So what did the leaders of Halle do? What they are still doing: Tearing down the beauty piece by piece, chunk by chunk and replacing it with soulless "modernist" gray boxes. The socialists did it. The capitalists are still doing it. I have been tempted to change my Twitter bio to read: "Reporting from Germany's dumbest city." I may still change it.
The story in German on the Home Page is about....madness. Absolute madness. It is a story of the non plus ultra of insane, deluded modernist and Bauhaus city planning and architecture.
The city leaders of Halle have this huge ugly space called Riebeckplatz. It was once a city square and major intersection. Then in the 60's, obsessed--as most city "leaders" are--with "being modern", they simply did the American "redevelopment" thing and wiped the whole area off the face of the earth.
It was the modernist sickness. But, hey, the idiocy was resistant and---despite the growing wisdom in the rest of the world that old cities are, y'know, nice places--they couldn't stop there. After The Wall fell, so did more buildings in Halle. The demolitions didn't stop in the 90's AND they kept on building Borgitektur---but even worse than the 60's and 70's: everything reduced to gray horrid death boxes, dead concrete and glass cubes.
Then came the Turn of the Millennium and the idiots just...could...not...stop. The mayors kept talking about "modern buildings for a modern city." AND TO THIS VERY DAY, that is what (so-called) leftist leaders here want.
But they are not alone---yep, the planning department defends all things modern. The disease--and it certainly can be defined that way--extends to the city Landmarks Department who can imagine these horrid Borg Boxes in a perverse harmony with the beautiful traditional buildings that they denigrate by being next to.
And here we are in late 2018 and this year saw supposedly landmark-protected buildings torn down. 2019--being the anniversary of the "founding" of the Bauhaus--is bringing further arrogant delusions of imposed modern madness.
If Margaret Mead were alive today she would come here for her anthropological studies instead of heading to the South Pacific. Her book would be called "Coming of Age in the Age of Ugliness." Ironically, we have an anthropological institute here: The Max Planck Institute.
But not only is the Max Planck Institute not interested in the Life of the Borgitekts and their enablers, BUT...they occupy a beautiful old mansion in a neighborhood that only has beautiful old residential houses and what did they do? They plunked down two new intrusive modernist pieces of garbage in the midst of all the beauty! It makes one question whether they are qualified to be anthropologists. (a separate report about that will follow in the future).
Certainly, city leaders all over the U.S. after World War 2 were absolute idiots---all following the destructive and unworkable ideas of "the" Bauhaus, the sociopathic LeCorbusier, and other haters of tradition---all financed by federal grants and achieving their goals through use of the perfidious methods developed by Robert Moses in New York City.
BUT....those city leaders in the U.S. were not living in a country where almost every other city was bombed and fire-bombed and where tens of thousands of people died. Halle is right in the middle of Germany. Leipzig 25 miles away was fire-bombed. Dresden is 90 miles away and was fire-bombed. Berlin is 100 miles away and was bombed relentlessly.
Halle was spared by the grace of God. And how have the city leaders, the architects, the building contractors and the design schools shown their gratitude? By tearing down what was saved from fiery destruction. What a bunch of ingrates, selfish monsters and egotistical idiots. And that's just the description of the architects! There are city council members who are pastors of beautiful churches and they vote for the continuing destruction.
And, yes, "ordinary" citizens fought against the destruction. And, yes, of course, they had very little influence under the socialist government. BUT...now, as citizens continue their fight against the post-war destruction that has been going on for 70 years, they often turn to me and say quietly "It is no different now than it was under the communists."
As George Carlin so clearly said: "It's a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."
Halle built a whole new neighborhood based on LeCorbusier's insane psychopathic ideas. It is called Neustadt (New City). Surprise, San Francisco in the late 40's also planned a new LeCorbusier-inspired neighborhood to be called "New City" [HERE]. Yep, it is similar in concept to LeCorbusier's insane plan [HERE]
BTW, it takes NO effort to prove that LeCorbusier was a sociopath. Just go to that link [HERE AGAIN] and look at it AND remember he wanted to tear down Paris to build his mass-horror. He was no "green fields" kind-of-guy.
