Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ever Changing Interior

interior sept 1As we acquire more furniture, the arrangement in the store changes – and hopefully starts to look more and more welcoming. We still need more chairs, and a few tables wouldn’t hurt either.

interior septThis classic GDR wall cabinet came from the upstairs neighbors, who bought it new back in the 1980s. It offers us a lot more “exhibition” space, while also being a much more typical example of GDR furniture than the older cabinet.

Intangible Work

The work in the last few days is unfortunately not visible and thus feels like there hasn’t been much progress. Mostly the focus has shifted to preparing for the opening – distributing flyers, sending emails, designing activities. But before the opening, we have to at least temporarily secure the heating pipes, so that will be a job for next week.

The Battle Continues

ext_19_08_2Today we finally had good enough weather to put together the scaffolding and try to clean the facade and sign. It’s not so obvious from this angle, but the scaffolding leans away from the facade at about a 20 degree angle, making it too dangerous to add the second level. Cleaning required the use of telescoping poles to reach the top of the sign.

It is still up in the air how we can actually change the sign. Most obvious solutions are prohibited either by cost or by the crazy construction of the facade, but cleaning the front of the building seemed like a good step and improves the general outside appearance.

In the end, the results are noticeable:

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GSS_ErichkoehnWe found this photo of Georg-Schwarz-Str. in a book at the offices of the Haushalten e.V. The book was dated early 1993, so perhaps the “Modekiste” was the first post-Wende incarnation of the store.

Hierzu können wir gleich einen Aufruf starten. Wer hat noch Fotos von der Georg Schwarz Straße?
Weiss jemand näheres über die Geschichte über das Haus Nr. 14 in der Straße?

Wir wissen; es war ein Schlüsseladen, ein Blumenladen und ein Modegeschäft unter dieser Adresse ansässig.

The Facade from Hell

13_08_1We’ve reached a plateau with the paint removal from the front. No matter what, there are still traces of the old paint left on the facade.
Moving our attention to the sign, we figured out that the material above the doorway was the same as the sign, and would be easy to remove for inspection.

I’m not sure why I would expect the outside to be built any more sensibly than the inside, but I was still somewhat shocked when we took down this piece of what turned out to be plexiglass from above the doorway and about 5lbs. of brick fragments came bouncing out.
It is difficult to describe what it is you can see through the space, but simply put – I am amazed the whole facade hasn’t fallen off and landed in the street already.

All of this means that it is time to re-evaluate the options for creating signage and redesigning the exterior of the store.

Wir wollten wissen, was hinter der Wand liegt. nein, eigentlich wollten wir ein Stück Aussenfassade abmontieren, um Farbtests durchzuführen. Das Stück über der Eingangstür war gut erreichbar und schnell abgeschraubt. Nur was wir nicht ahnten, der darunter liegende Putz wollte auch ans Licht. Es gab einen lauten Knall. Es stiebte und eine Staubwolke umhüllte uns.

Vorsichtig entfernten wir den Rest an Geröll und machten erstmal wieder “sauber”. Es nimmt wieder Zeit in Anspruch, aber erstmal müssen die Vorbereitung für die Eröffnungsfeier erledigt werden.

Inside and…

int_10_08_3Before this project, I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned an entire floor on hands and knees before. Now I can’t even count how many times we’ve done it in the vain hope of trying to get what is potentially 20 years of dirt out of these tiles. Today we finally found the solution – baking soda.


Only 300 square feet to go!

int_10_08_1Luckily, the new int_11_08_2volunteers started working today, too. Each tile is one square foot. This is close to the end – maybe only 50 square feet left.


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There was the idea of painting the exterior plastic paneling, but once we started cleaning it in preparation, it seemed like we might be able to just remove the painted sunflowers. When it’s cleaned, the paneling it still an extremely bright white. I worry about creating too much temptation for the graffitists, though.

Furniture and Other Objects | Möbel und andere Objekte

int_07_08_1On Saturday I had hoped to assemble the furniture as well as clean inside the windows areas. I got the cleaning done, but the furniture turned out to be a two person job. It is at least in different locations in the store, though.





We also had our first “official” visitor. A woman who had read about the project in the Leipziger Volkszeitung brought by an old, mint-condition travel-typewriter. The typewriter itself actually comes from Bulgaria, but she bought it in East Germany for 410 Marks, according to the receipt.

int_07_08_3I forgot to take a photo on Wednesday of the tile Peggy removed from the step. I am still trying to think of a good solution for this area. (One that doesn’t involve removing all of the old tile.)

(Zustatz 15.08.) Wir werden nächste Woche die Holzstufe abschleifen und farblos streichen. Das beste und vielleicht auch schönste, wäre die Fliesen komplett zu entfernen, da darunter ein alter Steinboden liegt. Aber das wäre zuviel Arbeit und sicher ist auch nicht ob der Steinboden in Ordnung ist. So werden wir am Ende der Fließen ein Leiste anbringen und nur die Holzstufe hervorheben.

Final Steps

int_02_08_1Today the heater went back up on the wall, not without a little effort. Even though the drywall doesn’t extend out any farther than the paneling did, we had to move things around a little to get the valves on the heaters to line up with the pipes.

int_02_08_2I also brought in the rest of the Fundbuero materials and archive today. Tuesday and Wednesday will be the final cleaning and hopefully some furniture arranging and then the store will be in at least an initially usable state.
On Wednesday I plan to post the big “unveiling” photos, so check back then.