City Views #91: Berliner Platz IV

The main bank building from the “rear” on Mülheim’s Berliner Platz – it looks comparatively small from this angle, but the inside is positively huge. Not being a Sparkasse customer, I haven’t been in there very often – but the main hall is a giant marble extravaganza. The whole complex was only built at the end of the 1980s after the square had been only a parking space for more than a decade. The Berliner Platz had once been the site of another one of Mülheim’s shopping disasters – in 1968 Neckermann had built a huge, eleven-storey department store at this location, which completely loomed over the city like the highrises at the other end of the inner city do today. The Neckermann store lasted only ten years – in 1978 it was closed again, mainly because the shopping center on the opposite end of the Schloßstraße and Leineweberstraße had been too much competition. The building itself was demolished in 1980 and the Sparkasse had already bought the real estate by this time, but it took until 1989 to build the new banking complex, which is actually quite modest in size compared to the Neckermann giant. Before, there had also been a church in the vicinity, the 19th century Paulikirche, which had been completely demolished in 1971.

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