Obviously, what happened to the beautiful neighborhood around Riebeck Square was based on LeCorbusier's dangerous and unproven nonsense. AND remember all the nincompoops pretending to be city planners and architects here in Germany worship, friggin' worship LeCorbusier. There will be a whole separate series of photo-articles and essays about that and this year's (2019) anniversary of the founding of The Cult of Ugliness.
It all relates to the madness of the destruction of this neighborhood.
Look again at the photo above and then lay your eyes on this feast:
The remnant of Bauhaus in Dessau, Bauhaus's designated final sandbox, is building a cement and glass square box on a city square. They call the box "a museum." They are still seeking to legitimize their madness as meaningful to society.
Halle is joining in with their own Theme of the Year for 2019:
Halle and the Modern.
Well, not quite. You will notice in the middle right center of the above photo what looks like a cement Frisbee ring. And you are right. The city planners and disciples of LeCorbusier & Co. decided what people needed were shops RIGHT UNDER THE FREEWAY OVERPASS. In the U.S. there is more wisdom: those places are reserved for homeless encampments.
Before the basement strip-mall was built, an "average" citizen warned at a meeting that the concept was unworkable. They laughed him out of the room. As Nigel Farage said: "Who's laughing now?"
Surprisingly, placing shops under a freeway overpass is not a very good idea.
What is also not a good idea is to dig the ground out everywhere so that pedestrians can walk around in the world's largest open-air basement.
Remember those utopian Jetson-like drawings from the 1920's of future cities built up in layers of parking and apartments and high-rise bridges and flying cars (think Bruce Willis 'The Fifth Element'...) ? Well, at least they had the good-sense to put the trains and parking underground--not the people.
So in 2014 ---and you are going to find this PURE GENIUS--they invited the same architects, all steeped in LeCorbuser-Modernist glory the way Jim Jones's disciples were steeped in Kool-Aid, to "re-imagine" the freeway exchange as, well, you know, the hottest real estate in Germany!
They were supposed to come up with bright new ideas to make this place THE most desirable business, residential and recreational neighborhood in the city!
The ideas they came up with? Try: Tear down the few remaining old buildings on the edge of this...this...area. AND build mid- and high-rise glass and cement boxes for hotels, apartments, business and conventions. AND dig out more dirt from under the roads so that people can go from the dead circular strip-mall under the roads and into the various glass-cement modernist boxes.
I am not kidding. Just a sampling:
But that won't be an issue. The Architect's answer to planting trees: "No. No. That would hide the concrete of the overpass. Halle needs more Brutalism."
I know, you just released an F-Bomb on the guy.
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush
Here we go round the mulberry bush
So early in the morning
Okay, we are almost there.
1) Erase old neighborhood.
2) Build freeway interchange
3) Surround it with modernist boxes
4) Make people walk in an underground tunnel to cross it
5) Tear down some of the modernist boxes
6) Dig a bigger hole for pedestrians under the freeway interchange
7) Put a strip-mall in the hole under the overpass
8) Plan to tear down another of the modernist boxes
9) Plan to dig out more room for pedestrians under the overpass
10) Build a modernist hotel with a view of the overpass
11) Build an apartment building with a view of the modernist hotel
12) Plan to build at least a half-dozen more modernist boxes--with views of the other modernist boxes and the concrete overpass and concrete pedestrian dug-out
All right. Now the GERMAN article on the Home Page is about this:
One of the city council members here in the CIty of Halle and his political party set up a special program where the public was invited to a discussion of the planning madness regarding the new modernist boxes at Riebeck Square---and to discuss the prior failures.
The prior failures were due to the modernist-LeCorbusier Kool-Aid-Drinking Borgitekts and their unworkable architectural and city building & planning processes.....
The public arrives to discover that the actual format of the program is to listen to 5 panelist suggest THEIR ideas.
Neither the moderator nor the 4 other panelists seem to be aware of this irony:
The 4 panelists, the 4 "architects", are paid-up Kool-Aid-Drinking members of the LeCorbusier-Insane-City-Planning-Mies-van-der-Rohe-Bruno-Taut-Hannes-Meyer-Walter-Groupius-stripped-down-box-building-school of Borgitektur.
