Midsommargården, a social foundation (could be translated to "The Midsummer Estate"), built a facility with the same summer-like name directly across from the company's main plant at Midsommarkransen, just south of Stockholm. The structures featured a strict and bright functional style, reflecting the same image as the office and factory buildings on the other side of Telephone Square. The foundation was also the contractor for the entire construction project.
Midsommargården was completed and ready for occupancy in 1946. The main forces behind the foundation were Ericsson and representatives of the company's employee unions, the Workers' Training Association, Brännkyrka Parish and the City of Stockholm's child welfare board.
The foundation was created to promote a sense of community and understanding in Midsommarkransen and surrounding areas among people with different backgrounds and opinions, professions, life interests and age groups, in addition to providing support for personal development. The founders, in other words, tried to create a dialogue across boundaries that traditionally separated people and promote more pluralistic development.
This was a unique initiative that paved the way for cultural encounters between different people. Midsommargården was to have a great impact on the cultural commitment among the workers of the company and the people who lived in the area.
Midsommargården was inaugurated in the beginning of November 1946. The keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony was Hans Theobald Holm, a former president of Ericsson, who expressed his hope that the facility would become a cultural center for members of the community. Director Carl Albert Anderson, Chairman of the City Council, delivered a speech of gratitude, declaring his hope that Midsommargården would show the way for future initiatives in other sections of the city.
Through the years, various forms of cultural activities have been conducted in the leisure-time facility, which consists of an angular structure. Activities at Midsommargården have also included many theatrical productions and lectures. The practical and varied features of the facility have been suitable for theater and study circles focused on a variety of different subjects, handicrafts and other more robust activities.
The main building contained a meeting hall with a large stage, dressing rooms and seating to accommodate 225 persons. The building also contained stores and various other service facilities, including a dental clinic and library, as well as limited housing facilities on the top floor.
Midsommargården fulfilled several important functions: It served as a training center for a wide variety of educational courses, and a meeting place for younger people, who were offered involuntary but nevertheless organized activities at Midsommargården. One the building's gathering points was a small café that served a variety of beverages and refreshments. Midsommargården helped make Midsommarkransen a small community within the metropolitan City of Stockholm, which was also one of the Foundation's original goals.
Author: Bill Sund