– The architect who built half the town
With the extensive operations of city architect Erik Alfred Hedin's in mind, it’s unlikely that he had much time to relax. He was born in Hagtorp, Torshälla where his father worked a builder, which affected Erik Alfred’s future career choice. Directly after his studies at the Academy of art and internship at some famous Stockholm architects, he came to Gävle in 1877 as a city architect. During his 45 years of work, he made a strong imprint on the townscape with several monumental buildings and new districts. His activities included almost all building types, large and small, and even urban planning. Hedin had many roles that were often combined: representative of the city, private architect, client, price judge and entrepreneur. These combinations would be unthinkable today.
Examples of well-known Hedin buildings in Gävle are Sjömanskyrkan, Gevalia Palace, Brynäs school, the old power station, the Hellbergska magasinet and Bomhus church. Many buildings in Brynäs, Söder och Öster are destroyed today. Hedin also appeared outside Gävle, mainly at various mills: the headquarters, Valhalla and Bruksmässen in Sandviken for example.
The headquarters in Hagfors and Degerfors also wear Hedin's signature. Hedin wanted to build a museum and ran the question with the Gestriklands Antiquarian Society. His plans included the whole Steneberg area, which he wanted to be a museum and leisure area.
Hedin manifested his historical interest with norse and Swiss elements in both his houses, Buregården in Gävle and the summer house Tomtebo on Norrlandet. Today, Tomtebo is a year-round residence and admirably restored.