The Congress Hall at 50 - Do You Remember?

The Congress Hall's main entrance | © Wera Ostwaldt

The Congress Hall's main entrance | © Wera Ostwaldt

1956/57 and again 2006/07 Wera Ostwaldt created the devices next to the Congress Hall's main entrance. She remembers the Congress Hall's opening 19 September 1957 and shows her pictures of that day.


The opening in September 1957

“… It was partly a stand-up reception. The speeches were held in the large foyer. There were lots of chairs there. You just sat down and listened as the architects talked about their ideas, what they had done, and what could still be done. And Hugh Stubbins, who is unfortunately no longer able to attend, because he died at the age of ninety… of course, he was also fifty years younger then. And everyone was full of “our city”! On the one hand, we still had all the rubble to deal with. And then this huge lawn suddenly took shape in the Tiergarten… so well cared for and beautifully formed. And, of course, people were thinking: “It can’t be true!!” you know? And one day, the really big names arrived. And that gave us this incredible energy. And the all those other things were built, but that all happened later…” Wera Ostwaldt

The Congress Hall at its opening 1957 | © Wera Ostwaldt

The Congress Hall at its opening 1957 | © Wera Ostwaldt

The opening 1957: The stairs lead to the terrace | © Wera Ostwaldt

The opening 1957: The stairs lead to the terrace | © Wera Ostwaldt

Cars parking at the driveway, 1957 | © Wera Ostwaldt

Cars parking at the driveway, 1957 | © Wera Ostwaldt