Traffic control, '50s style

Former traffic control booth in Kurfurstendamm, Berlin.

In Berlin's post-war years the devastated city required extensive rebuilding, and visions of a futuristic new metropolis abounded.

In the West, shopping malls and angular apartment blocks rose alongside salvaged remnants of the past. In the East, concrete towers began to dominate the skyline.

Unused since 1962 - traffic control tower, west Berlin

It was predicted, too, that with the introduction of new traffic-light systems, levels of peak-time congestion would reach unmanageable proportions. In order to help solve the anticipated problem, a traffic control booth was constructed in 1955 above the revamped entrance to Kurfürstendamm's U-Bahn station.

Various others were erected around the city: none were ever really needed.

This so-called Verkehrskanzel was last used in 1962, and remains as a curious, scarcely noticed reminder of a future-proofing precaution that never came to pass.

See also:

Berlin's craziest clock
A modernist housing quarter
A literary cafe with hidden twists

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Former traffic control booth (Verkehrskanzel): Joachimstaler Strasse / Kurfürstendamm 10719 Berlin

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