And the public was Invited to listen to the absurdities to be uttered by the panel. And the members of this panel are members of The Big Club that George Carlin talks about. And the public that came to the meeting expecting something else AIN'T in The Big Club. And not being members of the club---because they have not yet drunk the Kool-Aid and do not plan to drink the Kool-Aid---the public will never be taken seriously.
After all, they are just the audience to the Theater of the Absurd that is called City Planning. It has been going on in this manner for over 70 years and it will keep on going until every last building in Halle is a modernist gray concrete and glass box. That is Borgitektur.
Next theme coming up: EVERY single piece of contemporary Borgitektur is just a tribute to, a memorial to, a talisman for, an altar to the Great Gods of The Cult of Ugliness. There are exactly zero buildings thought-up by the Borgitekts that have an ounce of originality to them. Their very thoughts are prescribed according to the founders of The Cult of Ugliness---and none dare think or believe otherwise.
The building in the photos below is a great old building that was originally a printing firm. Now the owner is just letting it rot. ....and just waiting for an arsonist to finish it off. An arsonist has already started two fires there. Oops: Update May 3, 2019: another fire set. Looks like everything is on schedule.
What's nice in Halle: we have an arsonist who follows the planning process and doesn't just torch any old building. This is no ordinary fire bug. He seems to always target buildings on streets, lots or neighborhoods that are ripe for development...except a pesky building is already there.
This guy is so in tune with city (and landlord) plans that the city doesn't have to do anything except sit back and relax. I wrote a letter to the city about this and got an outraged reply that I was implying they were involved with the arsonist. I hadn't said that. I just said this arsonist was a reliable independent "partner" to the planning process.
The city wants this lot for a supermarket. Or should I say, a supermarket wants this lot and the city knows it. The city has been mentioning this since 2012.
Now, there is already a 24 hour supermarket a few blocks away and two more about 5 blocks away. But the city says this neighborhood is "underserved." That is a code word for: "There is no national chain dominating this neighborhood."
Whenever city planning officials talk about all the lively shops, restaurants and independent markets in this neighborhood ("Reileck") they sort of stick out their lower lip and pout because....the neighborhood developed and became successful without any intervention from the city! Boo-hoo-hoo.
And look at the building: it is perfect for creative re-use. It could be condos (oh well), or live-work artist spaces, or a combination of uses. All the damage you see has taken place the last 7 years.
Halle just doesn't do creative re-use. Halle has torn down untold buildings that developers outside of Germany would have paid good money just to acquire for conversion. In our city the developers are clueless to a fault. They know ugliness when they see it and that is what they are going to build.
Imagination as we've always known it has been missing from Halle for four generations. But it's still a great place to live and is worth fighting to save. More on that in upcoming articles.
Globalist architecture has resulted in sameness across the world.— ArchitecturalRevival (@Arch_Revival_) February 4, 2018
Architecture is an important part of our national identity - it is the built representation of a people; their heritage, culture and traditions.
Revere the Local, Reject the Global. pic.twitter.com/aLPWy3BEdf
After a year or more of this and that the young folks checked out voluntarily and the city housing authority "accidentally" (seriously, they claim that) tore it down. No doubt, because the market for gray, concrete bunkers condos as seen in the videos is unlimited.
They did the same thing in West Germany in the 70s and 80s and the east Germans are merely catching up with history. The fact that such destructive silliness has pretty much ceased elsewhere in the world has been lost on the guiding lights of city life here in Halle, a city just northwest of Leipzig.
Believe it or not, the city encouraged the building of this block-bunker because they want the city to become known as The City On The River. That bunker you are looking at is sitting right on the river in an area surrounded by nature. NOW, there's sharp thinking for you!
This is no "River Walk" like in San Antonio, Texas or other cities. This river is going to be lined with modern Borg-boxes, and cement bunkers.
Read more--in German--here.....
[die Berichte und Meinungen hier sind 100% unabhängig von Hasi und keine Person von Hasi hat an der Vorbereitung dieses Berichts teilgenommen.]