The Bremer Wollkämmerei (a wool combing company) was delisted after 119 years on the stock exchange in 2007. At the beginning of 2009, this major employer closed down the factory, which dated from the 19th century, in the centre of Blumenthal in response to the effects of global structural change.
The historic town centre of Blumenthal, which at one time was a lively centre of administration, commerce and culture in the north of Bremen, is recording a similar development. The loss of jobs in industry, structural change in the retail sector, changing preferences and increased mobility in the residential population exacerbated the loss of functions in the historic part of the town centre. Some areas are seeing a rise in vacant property, dilapidated buildings and a general lack of attractiveness.
Despite the immediate proximity to the centre, this historic development has resulted in a marked difference between the Bremer Wollkämmerei areas and the district beyond the Pförtnergebäude on Landrat-Christians-Strasse as well as the Bremer Vulkan commercial district. Opening up the Bremer Wollkämmerei site and its memorable historic buildings and linking it up to the adjacent areas can make a major contribution towards improving the area.
The improvement of the Bremer Wollkämmerei commercial zone will create new commercial sites with easily marketable sizes and shapes of plots. This puts in place the main preconditions to strengthen Blumenthal’s economic base.
The roads “Marschgehren” and “Zum Kammstuhl” are being extended in order to open up access to the western areas. The “historic axis” is being redesigned. This road leads from Blumenthal directly to the River Weser. It provides a pedestrian and cycle route and also connects adjacent plots of land.
All along the road, there will be two “Stelcon” steel strips, each one metre wide and containing a drainage channel.
The paving in the northern part is of large granite stones, with the surface changing to dark square concrete slabs in the south. Some of the rail tracks are being retained, recalling the former rail link. Trees will also be planted but will leave open a view through to the historic industrial architecture of the surrounding buildings.
he axis ends in a square at the River Weser with a flood protection wall and gate. The flood protection facility does not prevent usage by inland shipping and coastal motor boats or their loading and unloading.
The rehabilitation of the historic industrial buildings and the creation or profiling of a historic axis help to improve the entire area of Blumenthal. The former site of the Bremer Wollkämmerei, with its outstanding industrial architecture, is opened up for use not only by new companies but also by the public, and particularly the local population.
The project is a contribution to the objective of financing strand 2.2.: “Activating residential and commercial urban areas”. Rather than developing new sites for commercial use, the aim is to rehabilitate waste ground and to utilise vacant areas within the existing built-up area.