Berlin Wall to Be Razed for ... Luxe Housing

Petitions spring up to protect East Side Gallery
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2013 8:42 AM CST
Berlin Wall to Be Razed for ... Luxe Housing
Tourists walk along the East Side Gallery, a painted section of the Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Once again, the Berlin Wall is coming down—but this time, it's so swanky apartments can rise up in its place. And Berliners aren't happy about it, the Local reports. Thousands have signed online petitions against the move, confirmed by an eastern Berlin mayor, who argues that razing the wall will also give access to a planned pedestrian bridge connecting the east and west sides of the city. But the section of the mural-covered East Side Gallery that would be destroyed is, at nearly a mile, the longest remaining chunk of the wall.

It's also Berlin's second most-visited tourist spot, and is covered in more than 100 paintings, notes the BBC. About 1,000 visit it each day on average, according to estimates. Heavy days can see 10,000 visitors. "The longest remaining part of the wall on the former death strip, along with the public river bank, would be completely and permanently destroyed," a petition says. The planned building, set for construction this spring, would be 200 feet high and contain 36 private apartments, which could sell for as much as $900 a square foot. (Read more Berlin Wall stories.)

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