Bonn · Following a nocturnal journey through the city, the institutional Bundesbüdchen arrived back in the former government district on Sunday morning. The support association for the historical sales pavilion is to remain owner and the bakery chain Mauel will take over the lease.
A queasy feeling creeps up on the almost 50 people who have gathered at the Platz der Uno early on Sunday morning. A huge ton of weight is hanging from the heavy-duty crane - the little kiosk known as the Bundesbüchen is floating down the final few metres to its new location. It sets up at 8 o'clock sharp. This marks a milestone for the support association for the historical sales pavilion (Förderverein Historischer Verkaufspavillon), which has been campaigning for its return to the government district since 2015.
“I slept badly last night,” says Peter Storsberg, chairman of the support association. “You get a little excited after waiting 14 years for this moment”. The Büdchen’s supporters have a long road behind them. Only following legally clarification that the kiosk’s former operator, Jürgen Rausch, was also the owner, was it possible to sit down with the city and plan the future of the Büdchen. The city had taken the view that it was the kiosk’s owner and was therefore in charge of its fate.
Plans for the return of the Büdchen - a listed building which has been in storage at a haulage company since 2006 - had begun in 2015 but proved to be difficult. There are many underground pipes at the new location, which is close to the original site, including the second largest water pipe in Bonn, explains architect Christof Pfeifer. Extensive civil engineering work was therefore required. “In addition, a concrete slab had to be laid as the foundation,” continued Pfeifer. If, for example, work needed to be carried out on the water pipe, the kiosk could be lifted up along with the concrete slab.
The ownership rights to the Bundesbüdchen are also complicated. Originally, the support association had planned to make the kiosk property of the general public, i.e. the city. But the city council had spoken out against this solution, fearing that it would incur large costs in the future, Storsberg explained. “Now the support association will remain the owner of the Büdchen, and we have a 30-year lease on the land.”
The association itself is leasing the kiosk to its new operator, the Mauel bakery. However, the Büdchen needs to be extensively renovated before it can be operated. According to Pfeifer, this will take about three months.
Rausch, the former operator and also a member of the support association, was pleased to see the kiosk return to the government district. “It is a great day for symbolising the history of the Bonn Republic”, said Rausch, whose kiosk often served top politicians such as the recently deceased former Federal Minister for Employment Norbert Blüm. The historical background is also one of the reasons why the kiosk is close to the heart of Peter Mauel, owner of the Mauel bakery chain. The decision to operate the Büdchen in the future was also due to the predestined location. “Now, of course, I am most looking forward to the opening”, says Mauel. However, when the bread rolls are sold at United Nations Square, Rausch will no longer be behind the counter. “But I will remain active in the support association,” the former owner says.
(Original text: Matthias Lorenz, Translation: Caroline Kusch)