„Projekt BürgerBahnhof“ supports the preservation and revitalization of the railway station in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel (officially declared as historic monument), which is more than a hundred years old. It´s the town’s landmark and still frequented by 8000-10000 people per day. Nevertheless the building is not well-kept by the owner (Deutsche Bahn) and started to decay already years ago. To invert the process of further decay and increasing vandalism the project was founded in 2008. It is run by the civil citizen association „Bürgerverein Vohwinkel e.V.“ with over 400 members.
The rooms inside the stations‘ main building rented by the project and the activities initiated by its members are meant to serve the local community. Events organized by the project, are meant to support the exchange and communication of generations, corporate communities and different nationalities living in the town. Quality of life and living in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel shall be improved.
Since its foundation in 2008 the project strictly followed its visions. The former ticket office and adjacent rooms were rebuilt and renovated and arranged to multifunctional rooms that can be used by clubs, associations and other initiatives to offer and support a varied cultural life. Since the very small beginnings the project established a platform with regular program offers like: concerts, cabaret and lectures. The rooms are also used for seminars, workshops and meetings by different groups.
Besides that the project initiates and supports other non-commercial purposeful projects of civic engagement:
1. Example “ KlasseBahnhof“:
The untended green area in front of the stations‘ building has been recultivated and replanted by a class of a local school with the help of a local landscape gardener. Still today the following classes are fostering and looking after the green area to maintain it’s appearance. By doing this the school had the opportunity to create and sharpen its profile within the township. The pupils could learn how private engagement can have impact in the town and receive feedback to their work from the community.
2. Example: Exhibition „Sonderzüge in den Tod“ („special trains into death“)
This exhibition was dedicated to the history of deportation by the „Deutsche Reichsbahn“ (German railroad company at the time of the Third Reich). This touring exhibition was also shown in some other big towns in Germany. In Wuppertal-Vohwinkel 2000 visitors came to see it within two weeks. 24 school classes came and had a qualified guide showing them around with explanations. The project organized the surveillance of the exhibition in the stations‘ rooms and an accompanying program with time witnesses, lectures, movies and concerts.
3. Example: Markets in the monumental main hall
Every year the project organizes several markets inside the main hall of the station. In cooperation with a local municipal youth institution a flea market for childrens articles is made twice a year. Besides that, markets dedicated to artisans or other hobby groups are organized.
To be able to continue with all these activities, any helping hand is greatly appreciated. And certainly any donation.
Translated by Kristin Käseberg