This is a relict of a former S-Bahn bridge and an open exhibition about the Hartungsche Säulen. The bridge over the Stadthausstraße was built in 1903 and was replaced by a new one in 2005/2006. The memorial in the Stadthausstraße was placed nearby of the old place of the bridge. A small sign explains the use and the history of the columns. In the wilhelminian period bridges for trains had to be lifted higher so that doppeldeckerbusses and electric trams have enough space for a passage. For this a new intermediate support beam was needed. A design competition was held which the engineer Hugo Hartung won with his ‘Model II’. Since then they were used for railway bridge supports in Berlin because of their technical advantages, their attractive design, their low price and their lower tendency to corrode compared to structural steel. They were connected to the chapter and the base via ball joints to compensate for vibrations in the bridge. However, around 1902 they were seen as no longer up to date because of their unfavorable behavior when exposed to heat. Nevertheless, the Hartung columns were used unchanged until 1914 in the construction of numerous railway bridges in Berlin.

There is a recent discussion1 about the columns from the former S-Bahn bridge in Karlshorst. Here the columns were also replaced due to construction works in 2012. The special thing here is, columns erected as memorials are often no longer completely preserved, unlike those from Karlshorst. Two complete Hartung’s columns with headboard, shaft and base were saved from scrapping by the Berlin-Karlshorst e.V. and are stored by the Straßen- und Grünflächenamt Lichtenberg. At first, the inner yard of the Stadtmuseum Lichtenberg was planned for the display of the columns but the museum noted that there is not enough space there. So we will see what will happen next.

Pic shot on Ilford Delta 3200.