The building can be found on Klosterstraße (named after a no longer existing monastery), one of the oldest streets on Berlin, under the number 64. The other noteworthy buildings on this street include a baroque architecture such as Parochialkirche or Palais Podewils. The other ones include an old council building (Altes Stadthaus) and the ruins of an old monastery church.
The building itself is located across the old council house, on the south side of the street. It was originally used as a shopping center, built by brothers Tietz, german merchants of jewish origin.
The family Tietz introduced the concept of shopping malls to Germany and owned a chain of them across the country.
The facade is decorated with Art Nouveau floral ornaments as well eclectic masks alluding to mythical times.
The door is buit from steel, which is characteristic for the Belle Epoque period, when the new developments in engineering allowed to mould and sculpture this material in unprecedented ways.
After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, the company was “arianised”, meaning that the Tietz family was forced to give up its ownership of the building. The name was changed to Hertie (short for Herman Tietz), to make it more german.
After the II World War the building was the headquarters of the council surveyor’s office
Today it is used as office space.
Check out my other entries on Art Nouveau / Secession in Berlin:
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