A Stylish Building

Oderberger Straße Public Swimming Pool

When the swimming pool opened on February 1, 1902, the surrounding houses were barely 25 years old. The houses in this street and in the immediate surroundings all had running water and wc - if not in the flat, at least halfway up the stairs. The bathroom with a bathtub was still rare.

The swimming pool in the 1970s
The swimming pool in the 1970s

Ludwig Hoffmann, head of the municipal planning and building control office, designed the swimming pool in German Renaissance style, with a big pool and over 120 baths and shower baths. For as little as a penny it was possible to rent a bathtub cabin for half an hour, with soap and towel included. The entry to the proper swimming pool costed 25 pence.

The public baths short after the opening in 1902
The public baths short after the opening in 1902

The main function of the baths was to provide the possibility of washing oneself, and was regularly used by entire families. Pools that were built specifically for the purpose of swimming were a complete novelty for Berliners.

At the end of 1986 the swimming pool had to be shut down due to construction defects, but the bathtubs and showers stayed in use until middle of the 1990s. At the moment the restoration of the building is taking place and is due to reopen in autumn this year.

You can almost see the next stop, the Kulturbrauerei, just 200 m away from where you are now. Walk to the end of Oderberger Straße until you reach the main street, Schönhauser Allee. On the other side of Schönhauser Allee you will spot a group of buildings made of yellow bricks. Cross the street and proceed on Sredzkistraße. After 50 m you will reach the entry gate to the once brewery area.