KREUZBERGED BERLIN

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TODAY IN KREUZBERG: MARCH 6 – HERMANN BLANKENSTEIN

1910

Hermann Blankenstein (actually, Hermann Wilhelm Albert Blankenstein), an architect, dies in Berlin. Without him the borough of Kreuzberg would certainly not be what it is and surely not what it was. For try to imagine this place without:

  • its municipal Markthallen or market halls – all of them: the XI known as Marheineke Markthalle, the IX or Eisenbahn Markthalle, the VII Markthalle between Dresdner Strasse, the then Luisenufer (today Legiendamm) and former Buckowerstrasse which is called Waldemarstrasse today. In fact, Blankenstein designed all of Berlin´s municipal market halls – all 15 of them.
  • Krankenhaus am Urban – the hospital was designed by Blankenstein together with another famous architect, Frobenius. Other hospitals Berlin owes to him are: the mental asylums of Dallenberg and Herzberge in Lichtenberg (today a regular hospital known as Königin-Elisabeth-Herzberge Krankenhaus), Kaiserin-Augusta-Hospital in Scharnhornstrasse, the hospital in Fröbelstrasse, Moabit Krankenhaus originally built as a quarantine station for small pox and cholera victims, and the Epileptische Anstalt Wuhlgarten (Epileptic Clinic Wuhlgarten).
  • Villa Tomasa in Kreuzbergstrasse – what we know as a busy restaurant on the edge of Viktoriapark was originally called Villa Kreuzberg and was erected as a waterfall pump-house (the smaller red brick house behind the main building) and gardener´s accommodation for the new park.
  • most of Kreuzberg´s old schools (Askanisches Gymnasium in Hallesche Strasse known since 1992 as “Clara-Grunwald” Montesorri Primary School, former Leibnitz-Gymnasium in Mariannenplatz and another Montessori Primary School today, the schools in Arndstrasse / Bergmannstrasse, Alexandrinnenstrasse, Skalitzer Strasse, Görlitzer Strasse, Diffenbachstrasse. He was indeed a very busy man considering that the total number of Berlin schools that he designed single-handedly was somewhere around… 120.
CEMETARY ZOSSENER STRASSE (25)

The grave of Hermann Blankenstein in Zossener Strasse in Kreuzberg (image private)

It is only fitting then that Hermann Blankenstein should be buried here as well: you will find his grave at the Friedhöfe vor dem Halleschem Tor – the cemeteries between Zossener-, Baruther-, Blücherstrasse and Mehringdamm: at the Friedhof I der Jerusalems- und Neuen Kirchengemeinde, Abteilung 2/2 to be exact. Sadly, I am unable to say who designed it but we can rest assured that for a change it was not Hermann Blankenstein himself.

5 comments on “TODAY IN KREUZBERG: MARCH 6 – HERMANN BLANKENSTEIN

  1. berlioz1935
    March 12, 2012

    Well, the connections popping up all over the place. When one has lived in Kreuzberg SW then that is to be expected. Here the six degrees of separation comes into play.

    In Marheinickemarkthalle my Aunt Gustel had a “Seifenstand” for selling soap and cleaning stuff. She lived not far in Riemannstraße 5 (I think). The world is a small place as one says. From there around the corner in Bergmanstrasse 17 an early girlfriend used to live. As teenagers we were using Bergmannstrasse as our “hunting ground” for young girls. But somehow the girls of that “Kiez” did not like me very much. I had to find my wife in Schöneberg. That was in those times a bit more upmarket. Now the rents in Kreuzberg are the highest in Berlin.

    The war was not kind to Marheinickehalle. At the end, it was only a mass of debris (Trümmerhaufen). After cleaning it up it reopened without the roof. If one knew the old Markthallen one could understand that they all had the same father.

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