Hundred years ago Berlin was a city packed with people. Working class district Friedrichshain was filled to the brim with hard working people. Families rented out their bed to a labourer when dad went to work. At some houses there was ample space to open up a window, because the window of the neighbors was so close. But at the Knorrpromenade in Friedrichshain, life was different.
Luxury at the Knorrpromenade
Life at the Knorrpromenade had to be more luxurious. The apartments had elevators, more space and a good looking facade. In front of the houses were small gardens and the hinterhof in the back of the building was more spacious as well. But the pride and joy of the street were of course the four ‘Schmucktore’. The four nicely decorated stone gates with lovely vessels on top made the street look glamorous. The street presented what Berlin wanted for the future: more spacious buildings with more luxury. No more cramped apartments with very little room to breathe. The street was supposed to have an optimistic, slightly fairy tale name: Wuhlisch Park. But when Georg Knorr died, the street was named after him. The inventor of a new brake system lived and worked in the area and to honor him Wuhlisch Park never came into existence. The citizens who came to live at the Knorrpromenade didn’t really care about the less romantic name. Life was better indeed.
Schmucktore crumbling to pieces
During the Second World War Berlin hit pretty bad by bombs, but the Knorrpromenade survived the war in pretty good shape. A few houses were hit. But the pride and joy of the street was less lucky. Two of the four gates to the streets were hit. They crumbled to pieces. And the other two Schmucktore were in pretty bad shape as well. They started crumbling too, and had cracks in them. People sprayed graffiti on the gates.
Renovation of the Schmucktore
This year the street exists 100 years, and the proud inhabitants of the street managed to get enough money for a full renovation of the two remaining Schmucktore. They will celebrate their anniversary with a large party at their renewed and beautiful fairy tale gates. More Friedrichshain.