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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:22 PM   #3441
Slartibartfas
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Of course Jugendstil and especially historism was considered to be ugly after WW I. During National Socialism they wanted to remodel the pre-war buildings in a “homeland style”. They called it “Entschandelung” what I would translate with removal of disfigurement. This movement started right after WW I and was not finished before the sixties. It was a very German movement, and its destruction in the cities was worse than the allied bombing in WW II.
Never heard the term "Entschandelung" before, but there was a lot o "modernisation" going on in post WW2 Vienna. Which basically meant getting rid of all stucco. This was however at least as much a thing of economic necessessity than of ideological modernist motives (there was a huge lack of buildings in an acceptable condition and only so much manpower to change that. So buildings and renovations from that time were trimmed for cost efficiency to the max).

Still, while I Historismus was looked down at in Vienna I am not aware of a similar mindset towards Jugendstil. Jugendstil itself was a parent of modernism after all and was considered revolutionary when it was built, at the same time where Historismus was already considered totally outdated.

Otto Wagner the main proponent of Jugendstil architecture in Vienna was has been highly regarded from his death to the 30s where a monument to his honour was erected (torn down during the war) in the 50s were the monument was rebuilt, in the 80s where he was even on the largest Schilling bank note ... and of course today.


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I’m not demanding that all landmarks have to be preserved for ever. I think that we need a good reason to tear down a landmark. That’s why I’m asking for a plan to develop downtown Dresden. Right now the situation around Kulturpalast is not the way you describe it. It’s not surrounded by picturesque medieval and baroque houses. When reconstruction of Neumarkt will be finished, its main façade will be towards Altmarkt. The neighbour buildings will be two rows of Stalinist architecture and two blocks of uninspired investor architecture. At Altmarkt I would not say that Kulturpalast is the ugliest building.
That "Stalinist architecture" is actually a lot better in terms of aesthetics then the Kulturpalast. In my eyes, these blocks would be much more worthy of protection also because that socialist neo-baroque is very unique while you find stuff like the Kulturpalast almost inflationary around Europe. Every second post war event hall is as exciting.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #3442
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Perhaps the best solution is to dismantle the Kulturpalast and rebuild it somewhere else, away from the Neumarkt in a more "modernist" setting, in other words, like most of the rest of the city.

I'm grateful the 1970's addition to the old Police Headquarters was demolished before it was declared worthy of preservation.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #3443
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before it was declared worthy of preservation.
Exactly the problem! I agree!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 01:14 AM   #3444
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I love dresden's reconstruction, looks so nice.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #3445
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thanks for the updates
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #3446
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@Slartibartfas
„Entschandelung“ was an official term of the Third Reich. Like “Degenerate Art” it expressed the contempt the Nazis had for historism, Jugendstil and expressionism. Probably the monument for Otto Wagner at Vienna was torn down for the same reason.

You can’t compare the situation in Austria with Germany. Austria is a catholic country. Germans are in their majority protestant. For a protestant it is much more difficult to show rich decoration than for a catholic.

The buildings of the socialist classicism at Altmarkt and Wilsdruffer Straße have also landmark status. The only buildings which are no landmarks are the two blocks on the northern side of Wilsdruffer Straße. The neighbour building to Landhaus called Szeged-Building has a painted window, which is protected, too. The argument, that Kulturpalast should not be a landmark, because you find it inflationary around Europe, doesn’t convince me. If the number of Buildings in the same style should count most of Jugendstil apartment buildings would not be protected. We have lots of them in Germany. In Freiburg there are districts with only one type of buildings.

A building doesn’t get a landmark status because of its beauty. There is the significance for art, history, sciences, urban development and landscaping what counts. Finally it is a decision of public administration or of politics. If you organize a majority, you can tear down any building you want to. Right now, there is no such majority to tear down Kulturpalast. Germans are shocked about exploding costs for Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the new airport at Berlin and the new main Station for Stuttgart called Stuttgart 21. They won’t start another project, where taxpayers have to spend several hundreds Million Euro for a new concert hall right now, because the old one is so ugly.

