Seurahuone in Kokkola – Private hospitality since 1894
The first building to the current property was presumably built by Isac Brenner together with his wife Anna in the 17th century. The building was made out of wood, as were all the buildings at that time. The building burned down in 1805 and in 1806 a new building, made out of stone, was built to the property. Using stone as a building material was still rare at the time and the building was also rare due to its unusually large size. The one-storey, gambrel roof building had 12 rooms and it was decorated in a modern style.
When entering the last decade of the 19th century the building started functioning as an accommodation facility instead of an apartment building. In April 1894 the ownership of the building was transferred from the Donner family to Sällskapsklubben and in 1894 the building became a hotel by Adolf Rothoff. The hotel was called Skandia and it was described to be a first-class hotel with an up-to-date restaurant. In 1895 expansion and repair work, lasting a few months, was started at the hotel. In April 1898 Rothhoff bought the hotel. In the summer the hotel expansion continued and the building received two new floors.
In October 1898 Hotel Skandia was closed down and the first Seurahuone in town started operating. The three-storey hotel was described as an up-to-date and first-class hotel, which had thirteen rooms, three dining rooms, billiard and a basement restaurant. The operation continued in this form until 1941. In the beginning of 1940’s the owner, Elial Sandbacka started new expansion and renovation work at the hotel. The renovations continued until fall of 1943 when the hotel reached the form still seen today.
Hotel Seurahuone, with its six floors, was the biggest building in the town. In the first floor of the building were located business premises and the two top floors were apartment floors. There were also three restaurants, the one in the basement was reserved for the working class, the third floor had a sobriety restaurant and the top floor had a festival hall for special occasions. In addition the building had 40 rooms for travelers and the premises of Seuraklubi. During the past decades the hotel has undergone several transformations and during the coming years many more changes are yet to come.