborate over party lines. It was not uncommon to see a state car pulling in front of the Pavilion bringing the prime minister Pekkala. In the small weather observation hut he and Tuorila pondered important issues relevant to national politics. This building and its small weather observation room was one of the influential locations during the post world war period.

The current library rooms acted as a library also under the agricultural research center. The library was very modest and thus it was often the location for institutional christmas parties, dances and other parties - merry activities have always been part of these facilities.

The Finnish Forest Research Institute, the National Board of Antiquities, and the The Finnish National Board of Building (currently Senaatti-Kiinteistöt) have with great care sustained the cultural value and traditions of this building.

Jaakko Pajamäki 1.9.1993
(translation by Jarmo Saarikko 1.9.2008)

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