Once upon a time, this was one of rapidly growing Riga’s most important transport, logistics and business hubs. Located at the crossroads of various cultures and influences, the city retained its spine in the form of a practical and entrepreneurial approach to connecting the different interests of both the East and the Hanseatic League.
Hanzas Street has a special role in Riga’s development. It links two faces of the capital city: Krišjāņa Valdemāra Street, which is the idealistic functionalism-oriented symbol of the strength of the Latvian nation, and the cosmopolitan commercialism of the export harbour. At one end of Hanzas Street, one could find newly wealthy and eminent middle-class citizens of Riga, who created the art nouveau and eclecticism styles in the new Riga after the bastions of old city were dismantled in 1857. At the other end, lay a proletariat kingdom of stevedores, timber mill, railroad and dock workers, as well as washerwomen and factories.
At that time, the street known nowadays as Ganību dambis that stretches north from the New Hanza territory was a beautiful avenue with four lines of charming willows, behind which there was a much more prosaic cattle trail leading to the city pasture. Despite this, the avenue was popular among Riga’s citizens, who used to take their elegantly-attired ladies for leisurely afternoon strolls in the shade of these willows.
Later, Riga Goods Station was built within the New Hanza territory. In 1872, the Riga–Mangaļi railway line was built followed 20 years later by the construction of a branch line to the Andrejsala grain elevator. In 1903, grazing land was secured adjacent to the second kilometre of the elevator branch line. Riga Goods Station was built on this plot of land. It consisted of a depot for receiving and dispatching trains, sorting wagons, a goods yard, and loading and unloading tracks. Nowadays, all that remains is the station building.