The History

Short history of the Officers Club.

Finland's Dragon Regiment

If we want to know why the officers club is in Lappeenranta, then we have to return to 1878. The Senate of Finland issued a law on conscription, also based on the Independent Finnish Law on Forces Act of 1922. It declared: "Every Finnish man is conscripted for defending the fatherland and the throne from the beginning of the year. He is under conscript from 17 years old until 60 years." The "Throne" has now been replaced by the word "legal society".

Under this law, the Finnish conscript forces were founded, in which the invitation was awarded to some of the men for three years. There were nine battalions and their total strength was about 5,000 men. If the callers received a sufficiently high lottery ticket, they were assigned to the reserve. The reservists were trained for a total of 90 days in the first three months of the five-year reservoir. In February 1882, each of the Precambourate Battalion had its own reserve district with four companies.

The 8th reserve company belonging to the Vyborg Battalion reserve circuit was placed in Lappeenranta. (The current Karelia house in Huhtiniemi). There was no need for artillery in Finland, as the Finns in the war between 1808 and 1809 proved to be very skilled artillery users and there was a fear that the cannons might turn into a turnaround. In the early summer of 1885, a large camp of Finnish conscripts was held in Lappeenranta. The railway was completed at the end of May and the first train arrived in Lappeenranta at the beginning of June. The railroad was made for employment and was definitively completed for military reasons, as the railroad transport was considered a major priority. The position was located at Leirikenttä and at the tip of the fortress was a platform. A separate track and a dock for military transportation were built at Leirikenttä side opposite to the actual station.

In the camps of 1885 and 1888 the Russian cavalry also visited the camps and they were given an example of well-organized troops. In order not to fade in after the development of tactics, the desire to get a cavalry to Finland was also awakened. The Army was also required to have a national artillery squad. To set up the initiative for the cavalry team, the Finnish Senate was assigned to the Military Secretary and Emperor Alexander II. It was considered as part of the Finnish defense for the Russian military administration. The Russian cavalry was considered inadequate to co-operate with Finnish troops.

The Senate set up a committee to deal with cavalry and it submitted its proposal, which was handled in the 1888 parliamentary session. The money was worth 1,034,500 FIM and the military's strength was to be raised to 6,000 men. In April 17, 1889, a gracious Announcement of the Establishment of a Scrapery Inventory was published, which was named the Rakuunarykmentti of Finland and was invested in the city of Lappeenranta. The regiment was established gradually, according to the day-to-day order of the Governor General of Finland on 20 June 1890. Commander was assigned to LTC Oskar Theodor Schauman, who was graduated in 1868 from the Finnish Cadet School and services in the Pihkova. He had also been a member of the Cavalry Committee.

Finland Dragon Regiment barracks were built in the early summer 1889 by employment work. The Senate of the Work Order had issued a general government building in 5.3.1889 and by May 14th drawings and cost calculations were made on 42 buildings. The cost estimate was FIM 1 624 000.

Officers' Club Building

An essential part of the garrison was also an officer club, an officer club. It was placed on a long level formed during the ice age between Saimaa and the barracks. On the same level, the adjacent Commander Resident and two officers were also placed. Originally, the house building was designed for the commander's house, but it was too narrow for such a large building, so top architect Lybeck replaced them with their existing ones.

The drawings of the overcrowded building, as well as all 42 buildings, have been signed by then General Building Engineer Sebastian Gripenberg, Chief Engineer. The top management of the construction work was entrusted to top architect John Lybeck. The contract award was won by Antti Wiklund, a contractor from Vyborg and signed on 25 February 1890.

Commander LTC Schauman closely followed the progress of the "construction of the owner" and in 14.4 he had commented on the details of the building's construction work. The foundations of the commander's house had already been made, but the club foundations were still under construction, as the better stone-builders were doing the foundations of the bakery building. (L and S did not work well with each other and they had quarrel, for example, at the door of the room of the servant's room in the commander's house and on the wallpaper).

The long-term construction was completed quite quickly and was handed over to the officers in 5th of December 1890. The building was still incomplete and caused reclamation, for example in the case of parquet which was so badly made that it could not pay. The club was rehabilitated on March 17, 1891. The outer drill was made in the spring of April and when it was completed, there was a large party in the club. Yet at the end of 1891 Lybeck requiring the contractor hardwood floors and exterior painting repair.

In February 1895, the Senate approved the first modification in a single building by a Regiment Commander's request. One of the inner walls was to be demolished to make a room pool table.

The frame of the building is made of logs. Outside, it is upholstered with pine paneling and fine mirrors. The roof was tin from the very beginning. The two-story condominium structure has a three-part structure. As opposed to the maneuvers, its end portions are higher than the middle part. A large ballroom with playlists takes up almost the entire central space, while the lower part of the end part has smaller rooms. In the beginning, the parade and entrance hall were located on the side of the Officer's side in the middle of the facade. The showroom was reached directly to the festive shelter, whose large side windows open across the open terrace to the back of Saimaa Suninen. Above the lobby of the windows of the band gallery.

From the north door of the ballroom, we reached the billiard hall and the reading room. Correspondingly, the southern door was accessed to the dining room and cabinet. At the south end of the downstairs, were the current bar is, there was a kitchen and some of the existing halls were housekeeping and chalet house rentals that came to the end of the second door. Upstairs at each end of the building, there were a total of 11 accommodation units for poker vendors and nightclubs. They were accessed from the entrances to the upper floor of the building, the North of which was on the Offices Road. Originally, the upstairs of the Rakuunapää was designed for example, two two-room apartments for staff cabinets. There was, of course, furnace heating in the building, and for example, there were nice tiled stoves in the halls of the hall.

According to the drawings, in 1932, the building was undergoing extensive alteration work. The tiled furnaces were demolished and replaced by a water center heating system by building a boiler room and cellars under the building. The kitchen was moved to the large hall and the housekeeper's apartment upstairs. Entrances were made to the ends of the building. New arrangements made quite some changes to the club's indoor space as well. Obviously, the eye can still see the changes even today, even outside the building (half the window below).

The Upstairs interior walls have also been altered so that the rooms are better catered to their specific needs. It should be noted that only the ballroom has survived the most in its original condition.

The basement floor experienced major changes in 1974, when the officers built a sauna room with a fireplace and dressing rooms as their free time. At the same time the club terrace was increased to its present size.

The idea of building a sauna was born when the building was connected to the district heating network and the premises of the former boiler room were unnecessary. The largest and most dusty stage in the job was to dig out the sauna areas that were deep enough under the basin so that the foundations could be made and the room height was sufficient (even when there were some big stones in the basin floor in 1890). In addition to the officers, there were also members of the Reserve Club of Lappeenranta and a total of 54 private individuals or community donors. The construction work was led by Major Antti Lehtola.

In recent years, work has been mainly in the renovation and surface renovations, aiming to keep the club building in a representative condition. In the middle of the nineties, the club was painted again in the original color, which was not approved by everyone, because it had been much lighter and "slimmer" for many years. The building is under the protection of the National Heritage Board.

The Lappeenranta Officers Club is responsible for maintaining the building. The necessary repairs of the building, facade painting and renovation of windows and terraces will begin in spring 2018.

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