The correct decision: “Berlin Saves the Communist-Era Buildings of Alexanderplatz.”


The photos above were snapped around Alexanderplatz during our visit to Berlin last fall.

2014 Euro Reunion Tour, Day 4: To Leninplatz and the Imbiss, 25 years later.

To me, these views are just as iconic as Times Square, and it pleases me to see the preservationist instinct applied to Alexanderplatz.

Berlin Saves the Communist-Era Buildings of Alexanderplatz, by Feargus O’Sullivan (City Lab)

Berlin has just said “yes” to Communist-era blocks and “no” to more new skyscrapers. On Monday, the city announced that it was listing some key Communist-era structures in Alexanderplatz, East Berlin’s central square, as historical monuments. It is an irremovable nail in the coffin of a 22-year-old plan to demolish the square and replace it with a “little Manhattan”—a set of 10 new 150-meter high towers. The decision is a contentious one: the new monuments just confirmed are in a late-1960s modernist style that many people still hate.