Does a 'Palace of Parking' Deserve to be Preserved?

The owners of a Weimar-era parking garage in Berlin that's beloved by modernist enthusiasts are seeking to have its landmark status revoked in order to tear it down. Will officials forgo an opportunity to preserve the German capital's recent past?

"With its name spelled in black letters set in yellow blocks that run down the side of the six-story brick-and-glass building, the Kant Garage hardly stands out as a landmark. Yet fans of the modernist style of architecture that marked Weimar-era Berlin flock to the building, on a busy thoroughfare in a western neighborhood, to marvel at design features like the intertwined double-helix ramps, considered revolutionary at the time of the garage’s construction in 1929," writes Melissa Eddy.

But with claims that the garage's income will not fund needed repairs, the building's owners have applied to revoke its landmark status, the first step in a process they hope ends in demolition. 

"The younger a building is, the harder it is to make a case for its preservation, said Ursula Schirmer of the German Foundation for Monument Protection, which raises awareness about landmarks and appeals for private donations to help cover costs for repair and maintenance. "

“With a pretty half-timbered house or a romantic castle, it is much easier,” Ms. Schirmer said. “An automobile garage is just not as nice looking. Or perhaps we have not yet learned to appreciate the beauty of such a building.”

Full Story: Uncertainty Over a Palace of Parking

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