James Finlayson, a Scotsman, came to Finland via Russia and founded a cotton mill in Tampere in 1820, thereby creating what was to be the first major industrial establishment in the country.
From the 1830’s to 1900’s, Finlayson was a town within a town. The new owners of the factory, the Nottbeck family, ruled the community like an enlightened king rules his kingdom: they provided employment, housing, a school, food, a home for the elderly, a hospital and a church.
Completed in 1837, Finlayson’s six-storey factory building, called Kuusvooninkinen is the most significant monument of Finnish industrial history. It was the first building designed for large-scale industry, where halls had no partitioning walls. Instead, the intermediate floors were supported by cast iron pillars. Today, Kuusvooninkinen is a protected building, and the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments is supervising its restoration.
Today, the Finlayson area is a lively center in the middle of Tampere, full of cultural and leisure activities, business, and services. This modern and versatile centre houses various restaurants, cafés, businesses, and medical and cultural services, including a multiplex cinema. There are over 100 employers with over 3000 employees.
Attractions in the area include The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, the world’s first Spy Museum, and Himmelblau Printmaking Studio, the leading professional printmaking workroom in Finland. The Finlayson Church, the Finlayson Palace, and Tallipiha Stable Yards are located nearby.
Different kinds of events are held all year round. For example, Finlayson Art Area exhibits paintings, photography, video, sculpture, street art, graphic art, and glass art to the public at summertime.