With a directive from the Minister of Culture, the main building of the Tapa railway station was declared a cultural monument. The station, which was built in 1870, is one of the oldest in Estonia.
The proposal to declare the station a cultural monument was made after the valuable architecture of the 20th century in Estonia was mapped and analysed.
According to Liina Jänes, Advisor for Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture, the railway station has been of key importance in the history of Tapa, because its construction provided the impetus for the development of the entire town. “Buildings related to the development of transportation have acquired much greater meaning, and therefore require protection. The Tapa station is a significant symbolic object for both the railway and Tapa’s urban architecture, and it is also an excellent example of revivalist architecture. In addition, the Tapa railway station is the only specially designed pre-World War I stone railway station that has survived,” added Jänes.
The initial wooden station building was rebuilt twice, in 1914 and 1928. Original details and finishing has survived in its interior, and especially valuable is the original crossbeam ceiling with its mouldings and diamond-shaped decorations. Previous studies commissioned by the National Heritage Board and the appeals of the townspeople have also referred to the need to have the railway station placed under protection.
To date, the main buildings of 31 railway stations in Estonia have been declared cultural monuments, but more will be added, because there are plans to also have the Narva and Valga railway stations declared as monuments in the near future. The main building of the Tapa railway station was declared a monument after an extensive research study of newer architecture was conducted between 2007 and 2012. After several assessments and studies, it was found that a total of 114 objects, including the Tapa railway station building, had the features of a monument.
The designation as a monument does not set any limits on the owner’s use of the building, and for example, the rooms can be renovated even if the building is a monument. Information regarding the designation as a monument is available here.