Friday, August 2, 2013

Central Hotel, Berlin

Located on Friedrichstrasse between Georgenstrasse to the north and Dorotheenstrasse to the south, and facing the Central Railway Station, this grand hotel was built in 1878-80. It was designed by architects Hermann Von der Hude and Julius Hennicke.  It boasted having a telephone, electricity, three elevators, and baths on every floor.

Georgenstrasse corner with one of the building's four 98 foot high coupolas

A mosaic frieze designed by Herman Geber ran above the eighty-eight second floor windows/window-doors on the external facade. It was composed of flower garlands adorning the names of the world's most important cities on a gold background. The central panel on the Georgenstrasse corner clearly shows "Constantinopel" (sic).

The Dorotheenstrasse corner

In 1881, Salviati had a showroom in the Central Hotel, while the Venice and Murano Company had theirs nearby at 16 Lindenstrasse. Containing 600 rooms, in 1885 the Central Hotel was still the largest hotel in Germany.

The covered courtyard, or Winter Garden, held 2,500 people and it hosted one of Berlin's best-known variety theaters starting in 1887. The entire hotel was destroyed in World War II.

Dorotheenstrasse corner, March 21, 1945

The same corner today

Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. London: Antique Collectors' Club, 2008. 135.
The Builder. April 24, 1880. 504.
Baedekker's Guide Books: Northern Germany. 1881.
Wikimedia Commons Scan from book: Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Ed.), Denkmale in Berlin, Bezirk Mitte, Ortsteil Mitte, Petersberg 2003, p. 112.
Wikimedia Commons W. Pembroke Fetridge Harper's hand-book for travellers in Europe and the east, 1, Harper & Brothers
Dr. Habbo Knoch, Habilitationsprojekt, postcard from 1898
Wikimedia Commons postcard from 1900
Wikimedia Commons destruction, March 21 1945

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