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The history of Keila – what was Tuula road like before the construction of the Keila Home apartment buildings?

Over the years, many markets have been held on Tuula road, in the shops of Keila Consumers’ Cooperative as well as in the sales and beer stalls. Today, there are the new apartment buildings of Keila Home on Tuula road, but let’s look at the history and see what has taken place there previously.

Since the Middle Ages, markets have been held in Keila. In the early years of the Republic of Estonia, there were five days in a year meant for holding markets. As the newly established town was economically quite weak, holding markets was the one activity that earned money – the church square and streets close by were full of sellers and their horse-drawn carriages.

Today, the tradition of holding markets in Keila is kept alive through Keila Day and the parish market during Michaelmas.

Turuhoone (arhitekt Boris Mirov) ehitus 1994. aastal. Foto: Kalle Heinla (HMK F 3594)

Construction of the market building in 1994 (architect Boris Mirov). Photo: Kalle Heinla (HMK F 3594)

Keila Horticulture and Beekeeping Society started building a sales stall in 1983 next to Michael’s church by Tuula road. The stall was completed by the end of 1984 and a year after that, commission trade began there. It was supposed to help remedy the economic situation.

Plants, saplings, seeds, flowers, vegetables, handicraft and honey were sold. As the building did not have a heating system, it could not be used in winter and the sales were not enough. In the following years, the society rented out the stall and the sale of beer started there.

Õllepaviljon Tuula tee ääres 1996. aastal. Foto: Peep Koppel (HMK F 3713)

The beer stall by Tuula road in 1996. Photo: Peep Koppel (HMK F 3713)

However, the surrounding residents did not like this, because the customers were noisy and disturbed the peace of the night, so the sale of beer in the stall ended. Over time the state of the stall had deteriorated so much that in 1999, Keila city government decided to demolish it, but the society wanted to preserve it. The stall was finally demolished in July 2003.

Autobussipeatus 1990. aastal. Foto: Toomas Tuhkanen

A bus station in 1990. Photo: Toomas Tuhkanen

On the same square were the shops of the Keila Consumers’ Cooperative. After they were demolished, the construction of a representative market building began according to the project (1989) of Boris Mirov, which, however, was abandoned due to changes in the regime and was demolished in 2004–2005.

Kauplusehooned 1990. aastal. Foto: Toomas Tuhkanen

Store buildings in 1990. Photo: Toomas Tuhkanen

Today, there are four new apartment building on the square between the railway and the church – Keila Home apartment buildings, that won first place in the category of terraced houses and apartment buildings in the competition Keila Beautiful Home 2023 held by Keila city. The apartment buildings of Keila Home are unique because of the exterior space, that in addition of the previously described landscaping consists of different roads lined with various shrubs between the buildings, sitting areas, bike storage, a mulch-covered playground on the west side of the area and a community garden where the residents of the apartment buildings can grow plants they like (herbs, vegetables, berries). It is a pleasure to see that life on Tuula road is thriving and already this year, some residents can pick the first peas or potatoes from their garden.

The text about the history of Tuula road and pictures have been gathered by Harju County Museumtogether with the newspaper Keila Leht. It is a part of the exhibition that can be seen in Keila Central Park. The exhibition can be visited until spring of 2024 – go and explore, because there are exciting photos and stories for everyone!