Berlin – Repurposed Venues

Templehofer Feld

Currently most people fly into Berlin’s IMG_1583Tegel Airport which was built in 1948. It will close when the new Brandenburg Airport opens. But it is more fun to visit the Templehof Airport which is now a public space. The Templehofer Feld has been, in it’s past, farmland, military parade ground, a military hub, Berlin’s first concentration camp for political prisoners, a park, and then an airport from 1922 until 2008. It might be known best as the site of the Berlin Airlifts.

In 2010 the Templehofer Feld opened to the public, and now the only flying that happens there concerns kites. People also picnic, ride bikes, roller blade, do a little urban gardening, mini golf, and just wander, among other things. The park is still in process, and some would like apartments and shops there, but like all city politics with development, there is much debate, and progress, if any, is slow.

We took a walk through part of the huge area, strolling on former runways and peering through the fence at the old airport building. Groups can book tours through the building, but I think you might have to be more than four people.

Hamburger Bahnhof Museum

IMG_1401Berlin’s counterpart to Paris’ D’Orsey Museum is the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, a contemporary art gallery in one of Germany’s first train stations. When it became too small for the amount of train traffic in 1884, it became a residential and administrative building. In 1904 it was transformed into a transportation museum. During WWII it sustained serious damage. Finally, in 1996, it opened in its current status as Museum für Gegenwart – Contemporary Art.

Although some of the art was a little too contemporary for me, I liked the space and the early Andy Warhol drawings.

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