Carpet factory Protzen & Sohn

Alt-Stralau 3/4
The building of the Protzen & Sohn carpet factory is the oldest intact industrial building in Stralau. The transformation of the peninsula into a site of industry began with this factory in 1865. Owners of the family-owned company, newly founded in Berlin, were Michael Protzen (1809–1889) and his sons Adalbert (1837–ca. 1898) and Eugen (1842–1920).

The property on which the three four-story buildings stood stretched to the bank of the River Spree. A printing press, a weaving mill, and a dye mill made up the production facilities. Additionally, there was a sulfur chamber, an automated workshop, a locksmith, and a forge. Adalbert Protzen took over management of the Stralau factory in 1869. He moved into a mansion on the factory compound. After his death, his son Adolf (1869–1934) took over leadership of the company.

Protzen & Sohn was the first carpet factory in Germany to introduce the “chain printing” method, developed in England, that made it possible to produce high volumes of patterned rugs and carpet at low cost. 500 workers produced the factory’s carpets and upholstery fabric. Protzen & Sohn became one of the most important Berlin carpet factories.

Beginning at the end of the 1920s, the company downsized and other businesses began to use the building. Among them were a radio factory: Monette, Mock & Nettebeck, founded in Stralau in 1921 by Willy Mock and Eduard Nettebeck, which later operated as Monette Asbestdraht GmbH – an asbestos wire company. At the start of the Second World War, the entire industrial compound was sold to the leading company for iron and steel products, Ravené. The Protzen carpet factory in Stralau ceased to exist. In the Second World War, most of the buildings were destroyed. Monette was ousted from the property in 1953. VEB Asbestdraht (a state-owned company for asbestos wire) began production on the grounds, along with the nationalized factory for television electronics starting in 1955. The site closed with the end of the GDR, and the buildings were left empty. The space was used for a period of time by cultural and artistic projects until some of the buildings underwent complete renovation, transforming some parts of the former factory into an event space. For some time now, the factory building has been vacant. There are currently no concrete plans for its future.

The factory building, the owner’s mansion with its adjoining coach house, and a part of the mansion gardens are protected historical monuments.

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