Theodore Slate - May 6, 2008

It is said to be the third largest building in the world. The only larger buildings are believed to be the Pentagon of the USA and the palace of Ceausescu in Romania. However, the Tempelhof airport in Berlin, despite having survived numerous conflicts, wars and even an attack by the Red Army 40 years ago, is set to close. It is a testament to buildings being built to survive and withstand, yet from the early part of the next year, all talk about the giant airport shall be in the past tense.


Built in 1923, Tempelhof was created with the aim of helping to make Berlin one of the European strongholds of the time and make a statement to the world about the size and power of Germany of the time. Although the leaders, scientists and architects of today sympathies with this view, the forces and changes of the modern era mean that Tempelhof is no longer economically viable and simply has to close to make way for more useful and innovative things.


A recent vote was recently held concerning the potential closing of the airport. Beforehand, it was agreed that the airport needs 25% of the votes in order to stand a chance of staying open. The result was unfortunate for the airport as it gained a mere 21% and was therefore doomed to closure. The plans to close are now 100% certain and Tempelhof stands very little chance of survival. The new airport, which the Germans have in mind to replace the giant Tempelhof has already been praised for being more economical and more modern. It is set to be built on the outskirts of Berlin.


The case of Tempelhof Berlin is not an isolated one as old structures around Europe are knocked down by the force of money and replaced by structures with less historical meaning yet with more power to put money into the bank. Amongst a plethora of others, Avignon prison in France followed the same route which Tempelhof is about to go down.


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