Ceremonial reopening of the Einstein Tower
Today, the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) and the Wüstenrot Foundation celebrated the completion of the renovation of the Einstein Tower in the Albert Einstein Science Park. At the ceremony, Minister of Science Dr. Manja Schüle and Potsdam’s Lord Mayor Mike Schubert spoke words of greeting for the opening as guests of honour.
“It’s a day of celebration for Brandenburg’s scientific and cultural landscape: on its 99th birthday, the striking Einstein Tower once again shines newly renovated on Potsdam’s Telegrafenberg. I am delighted that the Wüstenrot Foundation has made the renovation of this world-famous architectural monument possible – many thanks for that,” emphasized Science Minister Dr Manja Schüle at the ceremony. “In its time, The Einstein Tower was a revolutionary building and the most important solar telescope in Europe – and it still stands for scientific excellence of the AIP and the Telegrafenberg today. From now on, the tower will once again open its doors to astrophysicists from all over the world – and will also offer exciting insights and views to anyone interested in extraordinary architecture and scientific history.”
The Lord Mayor of Potsdam, Mike Schubert, emphasized: “The Einstein Tower is both a symbol of Potsdam’s long-standing research tradition in the field of astrophysics and of current research and student education. I am pleased that the Einstein Tower has been comprehensively renovated 99 years after it was commissioned, so that the tower telescope can continue to be used and that tours are again possible.”
Wolfram Rosenbach, Administrative Director of the AIP, spoke on behalf of the institute: “We are very grateful to the sponsor Wüstenrot Foundation and the companies involved for the comprehensive renovation. As a result, the Einstein Tower is once again beautiful and usable for many years to come.”
Professor Philip Kurz, Managing Director of the Wüstenrot Foundation, added: “The Einstein Tower is one of the lasting scientific and architectural achievements of the 20th century. The Wüstenrot Foundation and the AIP are happy and proud that this icon by Erich Mendelsohn could be restored and authentically brought into the future. The new digital exhibition is intended to convey the knowledge about the Einstein Tower to visitors on site and all over the world.”
The reopening of the Einstein Tower was also accompanied by the opening of the digital exhibition “Einsteinturm Revisited”, which was commissioned by the Wüstenrot Foundation and offers an individual tour of the history and scientific background of the building, which is still in active use.
After almost 100 years of use and the last renovation in 1997-1999, extensive damage to the exterior and interior of the tower had made a new basic repair necessary. The costs for the repair and restoration of the tower and dome in accordance with the preservation order and the redesign of the outdoor facilities, amounting to 1.25 million euros, were once again borne by the Wüstenrot Foundation, which carried out and financed both phases of the renovation. Named after Albert Einstein, the 1921 Nobel Prize winner for physics, the monument still serves as a solar telescope and is operated by the AIP.