KREUZBERGED: BERLIN COMPANION

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

BERLIN BRUSHES: PENNELL´S LEIPZIGER PLATZ

Wertheim in Leipziger Platz by Joseph Pennel, 1921 (image at the US National Gallery of Art).

Behold Warenhaus Wertheim in Leipziger Platz – famous Berlin department store whose remains were removed after WWII – here on Joseph Pennell´s 1921 lithography.

An interesting fact: the section of the Wertheim´s store visible in this picture was designed by Alfred Messel, the “court architect” of the company. Between 1926-27 it was extended to the left by adding a new building, this time created by Paul Kolb and Eugen Schmoll.

This new section would replace the grand building standing at No. 13 in Pennell´s lithography: between the late 19th century and 1914 the seat of the German Imperial Admiralty Office, the Kaiserliche Admiralität (later Reichsmarineamt). The latter occupied it before moving to a new location at today´s Reichspietschufer (then Königin-Augusta-Straße).

This new location is now better known as Bendlerblock. It gained fame during the Second World War: used by the Wehrmacht as their Supreme Command Office, it was there that the drama of the failed 20th of July Plot, attempted putsch and Hitler´s assassination, reached its peak.

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