Photowalk Berlin #4: Pallas

Welcome to another photwalk. This time I went through the district of Schöneberg. An eclectic mix of gentrified turn of the century (that is the 20th) neighborhoods, public housing, large roads, touristy and very local markets. Easy to reach, a lot to see.

Julius Leber Brücke – a starting point
Dead space

My walk started at the newly built station “Julius Leber Brücke”. A concrete and steel building trying to imitate the historical “greenhouse” style of Berlin’s train stations. It ended up as a canvas for graffiti artists (as usual).

Overspill from the train station
Curves

An elaborate scheme designed to prevent car drivers from using this street. Instead of pedestrianizing the city would just like to make it more difficult to navigate the area. This street was most likely used as a shortcut and the somewhat gentrified neighborhood sought to remove (i.e. make it someone else’s problem) the traffic. Understandable but also not really workable in a large city.

Welcome
No parking

Above there was no driving, here there is no parking. An old parking lot from a now unused office building.

Bunker

An entrance to an old Nazi bunker. This one was neither fully finished nor used before the war ended. They tried to blow it up afterwards but in some sort of weird irony the bunker did not budge. It is now a memorial site.

Palace

The nearby road is called “Pallasstrasse” which is almost a homonym to “Palast” which means palace in German. This brutalist concrete monstrosity was meant to provide modern and affordable housing to the city’s residents. But as it is so often with these housing projects it ended being a “poverty focus point” or what Americans would call a housing project or not quite a ghetto. Mostly poor immigrants moved into the flats.

Nowadays they try to make these flats a bit more attractive. Although it still not a very popular place at least crime and vandalism have receded in recent years and the city does keep the whole project in an acceptable shape with a new park and a communal café. It used to be nicknamed “Sozialpalast” (welfare palace) but they renamed it to “Pallasseum”. A certainly less stigmatizing name. To not add even more stigma I decided to upload the color version of this image.

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