Pekkatori square is the most important entity included in the town plan drawn by Gustaf Odenwall in 1811 after the fire of Raahe. It was to become an administrative and trading centre. Plots around the square were given to the most notable burghers of the town, i.e. the aldermen, merchants and shipowners. A new town hall was to be built on the plot of the southwest corner of the square.
The Lang, Fontell, Montin, Frieman and Hedmansson houses were completed during the years 1811—1815 and thus represent the wealthy town construction of the beginning of the 19th century. The influence of the neo-classicism can be seen in the dimensions of the houses.
What is interesting is that neither the house Kivi-Sovio, completed 35 years later, nor the Rein house, built on the plot of the town hall more than half a century later, in 1870, differ in any way from the plain general impression of the other buildings around the square.
Many of the buildings around Pekkatori square were unboarded during the first few years. It is known that at least the Lang house was red, probably painted with red ochre, before boarding. Otherwise, the houses were usually unboarded grey, unfinished. The first boardings of the buildings around Pekkatori square are from the 1820s. At that time painting was becoming ever popular in Finland and the newly boarded middle class houses of Pekkatori square were given a light oil paint in the spirit of the time, yellow and grey for the walls and white for the mouldings and window frames.
The county architect Johan Oldenburg drew up plans for the town hall at the beginning of the 1850s. These, however, were not approved, but the intendant office made it own suggestion instead. Building the town hall at Pekkatori square was entirely dropped, when the customs collector Brunow’s estate’s house in Rantakatu was bought for the new town hall. Planning the town hall had, however, given the construction of the Pekkatori square a new push and so many of the houses around the square were given a new boarding during the 1850s and 1860s, the main building and the yard wing of the Lang house, Kivi-Sovio, Frieman and Hedmansson among others. It was possibly the very Oldenburg that had drawn these facade plans. The roughcasts of the Montin, Kivi-Sovio and Frieman houses were done at that time.
In the early 1900s, the corners of the Rein house and of Lang’s yard wing had slender wooden corner towers. These have later been removed.
Pekkatori square has been the centre for trading and versatile activity for a long time in Raahe. The houses at Pekkatori square have given room for many different shops: a shop building as an extension of the main building (Hedmansson house), a shop in the stone base of the main building (Kivi-Sovio), a shop in one room of the main building at the top of the stairs (Frieman), and a shop in a separate side building (Lang house yard wing). In addition to shops, there have been a hotel, a school and a bank among others in the buildings of the Pekkatori square, and a post office in the neighbourhood buildings.
There are many kinds of activity in the buildings of the Pekkatori square at present: A-clinic, the workers’ institute, the barber-hairdresser’s department of the vocational school, and some dwellings among other things. Unfortunately, the other original use of the square, the trading, has slowed down almost entirely.
Pekkatori square has been preserved up to present as an exceptionally unified square entity representing the construction practice of the early 19th century. As a representative of the closed corner square type, Pekkatori square is considered internationally precious. Of all those squares of the Finnish wooden towns, Pekkatori square is the best preserved.
The architecturally unique milieu of the square is deteriorating. The historical hierarchy of the courtyards has vanished, because the rear of the site is full of terraced houses and blocks of flats.