An urgent problem is the projected Hotel Stadt Rom and the Palais de Saxe. I have concerns that the city of Dresden will mess it up. They won’t find an acceptable solution, if they don’t tear down the two buildings on north side of Wilsdruffer Straße. But right now there are no plans to buy those buildings.

http://www.neumarkt-dresden.de/hotel-stadt-rom.html
http://www.neumarkt-dresden.de/british-hotel.html

Gagfah the owner of those buildings put the whole subsidiary in Dresden on the block. They bought this company in 2007, which owns 48.000 apartments in Dresden. This year their financing will expire. I don’t think that the city of Dresden will find a better moment to buy those two buildings.

It is a ridiculous idea to rebuild the existing houses that they fit into the structure given by the restored Metzger Straße. Wilsdruffer Straße could become the most important shopping street of Dresden. That needs buildings which animates people to spend their money. The existing buildings are witnesses, how the former GDR did administrate the shortage of the country. They don’t look very inviting for consumers.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:55 PM   #3447
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What a wonderful project this all is, I will make sure to visit on my next trip to Germany.

das ist geil!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #3448
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@Slartibartfas
„Entschandelung“ was an official term of the Third Reich. Like “Degenerate Art” it expressed the contempt the Nazis had for historism, Jugendstil and expressionism. Probably the monument for Otto Wagner at Vienna was torn down for the same reason.

You can’t compare the situation in Austria with Germany. Austria is a catholic country. Germans are in their majority protestant. For a protestant it is much more difficult to show rich decoration than for a catholic.
It appears to me that you are wrong on the Otto Wagner monument. First of all the monument looks very modern and secondly it was removed apparently because of a planned square redesign that did not quite happen then however and not because Otto Wagner was not considered worthy of it anymore.

I don't think your "catholic" argument holds. It was Adolf Loos after all who said that ornaments are a crime ...

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The buildings of the socialist classicism at Altmarkt and Wilsdruffer Straße have also landmark status. The only buildings which are no landmarks are the two blocks on the northern side of Wilsdruffer Straße. The neighbour building to Landhaus called Szeged-Building has a painted window, which is protected, too. The argument, that Kulturpalast should not be a landmark, because you find it inflationary around Europe, doesn’t convince me.
The rate of occurance, or the rarity is not the only argument but it is an important one among many. The Kulturpalast does not seem to impress in any aspect in my opinion and on top of that is not a rare example of his style either. If plans should show a much better use and better architecture, no matter if modern or retro, a replacement should be an option IMHO.

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A building doesn’t get a landmark status because of its beauty. There is the significance for art, history, sciences, urban development and landscaping what counts.
I know. And I don't see the Kulturpalast's significance nor its uniqueness.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #3449
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I am a great fan of the reconstruction of Dresden, I think it is amazing what has been achieved. However, it is important that some of Dresden's more recent history is not forgotten and is preserved. The reconstructions should not cover up the last 70 years of Dresdens history. Buildings such as the Kulturpalast Dresden and the Stalinist buildings should be preserved for future generations, they belong just as much in the city as the new reconstructions. Despite not being part of the old town which Dresden is trying so hard to reconstruct they are still important historical buildings.

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Old January 14th, 2013, 11:50 PM   #3450
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Dresden is full of "Brutalist" architecture, because almost the entire inner city and most of the suburbs were destroyed in the firestorm and rebuilt in the 1950s, 60s, 70s ...

The Kulturpalast and the two Wilsdruffer Strasse blocks should be removed and/or relocated as they are completely at odds with what is being accomplished at the Neumarkt. This is a very small part of a large modern city, and it's a miracle that so much has been recreated at all, but since it has - why not see it through? The reinstated old street grid makes little sense when it dead ends into these buildings. The west part of Wildruffer Strasse had already cut through to Pirnaischer Platz before the war, and remains a logical border for new structures that would respect the streets and scale of the Neumarkt.

