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Grythyttan Station

Restoration of a Swedish railway station from 1877!

About the project

Back in the old days, the railway station of the Swedish village Grythyttan was an important regional trading hub. Instead of letting it be torn down, we want to restore it, so that it once again becomes a useful place within the community
Could it be that small companies need office space? Can we start our own businesses in the house? Probably. But first there is the need for new heating, repairing windows, getting the water to work and a lot more. That is where you come in. We would like you to help us.  


BACKGROUND 

In Sweden, many of the old railway stations that are not used anymore are either sold, or they risk being demolished. ArchFilmLund made a great documentary about the situation in 2014. Follow the link to see the trailer of "Four Dreams and a Thousand Demolitions". We got the opportunity to buy one of these railway stations that are being sold by the Swedish transport authority, and we want to restore it and give it a new life! 

OUR STORY

In 2012 we bought the old railway station house in Grythyttan, Sweden. The house was built as a first class station house in wood in 1877 for the back then biggest Swedish privately owned railway company, Bergslagernas Järnvägsaktiebolag. They were founded in 1872 and got bought by the state in 1948. The station house is about 450 square metres, and it has been in use until the early nineties. After that, a few rooms got rented out to students on the upper floor of the main house. They were asked to move out in 2007. Since then the house has been empty. It got vandalised inside and outside. Almost all windows are broken, the interior got badly damaged. The roof on the facility part of the building needs replacing. The main roof needs maintenance. The entire heating and water system is broken and needs a complete overhaul, most likely most of the heating and water pipes need to be changed.

A big project that will take a few years to complete. We spend almost all of our holidays and most of our free weekends renovating. Financially, we invest our private money and we took up a loan. This will not be enough, though, to proceed in the speed that is needed to rescue the house. Even though we can do a lot of stuff ourselves, like i.e. renovating windows and some carpentry, in some cases, like with roof, heating and water, we need experts' help to carry out the job. This involves considerably more money than our own budget currently allows. Therefore we decided to give it a go with a crowdfunding campaign here on Ulule.

Our goal is to give the house once again a central place within the local community. We want to get the house renovated and then rent out the upper floor to smaller local businesses. We already had people asking, so there is an interest and a need. The old station house has quite a unique atmosphere, which we believe will have a positive impact on people running their businesses from there.

The two old waiting rooms on the lower level can be used as event space. Last autumn, we hosted our very first own event there, a "jam exchange day" where people from the area took the opportunity to exchange home made preserves and home grown vegetables with each other. The day was a success, people enjoyed meeting and catching up with each other. On the 5th of September 2015 we plan to have this year's "jam exchange day". Mark the date in your calendar and join us

Apart from renting out space, we hope to start our own business in the station house one day. However, right now both of us have jobs that help getting in some money for our renovation project. 

If you are interested in saving old (station) buildings, or a piece of real railway history, please support our work by donating a couple of "quid"/ "spänn" / "Kröten". If you want to, you can even be part of the project and help us renovating! 

What are the funds for?

The funds will be used for the most urgent renovation of the following parts of the building:
- windows
- doors
- water and heating system (installation of geothermal heating)
- roofs (securing, maintenance and replacing roof parts)
- painting the facade (colour, renting additional scaffolding)

As you might have seen, we already started renovating some windows. This summer we want to continue the renovation of the broken windows, so that every room finally gets some natural sunlight. We also want to paint the rest of the facade towards the railway. 

The really big thing will be getting a fully functioning water and heating system into the house. We decided for installing geothermal heating, which is quite popular in Sweden because of itslow running costs. However, it is a quite expensive initial investment, and this is what we need financial help with.
With water and warmth, we will be able to already now make use of some parts of the house, and a potential income from that will help us further on our way.

We want you to be part of the progress! 

About the project owner

You can follow our project on the web via these places: 
GrythyttanStation.com (our website) 
Facebook.com/GhyStation (Facebook)
@GhyStation on Twitter - follow us, we follow back!
platsr  - Grythyttan Station is part of the web-community of the Swedish Heritage Authority "Riksantikvarieämbete". On platsr you can find loads of places and houses of cultural and historical interest in Sweden. 

Who we are:

Mikko Lindskog - a reporter, photographer, video editor and webby at SVT Östnytt. Mikko started in his early years as a sound technician at the local radio and tv. After completing his studies in journalism in Gothenburg, he continued working for both regional and national tv. He has been working with radio and tv for more than 25 years. What makes his boat float are pictures (stills and movies), motorcycles (in particular Italian brands such as Ducati and Moto Guzzi). His other love is everything railway - so you can imagine how proud he is owning his very own railway station, and how much committed he is to rescue the house and give it a new life. Mikko went on a course for renovating windows, and most of the renovated windows in the station house go on his account. 

Anja Rauch - a trained bookseller who eventually went on to take an MBA in Leipzig, and then moved countries for job, fun and love. Of German origin, she spent quite some years in England, working on an international level in sales and marketing, and in operations management in online media at Vibrant. Her new life in Sweden started 2008, and the one to be "blamed" is of course Mikko. Anja's first job in Sweden was at Twingly, where she explored the back then shiny new world of social media, and later online media monitoring. In 2012 she swapped fields and has since then been a coordinator at Svemo, the Swedish federation for motorcycle sports, facing the many challenges of race administration. Motorcycles are one of her big interests (mention Moto Guzzi and see what happens). Another passion is fixing and renovating used or old things, like for example furniture. Anja took up upholstery a few years ago (thanks to Agneta at Nioliv) and enjoyed renovating most of the old sofa chairs of the family, some of them dating back to the early 1900s. This is probably why she took it as a positive sign and buy-go-ahead when she spotted an old sofa chair "with potential" in the old waiting room of the station house. Anja also loves making jams and juices. 

Together, we are a great team, complementing each other with our personalities and our knowledge. The big common interests of restoration, railway history and motorcycles keep us going!