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Cologne Archives, Source: Gebäudewirtschaft Martina Goyert

Cologne presents its new city archive

Cologne presents its new city archive

11 years after the collapse of the previous building, the new archive was presented by local officials

The new building of the Cologne City Archives is finally complete, eleven years after the collapse of the archive on Severinstrasse. The handover and acceptance of the new building on the Eifelwall is soon to officially take place as local authorities are eager to welcome this latest addition to the city’s historical character.

Protecting and preserving history

A good eleven years after the collapse of the Cologne City Archives, the new building is now as good as completed. "Great things have been achieved here in terms of both planning and construction," said Mayor Henriette Reker. "The result is Europe's most modern municipal archive with building technology that has never been developed or installed in this way."

Cologne now has an archive complex with Europe-wide coverage. The new building for the historical archive and the Rhenish image archive on the Eifelwall is a building with high demands on climate stability, which the sensitive archive materials require. After the structural completion, the handover of the building and the necessary building approvals must take place. The final move-in date for the building is still to be set.

In the collapse of the old city archive on Severinstrasse on March 3, 2009, two residents were killed and countless historical documents were lost. In 2018, the Cologne district court found that the archive had collapsed due to a serious mistake in the construction of a new subway station below the building.

This new building and its construction have proven that Cologne’s local administration is not only eager to quickly get on track with the future but are also ready to fix and remedy the mistakes they have made in the past – summing up perfectly the point of any archive.

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