I wonder if this fascination with preserving the Kulturpalast would be so great if it had been built on the far side of the Altmarkt instead. Was there this much protest when the Linde Haus came down?
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Old January 15th, 2013, 07:12 PM   #3451
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Just because something exists or existed doesn't make it "historic". Even when truly "historic" structures no longer reflect the common good and needs, they are rightfully relegated to photo exhibits in museums. That's what museums are for, and we should not be obligated to waste important space, true historic reintroductions, and generations of lost time to pander to sentiments that no longer are meaningful.

"stalinist" buildings reflect harsh negativity--murder, enslavement, dehumanizing totalitarian dictatorship, nation-conquering and subugation of people and culture. Why on earth celebrate such horror? Again, place these memories in an appropriate museum, but don't force people to wallow in the shadows of such unpleasantness and brutal eye-sores.

I doubt very much if London had been overtaken by Hitler and Hitlerist buildings replaced much of the infrastructure of that city, that a freed British population today would be fighting to keep the Hitler-style when a return to its former style was an option.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #3452
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Right!
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Old January 15th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #3453
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I accept the political argument as a good reason to tear down all buildings built by despots. That would mean that we would tear down all communist buildings, all nazi buildings and all noble buildings of Prussia before 1807. That was the year Prussia disposed the bondage. Absolutism and slavery was also tyranny.

As long as I don’t want to tear down the palace of Sanssouci and other jewels of architecture in Prussia, we should behave a little bit more pragmatic.

One of the greatest sculptures in Germany is the last remaining piece of another iconoclasm. The Egyptians wanted to destroy any memory to Echnaton and his wife Nofretete. We can be glad that they failed.

The Kulturpalast is really not a question, which has to be decided today. Dresden needs a concert hall in Downtown. A new concert hall should be built on the same lot or nearby. That would also be a big discussion about the design. A new design would be old fashioned again in a few years. Than people would start the same discussion about the ugliness of the building.

Finally I have to say that I never was in the GDR. I lived on the other side of Germany, and came close to this border the first time in 1994. I' m no victim of communism, who asks for revenge.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #3454
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^
I'm always amazed by the crap that was thrown up in the 60s and 70s. It cant only be a communist thing, because North America has lots of that prefab, concrete and glass type construction.

I appreciate it as a reflection of the time, but i'm never upset when buildings like these meet the wrecking ball.
Absolutely, in spite of some of the freaks being built now the 60's and more particularly the 70s were possibly the two worst decades in the history of architecture. And it certainly was not just a commie thing, the U.K. got more of its share in places like Birmingham, Manchester and parts of London and many cities in South America probably suffered the worst, cheap nasty crap that is literally falling to bits. How good I fell when I see this shit come crumbling down into dust!
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Old January 16th, 2013, 01:45 AM   #3455
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I accept the political argument as a good reason to tear down all buildings built by despots. That would mean that we would tear down all communist buildings, all nazi buildings and all noble buildings of Prussia before 1807. That was the year Prussia disposed the bondage. Absolutism and slavery was also tyranny.

As long as I don’t want to tear down the palace of Sanssouci and other jewels of architecture in Prussia, we should behave a little bit more pragmatic.

One of the greatest sculptures in Germany is the last remaining piece of another iconoclasm. The Egyptians wanted to destroy any memory to Echnaton and his wife Nofretete. We can be glad that they failed.

The Kulturpalast is really not a question, which has to be decided today. Dresden needs a concert hall in Downtown. A new concert hall should be built on the same lot or nearby. That would also be a big discussion about the design. A new design would be old fashioned again in a few years. Than people would start the same discussion about the ugliness of the building.

Finally I have to say that I never was in the GDR. I lived on the other side of Germany, and came close to this border the first time in 1994. I' m no victim of communism, who asks for revenge.
No one said all buildings built by despots should be torn down. Rather, those structures built by despots to further their agendas of tyranny by subjecting people's to inadequate living conditions, ugliness, and poor useablity should not be heralded as "historic". Nor should such buildings be retained for generations to lament either through some self-imposed, unsatisfied guilt or emotional masochism. One can hardly compare the worthiness of preserving Sanssouci with the Kulturpalast without realizing such an argument is both absurd and dripping in hyperbole.

