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25 Years After Communism, Eyesores Spur Landmark Debate

The House of Electro-Technology stretches like a felled skyscraper along the northern edge of Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, limiting views and impeding traffic in the heart of the German capital. The shopworn relic of the former East Germany, an assembly of pre-fabricated glass and aluminum squares, has been called clunky and dehumanizing. Its owners say it’s outdated and should be replaced. Christine Edmaier wants to save it.

“We lose an important part of our history when we tear these buildings down,” said Edmaier, head of Berlin’s Chamber of Architects. “It’s not about whether they’re beautiful.”