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Historical searching for tracks: The „Postsparkasse“ on the Vienna Ring

Thursday February 9th, 2017

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Postsparkasse Wien, Georg-Coch-Platz

Postsparkasse Wien, Georg-Coch-Platz

“Something unpractical can never be beautiful” – architect Otto Wagner was guided by this quotation when he began drafting one of the most important financial buildings in Vienna in 1904: the “Postsparkasse”. It is one of the most famous art nouveau buildings in the capital and the current headquarters of “BAWAG PSK”. The moving history behind the building at Georg-Coch-Platz, however, is only known to a few. We have gone for you on the search for tracks and have taken a closer look at the magnificent building on the Stubenring.

How everything began…

Originally the “k.k. Post Office” was located at the Wollzeile. But with the growing importance – and especially because the Wollzeile suffered under bad constructional as well as hygienic conditions (mice have even eaten the snacks of the bank employees the snack) – Vienna had to create a new building. This had already been planned in the course of the construction of the Ring Road: as the center of the Stubenviertel, where the Franz Joseph barracks and the associated Franz Joseph Tor had their place. These had to give way after the demolition of the Viennese city wall.

From the opening by the architect Otto Wagner and the founder Georg Coch in 1906, the premises of the building were used as offices and to handle the daily financial transactions. In the new building, too, the goal was to bring citizens closer to saving by giving everyone access to banking facilities. This was also popular with the population.

In the Second World War, the post office park was largely spared by bomb hits. It was thus that the first general restoration was only necessary in the years 1970 to 1985. In the course of this the underground car park under the building was erected – after completion, the monument of Georg Coch was moved .Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the “Postsparkasse”, the building was finally renovated from 2004 onwards. The appearance of an oversized money box with a façade made of aluminum, granite and marble has been preserved, although it has not really appealed to the emperor (although today it is regarded as the key feature of European Modernism and the turn of the century in Vienna).

5-4-3-2-1 GO!

… with these words, on 25 November 2016, at the gates of the “Postsparkasse”, the opening of the festive season was officially celebrated with the opening ceremony of the Christmas lights on the Vienna Ring. Walter Ruck, President of the Economic Chamber of Vienna, as well as councilor Renate Brauner, brought the city together with the push of the red power button to sparkle. A total of 74 light gates and numerous illuminated trees brought back the historic architecture and the impressive atmosphere of the Ring from that day onwards and radiated with each other. And we cannot wait until the end of this year, when this happens again.