Lastly, the desire for regaining lost treasures has nothing to do with revenge against those who blasted it away in the first place or replaced it with inappropriatenes. The desire is, however, shrouded in the belief that there is no realistic need to preserve mistakes and the penalty phase of history.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #3456
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Lastly, the desire for regaining lost treasures has nothing to do with revenge against those who blasted it away in the first place or replaced it with inappropriatenes. The desire is, however, shrouded in the belief that there is no realistic need to preserve mistakes and the penalty phase of history.
as much as i support this kind of reconstructions i can not agree with you, because that is falsification of the history. for instance, some very important buildings in belgrade were destroyed by german/nazi bombs in 1941 and later during their occupation of serbia. they were of great significance and were treated as national treasure. by now they are not reconstructed because it is said that that reconstructed building would be seen as falsification, which is somehow true, and that act of reconstruction would be defined as kitsch. i can not understand how come that same situation in one part of same continent is seen in one way and in other part totally the opposite?
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Old January 16th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #3457
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as much as i support this kind of reconstructions i can not agree with you, because that is falsification of the history. for instance, some very important buildings in belgrade were destroyed by german/nazi bombs in 1941 and later during their occupation of serbia. they were of great significance and were treated as national treasure. by now they are not reconstructed because it is said that that reconstructed building would be seen as falsification, which is somehow true, and that act of reconstruction would be defined as kitsch. i can not understand how come that same situation in one part of same continent is seen in one way and in other part totally the opposite?
Like anything, different individuals and groups view the same facts with different opinions.

Do you not keep prized personal possessions in good shape so they last as part of your life for many years, if not 'forever'? If such items were broken or stolen, would it not be in your emotion to get them back in order to continue on life's road with them as you had planned and intended to enjoy? Of course, you can always replace things with something new and different; global culture (led embarrassingly by the Americans) is a throw-away culture where "new and different" is often times viewed as better than saving, cherishing, restoring, and nurturing. Rebuilding, like making a recipe again or a suit of clothes styled from a previous design, etc, is not kitsch but a admission that something so good should be retained and remade for future generations to enjoy. To deny future generations of such joy and beauty seems somewhat unkind and selfish. We all deserve the best life has to offer, both past and future.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #3458
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"stalinist" buildings reflect harsh negativity--murder, enslavement, dehumanizing totalitarian dictatorship, nation-conquering and subugation of people and culture. Why on earth celebrate such horror? Again, place these memories in an appropriate museum, but don't force people to wallow in the shadows of such unpleasantness and brutal eye-sores.
You obviously know nothing about the buildings from the 1950s. These buildings reflect the totalitarian nature of Stalins reign by no means. They were in fact a huge improvement in living conditions in their time and are still favoured houses to live in today. It is rather coincidental that some of these building were constructed when Stalin was still ruling. Others were even built after his death. They are no celebration of Stalinism whatsoever.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 06:00 AM   #3459
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You obviously know nothing about the buildings from the 1950s. These buildings reflect the totalitarian nature of Stalins reign by no means. They were in fact a huge improvement in living conditions in their time and are still favoured houses to live in today. It is rather coincidental that some of these building were constructed when Stalin was still ruling. Others were even built after his death. They are no celebration of Stalinism whatsoever.
It helps to follow the conversation and understand what "quotes" mean instead jumping to conclusions about my knowledge that you have no basis, or credentials, on which to judge. Please refrain from personal attacks if you don't like what has someone has posted.

Last edited by keepthepast; January 17th, 2013 at 06:14 AM.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 09:59 AM   #3460
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It helps to follow the conversation and understand what "quotes" mean instead jumping to conclusions about my knowledge that you have no basis, or credentials, on which to judge. Please refrain from personal attacks if you don't like what has someone has posted.
I do perfectly well know what quotation marks mean. I also do know what you are arguing for in several posts. I responded to it accordingly. And if you don't want to be judged then don't write such a tosh like you did in the first place. We all have the credentials to draw conclusions of you after all.
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