November 10, 2011
“Now, Kreuzberg can add another notch in its hard-scrabble belt with the October unveiling of the community-oriented Markthalle Neun. Originally opened in 1891, the market hall has returned, just as storied as the neighborhood it inhabits.
During World War II, the market hall’s windows were darkened with black paint and commerce closed. More recently, Berlin’s municipal government put it up for sale to the highest bidder and Kaiser’s — a German big box chain grocer — became slated to set up shop. True to form, Kreuzberg’s residents responded. In 2009, 500 of them gathered at the market to drink coffee in a publicity move that resulted in the municipality’s agreeing to sell the space instead to the “highest concept”.
They conceive of the hall as a community meeting place to foster dialogue and education about human-scale agriculture; rather than a luxury market, they hope it will be a convergence point where real people can buy real food that they take home and prepare themselves”.