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Old October 27th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #1881
wolfpaw
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if they are rebuilding these buildings what was before them..? was it an empty space.?
I think there was post-war crap there before which was torn down.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #1882
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Actually, not exactly. The Neumarkt was left fully decimated for decades after the 1945 bombings. The area was cleared of much rubble, and a police facility was constructed in pure communist concrete block style on the eastern edge of the neumarkt, but the rest of the area was vacant and a desolate area used for parking. So, most of the construction we are witnessing today is on lots that have been empty since the war.

in the 80s, the kulturpalast was built on the south edge and it still remains. Also on the north edge, just northeast of the frauenkirche, a new hotel was begun in 1987 the ended up being the Hilton.

The communist strategy was two-pronged: 1) build ugly horrible cement block structures that looked like prisons, and 2) keep the destruction of the war very visible. To accomplish #2, they left the rubble and ruins of the neumarkt as it was in 1945 (other than the police facility noted above). So, in a strange and ironic way, the communists' plans made reconstructing the neumarkt more reasonable, straightforward, and an obvious solution after the Wall came down.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #1883
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Situation in 1980:





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Old October 28th, 2010, 05:12 AM   #1884
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What on earth were the Soviets thinking?
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #1885
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They were not famous for thinking ;-)

It all had to do with money and (a lack of) interest in the city.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #1886
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What on earth were the Soviets thinking?
The destroyed center wasn't the main problem back then. There was a huge housing shortage in the GDR. Many towns were destroyed, and the region was flodded by more than 4 mio expellees, roughly 25% of the entire population. Dresden was also not that well liked by the Commies, since it was never considered to be a working class town. And since the Commies didn't have the money to rebuild the historical center anyway they declared it to be a place of remembrance. Many Dresdeners actually accepted this argument and were against the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche at first.

And we shouldn't forget that Western Germany wasn't better. They just filled the destroyed town centers with crappy blocks... just look at Cologne, Kassel or FF/M.

Last edited by Karasek; October 28th, 2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #1887
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And we shouldn't forget that Western Germany wasn't better. They just filled the destroyed town centers with crappy blocks... just look at Cologne, Kassel or FF/M.
I agree. I think it all came down to either economics or idealogy. In the UK, planners, councils and architects were idealogically against reconstructing historic buildings, even if they could afford to do so.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #1888
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I agree. I think it all came down to either economics or idealogy. In the UK, planners, councils and architects were idealogically against reconstructing historic buildings, even if they could afford to do so.
why that? are they still against reconstruction historic buildings?
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Old October 28th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #1889
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why that? are they still against reconstruction historic buildings?
Not necessarily. There are plans to rebuild the Euston Arch (1837-1961) in London.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euston_...truction_plans

pic from wikipedia
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Old October 28th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #1890
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I think what has been achieved in Dresden is remarkable..... and despite the expense I believe it will be cost effective in the long run, as these buildings will stand the test of time far better than much of the post-war architecture. I only wish my home city (Liverpool) would adopt this process for some of its old bomb-sites. So many great streets and buildings were completely lost during the war, and after! Thankfully some great restoration has happened, but there are many noteable, and monumental buildings that should've been reborn in this way....... One day?!
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Old October 28th, 2010, 08:30 PM   #1891
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The destroyed center wasn't the main problem back then. There was a huge housing shortage in the GDR. Many towns were destroyed, and the region was flodded by more than 4 mio expellees, roughly 25% of the entire population. Dresden was also not that well liked by the Commies, since it was never considered to be a working class town. And since the Commies didn't have the money to rebuild the historical center anyway they declared it to be a place of remembrance. Many Dresdeners actually accepted this argument and were against the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche at first.

And we shouldn't forget that Western Germany wasn't better. They just filled the destroyed town centers with crappy blocks... just look at Cologne, Kassel or FF/M.


