History

Finnish Hall was designed by August Trille in 1908 and is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.

It was designated a City of Berkeley Landmark in 1979.

Toward the end of the 19th-century, a large Finnish immigrant community was located in West Berkeley. Together they constructed this wooden building which integrates traditional Finnish and American vernacular elements. An auditorium with stage, a kitchen and dining hall, a library, and a sewing room helped make Toveri Tupa ("Comrades' Lodge") a center of community life.

 

Vigilante mobs vandalized the building after striking workers were fed here during the West Coast General Strike in 1934. In 1935, ideological divisions led to the construction of a separate Finnish Brotherhood Hall on Chestnut Street. This building then became known as "Red Finn Hall." Sold in the 1970s, the Hall continues in use as a cultural and community center.