Berlin Wants to Transform Checkpoint Charlie Into a Public Square With a Cold War Museum
The city of Berlin has approved a plan to transform historical landmark Checkpoint Charlie into a public square, complete with Cold War museum.
During the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie was a point along the Berlin Wall where many East Berliners died while attempting to flee to the West. When the wall came down in 1989, the checkpoint became a popular tourist spot, but it has since been criticized for its “Disneyfication” of history.
According to German newspaper DW, it is now a “jarring mix of public and private memorials and museums and welcomes thousands of visitors every day.”
Redevelopment of the point will transform it into a large public square with an official Cold War museum. There will also be housing developments in the area, with some reserved for social housing.
"With the involvement of citizens, tracks have been laid for a future-oriented development for this special place," Berlin's Urban Development Senator, Katrin Lompscher, said in a statement.
There was previously much controversy over the redevelopment of the 3.2-acre space.
Before the plan becomes official, it will need to be approved by the city parliament. A vote is expected to take pass before February, at which point a timeline will be established. Last year, the city rejected plans to build skyscrapers and an outpost of the Hard Rock hotel near the site.
Last month, actors at Checkpoint Charlie were banned from dressing up as American soldiers after they harassed tourists for money for posing for photos.