Sunday, July 12, 2015
Huge Swedish House For Sale For Just One Krona
Via The Local: A grand French Renaissance style house in Gävle, 160kms north of Stockholm, is up for sale for one krona. The catch? The buyer must renovate it and move in. The house is under threat of demolition by its owners, the port of Gävle. A new owner, prepared to plough in enough money to restore the house, would save the house from that fate. “It would be terrible to lose it as it is part of our heritage that we will never get back”, says Svante Helmbaek Tirén, who started the Facebook group, Rädda Villa Sjötorp Gävle (Save the Villa Sjötorp). He is critical of the owners, the municipality-owned port of Gävle, which he says has been offered volunteer help to keep the house in good condition. However, last week Gävle port's CEO Fredrik Svanbom said to the newspaper, Gefle Dagblad: “We have always wanted to demolish the house. We have no use for it”. The Facebook campaign, launched in April, has received wide support in both Gävle and around the country. The post offering the house for one krona has been seen more than half a million times and has more than three thousand shares. Helmbaek Tirén says the interest is high because the house is so special. “I am a specialist in the late 1800s and Villa Sjötorp is unique”, he told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “There are larger and more lavish houses, but this is an architectural masterpiece that seems to really strike a chord in people”. The house was built in 1864, but was renovated in 1882 by the merchant Axel Brandt (1836-1898), who had been inspired by his travels through France. This is not the first campaign to save Villa Sjötorp. When the house was threatened with demolition in the 1970s, an association, Sjötorps Friends, was formed to save it. They nursed it for 30 years until 2006 when the association was evicted. Since then the condition of the house has deteriorated. About fifty people from Sweden, the UK, and the US have registered interest in the house, according to Helmbaek Tirén. “I really hope we find someone who wants to save it”, he says. “It’s not a bad house for one krona”.