In the 19th and early 20th centuries, this area was primarily occupied by industry and trade. Many of the buildings still standing date from this period and are characteristic of the architecture of that era. A few of these are now protected by the Denkmalschutz (de) designation; that is, they are listed as historical monuments. Of particular importance for the region before World War II were the East Harbor, Osthafen (de), opened in 1913 with extensive storage facilities for grains and other goods, as well as the Eierkühlhaus (egg cold-storage warehouse) and the Eisfabrik (ice factory).Large portions of the buildings were destroyed after the war. Until 1947, large sites were seized and used by the Soviets, transportable material was stripped and shipped to the Soviet Union as a form of reparation.The restructuring of the area after the Wende began slowly. An approximately 1.3 km (0.8 mi) long section of the wall was not torn down, but rather designed and painted by artists since 1990 as the East Side Gallery, the longest open-air gallery in the world. In 1998, the Ostbahnhof train station began renovations, reopening in 2000. Many unused properties were bought up by investors. One decisive development began in 2002 with the passage of a land development plan through the Berlin Senate and the advancement of the "Mediaspree" project.
Reason to Be Selected
The project extends along a 3.7 km (2.3 mi) long, 180 hectares (440 acres) space on both sides of the Spree riverfront, on the borders of four districts: Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg und Alt-Treptow. It is bordered to the west by Jannowitzbrücke (de), to the north by the railway tracks of the Berlin S-Bahn (rapid transit trains), to the east by Elsenbrücke (de), and to the south by two streets (Schlesischen Straße and Köpenicker Straße). The Spree is about 150 m (490 ft) wide along this section and the riverfront runs relatively straight. The river is cross-cut by three bridges within the Mediaspree zone: Michaelbrücke (de), Schillingbrücke (de) and Oberbaumbrücke. Along with large, undeveloped lots one can find numerous industrial and trade buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Eierkühlhaus (de) (egg cold-storage warehouse) on the Osthafen (de) (East Harbor) and the Eisfabrik (de) (ice factory), as well as various new buildings and the East Side Gallery. The area is easily accessible by public transit as well as regional and long-distance trains.
Among the first development projects to be completed in the Mediaspree-region after the fall of the Berlin Wall were: the Treptowers (de), the ver.di headquarters at the Schillingbrücke bridge, as well as the renovation of the Eierkühlhaus into the German headquarters for Universal Music, which received 10 Million Euros worth of sponsorship funding from the Senate and was completed in the middle of 2002. In early 2004, there followed the similarly subsidized settlement of MTV Networks Germany in a former warehouse at Osthafen. VIVA and VIVA Plus followed in 2005, due to their acquisition by MTV. The O₂ World arena was constructed by the Anschutz Entertainment Group on the grounds of the former Ostgüterbahnhof (de) (which was the site of the legendary nightclub Ostgut from 1998 to 2003, predecessor to Berghain) and opened on 10 September 2008, accompanied by protests.
For recreational purposes, Mediaspree has planned a 10m (33 ft) wider riverfront strip and a "Park on the Spree," as well as small pocket parks between the Spree and Stralauer Allee around the East Side Gallery. Furthermore, footpaths and bicycle paths are slated to be built on both sides of the river. The reconstruction of the destroyed Brommybrücke bridge, intended to alleviate the forecasted increase in traffic volume, was abandoned after further protests; instead, only a temporary "artistic footbridge" will be built.
mediaspree.de/Zielrichtung at archive.org
mediaspree.de/Mitglieder at archive.org
Malah Helman: Mediaspree und der neoliberale Stadtumbau in abriss-berlin.de, 26. Januar 2007Information about the "Mediaspree" in the Media Guide Berlin-Brandenburg. Messetreff.com.
Retrieved on 30 May 2011.Wikinews: Protest and Chaos at the Opening of O2 World (11. September 2008), in German