The history of the kitchen block dates back to the founding of the
palace and park ensemble in 1721. This set of outhouses included
the kitchen, an ice cellar, a bread store and a tablecloth storage
shed. Of these, only the ice cellar remains. The kitchen house
has been redesigned several times. In 1782, when Johann Schultz
was the palace architect, the old wooden kitchen house built in
1754 was demolished, leaving only the stone core with the baking
stoves and fireplaces. The new Baroque plaster-finished building
had an elongated shape and a hip roof. The window apertures
were fitted with small-paned windows. The renovations between
1828 and 1832 gave the building a Classicist exterior. The old
hip roof was replaced with a wooden mansard floor analogous to
the guest house.
The Classicist exterior was restored in the mid-1990s. The fire-damaged mansard floor was also renovated. In 1996, Johannes Mikkel gifted a significant part of his art collection to the Art Museum of Estonia. The former palace kitchen building was adapted for the complete and permanent display of the collection.
The Mikkel Museum opened its doors on 25 June 1997. The core of J. Mikkel’s collection consists of European, Russian, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, as well as paintings by 17th–18th century European artists, and a rich collection of graphic art. The ground floor exhibition hall hosts temporary exhibitions presenting both modern and historical private collections.