Meyer houses

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The Meyer'schen houses are four residential complexes in Leipzig built around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries with the aim of affordable and healthy living for lower income groups.

The Meyer houses in Kleinzschocher on a postcard from around 1914


The Meyer houses were built between 1888 and 1937 by the "Association for the Construction of Cheap Apartments", founded between 1888 and 1937 at the instigation of the publisher Herrmann Julius Meyer (1826–1909), son of the founder of the Bibliographical Institute Joseph Meyer (1796–1856) equipped the association with start-up capital of two million marks . In 1900 this was converted into the foundation of the same name (today “Meyer'sche Homes Foundation”), which is still the sponsor of the residential complexes. The foundation remained in existence in the GDR, but the allocation of apartments was centralized at the time.


The designs for the residential colonies come from the Leipzig architect and builder Max Pommer (1847–1915), who also chaired the association's board of directors. The facilities came into being at times of explosive population growth, when the housing market was characterized by speculation and exorbitant rent and the living conditions of ordinary workers were often characterized by crampedness and poor hygiene. In view of these conditions, the foundation's apartments with running water and small balconies offered a relatively high level of comfort. In order to keep the apartments affordable, standardized types were used and instead of individual houses, ensembles with integrated communal facilities were created; an important conceptual point was access to daylight and good ventilation. At that time, 2695 apartments were built on the outskirts of Leipzig, each complex comprised one or more building blocks and enclosed a green inner courtyard intended for common use. Typical is the façade structure in the style of the turn of the century and numerous turrets as corner dominants. All systems have been preserved, were renovated after the fall of the Wall and are under monument protection.

The residential complexes


The residential complex in Lindenau


The first system was built between 1888 and 1898 in Lindenau in the west of Leipzig on the area Demmeringstrasse 8–10, Erich-Köhn-Strasse 17–39, Hahnemannstrasse 6–28 and 15–21, Henricistrasse 25b – 53, Rietschelstrasse 22 and Roßmarktstrasse 5– 7 and 6-8. In three building blocks, 53 houses with 501 (today after renovations 413) apartments as well as a kindergarten and a wash house were built. The corner towers cite elements of the Baroque style.


The residential complex in Eutritzsch


The complex in Eutritzsch in the north of Leipzig was built between 1899 and 1901 with 39 houses and 321 apartments as a large single block. The large inner courtyard is designed like a park and also includes garden plots and a kindergarten as well as a bathhouse. The corner towers with curved domes are characteristic.


The residential complex in Reudnitz


From 1903 to 1908 a residential complex with 57 houses and 448 (413) apartments was built in two parallel rows in the southeast of the city, in the Reudnitz district . Stylistically, it is based on the German Renaissance. There is another park between the two rows of houses, the complex also includes a kindergarten and a lending library.


The residential complex in Kleinzschocher


In Kleinzschocher , the last and largest residential complex of the Meyer houses was built from 1907 in a 15 hectare park - popularly known as Meyersdorf . Due to the First World War and the economic crisis, construction was delayed, which was not completed until 1937. 139 houses with a total of more than 1,400 apartments were built here, and the number of apartments has fallen to 1,291 after the renovation. This residential complex is characterized by its lush tree vegetation. A kindergarten is also part of the complex there.


  • The management of the housing company had planned to build another housing estate in Leipzig in due course and, as a precaution, bought plenty of land in Probstheida at an early stage . In 1991, at the insistence of the city of Leipzig, this land was sold “below market value” (quote: Dieter Pommer, member of the Board of Trustees, May 26, 2020) to the Rhön Clinic , which established the Leipzig Heart Center (now part of the Helios Clinics ).
  • In the files of the Leipzig City Archives there is a letter from Margarethe Krupp from 1905. In it, she asked to send her information material about the Meyer's Foundation, which was done as requested. A year later, she founded the Margarethe Krupp Foundation in Essen, which with 3,100 apartments and 60 commercial space is still Germany's largest housing foundation to this day.
  • In 2017, the buildings of the facility in Kleinzschocher were part of the Leipzig short film hike .

See also


  • Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Iris Reuther: The Meyer houses in Leipzig: affordable housing. Leipzig 1995.
  • Thomas Fuchs: City and bourgeoisie. Leipzig in the long 19th century. In: Thomas Fuchs, Sylvia Kabelitz (eds.): Wustmann and others. Bourgeois life in Leipzig in the 18th and 19th centuries. Leipzig 2014, pp. 9–46, here p. 33.

Web links

Commons : Meyer'sche Häuser  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Foundation Meyer'sche Häuser in Leipzig turns 120 years old. In: LVZ online portal. May 25, 2020, accessed June 14, 2020 .