Living in the City

Exhibition in the Apartment Building

Living in the City - Start

The Brick Building and it's People

  • The Apartmentbuilig
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    The Apartmentbuilig Anne-Lise Reinsfelt / Norsk Folkemuseum

A house is petrified time
Amalgamating and transcending
The past and the future
In the inhabited space
Built in the past
And remade by generations
Following each other

An old townhouse
is a time machine
Opening doors
To different rooms
in the past

Wessels gate runs in an east-west direction through Meyerløkka, from Ullevålsveien to the corner of Langes gate. In 1900, there were 18 occupied properties there, 16 of them built between 1865 and 1875. Ten of the properties were three storeys high and six were four storeys. On average, there were six apartments per building

  • Mor og barn. Beboere i Wessels gate 15 i 1970.
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    A young woman with her baby girl, Living in Wsssels gate 15, 1970. Ukjent fotograf / Norsk Folkemuseum
Living in the City - Start

The application to build Wessels gate 15 was made in 1865. With three floors and nine apartments, it was one of the largest properties on the street. The builder, the merchant Olaus Johnsen, had bought the site from Thorvald Meyer and Thomas Heftye in 1865 for 1,055 spesidaler and 72 shillings. Master builder Johnsen must have had various groups of residents in mind when he erected the property. The main stairway was intended for tenants with middle class pretensions, the courtyard stairway for more socially modest persons. Johnsen may have shared this view with the Palace architect Linstow who, in 1838, had advocated the phasing out of the suburban districts and providing workers with homes among “People in more fortunate circumstances” so that they could get a sense of “cleanliness, order and household pride”.