For more than a century before the war, debate over the “housing issue” engaged politicians and reformers in Berlin, although Communists refused to participate, seeking revolution rather than reform. After World War II, newly empowered Communists had no choice but to address the housing crisis. Initially they joined others in supporting modernist planning efforts, with a first “residential cell” that would be constructed along Frankfurter Allee in Friedrichshain. The introduction of socialist realism necessitated a halt in construction as new plans for a monumental Stalinallee were developed. This formed the centerpiece of the state building program until the 1953 Uprising, which along with a shift to industrialized construction in the Soviet Union would result in a search for a new “socialist architecture.” As a result, the section of the street between Straussbergerplatz and Alexanderplatz would be built combining some socialist-realist tenets with modernism, while highlighting technological power.
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