The Corner House

The Corner House

It is no surprise that this building, originally called the Teteris Building, is having problems finding new tenants – as its basements and hallways hold terrifying and sad stories of the past. The building was designed in the national romanticism and Art Nouveau style by architect Aleksandrs Vanags (1873-1919) and was constructed in 1911. The building was initially meant to serve as a rental building, with shops on the ground floor.

However, in 1940, the State Security Committee of the Latvian SSR, or the KGB, moved into the building. How many persons were tortured in this building and suffered unfortunate fates… One story reveals that the room where persons undesirable to the Soviet regime were shot was indeed “painted” in red. On December 15, 2003, a memorial to the victims of the Communist regime and those who suffered terrible fates inside this building called Black Threshold was erected on the Stabu Iela side of the building. In 2014, when Riga served as the European Capital of Culture, the exhibition called House on the Corner. Case No. 1914/2014 opened its doors. The exhibition about the activities and atrocities committed by the Soviet authorities in Latvia remains open to the public. 

Interesting facts

During renovation works in 2017, a secret KGB tunnel was uncovered underneath the building. It was likely meant for KGB officers to escape the building if necessary. The 1.50 meter high and 70 cm wide tunnel had a lighting system, and according to eyewitnesses there were old newspapers lying on the ground of the tunnel when it was uncovered.