It is true that the housing shortage was severe and it lasted for years. The ethnic cleansing the allies agreed to enact upon the German people in Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, etc forced millions (who had largely been bombed out anyway) into what is now the borders of Germany where the infrastructure had been decimated. People were living in makeshift tents, cellars remaining from destroyed buildings, in barns, etc. So, ANY new construction that had heat, roofs and plumbing was a blessing. And it's much faster to build the crappy looking blocks than reconstruct the beauty that had been wasted under the bombing strategy of the Brits and Americans.
That said, the communists did use the quick need for housing to their benefit in putting up the ugliest of the ugly structures to help maintain a defeated nation under the thumb of further oppression.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #1892
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now it looks much better than this site was build by comunistic buildings
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #1893
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why that? are they still against reconstruction historic buildings?
Well, Euston Arch excluded, (plans for the reconstruction of which have been floating around for years), YES, they are! I've always maintained that before World War Two the UK had hardly any cities that were of the same architectural status as the great historic cities of Europe. In the 20th century the UK never had a Frankfurt or Nuremberg, or Dresden, or a Florence or Rome. The Industrial Revolution and the bloody Victorians destroyed most of it, plus over here we used to build over city centres rather than spreading outwards leaving a historic core intact. The one city over here that I think is the counterpart to the great architectural cities of pre-war continental Europe is Bath, and maybe York. Apart from a few exceptions, after WW2 almost nothing over here was reconstructed. Maybe I'm just biased as the place where I live has been almost totally rebuilt over the last 100 years. I think for the UK, and perhaps in other countries too, the idea of reconstructing is seen as admitting to the failure of Modernism. It's as though they think 'no, we must go forwards, even if the result is horrible, we must go fowards!'.

The UK never had a Dresden to reconstruct, but if it did have, and if it had been bombed in WW2 then I don't think any of it would've been reconstructed, either after the war or decades later.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:29 AM   #1894
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So, ANY new construction that had heat, roofs and plumbing was a blessing. And it's much faster to build the crappy looking blocks than reconstruct the beauty that had been wasted under the bombing strategy of the Brits and Americans.
That said, the communists did use the quick need for housing to their benefit in putting up the ugliest of the ugly structures to help maintain a defeated nation under the thumb of further oppression.
I agree that it was a combination of economics and idealogy. It was the same in the UK though, not just Communist countries. The mindset seems to have been to do away with the past completely and to embrace a 'nice, clean future' of flat roofed modernism where the automobile was the answer to everyone's dreams. How naive!
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:31 AM   #1895
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Well, Euston Arch excluded, (plans for the reconstruction of which have been floating around for years), YES, they are! I've always maintained that before World War Two the UK had hardly any cities that were of the same architectural status as the great historic cities of Europe. In the 20th century the UK never had a Frankfurt or Nuremberg, or Dresden, or a Florence or Rome. The Industrial Revolution and the bloody Victorians destroyed most of it, plus over here we used to build over city centres rather than spreading outwards leaving a historic core intact. The one city over here that I think is the counterpart to the great architectural cities of pre-war continental Europe is Bath, and maybe York. Apart from a few exceptions, after WW2 almost nothing over here was reconstructed. Maybe I'm just biased as the place where I live has been almost totally rebuilt over the last 100 years. I think for the UK, and perhaps in other countries too, the idea of reconstructing is seen as admitting to the failure of Modernism. It's as though they think 'no, we must go forwards, even if the result is horrible, we must go fowards!'.

The UK never had a Dresden to reconstruct, but if it did have, and if it had been bombed in WW2 then I don't think any of it would've been reconstructed, either after the war or decades later.
Wow, that national mentality really sucks. Yet the same populace adores the royal family. Go figure.

Much of the same attitude exists in the U.S. The glorious city centers of pre 20th century america are all but gone, given to the modernist skyscrapers and glass & steel plazas.

Such thinking makes the bombing of dresden other historic cities in WWII even more of a tragedy.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 04:49 AM   #1896
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Same in Canada. We tear down our historic centers and building ugly brutalist abominations and suburbs everywhere. At least the Germans have the good sense to at least re-construct some of their historic centers. In North America we just tear down old buildings and replace them with shopping malls.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #1897
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British Hotel, entrance:







Looking out towards the Rampische Stra▀e:



Source: http://www.bausituation-dresden.com/
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #1898
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Too bad no house on the Neumarkt has a proper baroque portal. That's really strange, since almost every small town in Saxony has a few.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #1899
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Same in Canada. We tear down our historic centers and building ugly brutalist abominations and suburbs everywhere. At least the Germans have the good sense to at least re-construct some of their historic centers. In North America we just tear down old buildings and replace them with shopping malls.
Nothing must stand in the way of either shops or the motor car!
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Old October 29th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #1900
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We had the same kind of ideological mindset here in (West) Germany after the war...thanks to that we now have highways leading right thru cities. Simply disgusting.
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