The building history of the Leuschner birthplace, Moritzhöfen 25 in Bayreuth
The history of the house began in the year 1878 with the construction as a tenement by the master bricklayer Johann Hofmann. He was involved as construction manager in the construction of the Richard-Wagner-Festival opera house and invested his money in this tenement. It consisted of four small two-room apartments with toilets located in the hall which was accessible to all tenants. Two single rooms without a kitchen were in the attic. Due to the marshy area near the “Röhrensee” an excavation of a cellar was impossible, so there was built a rear building as shed for heating material and miscellaneous storage. This so-called “Holzleg” was the beginning of the later use as a workshop.
In 1892 the house was bought by the carpenter Kasper Stahlmann who developed the rear building into a workshop and opened a carpenter’s shop. Furniture was produced there which was later exposed in the 1920s in a wooden pavilion next to the tenement. In the year 1938 the carpenter’s company Stahlmann was moved to Peter-Rosegger-Street across from the estate Moritzhöfen 25. Since then the house was used as a tenement only, however the ancient workshop building became an emergency accommodation during the Second World War. After the post war period it was barely used. Since the year 1992 the ensemble of buildings was vacant and decayed visibly until the reconstruction in the year 2001.
It was the initiative of the Club for Cultural and Social History Bayreuth since spring 2000 which brought the discussion of the use of the house as a memorial in honor to the member of resistance Wilhelm Leuschner in Bayreuth to the public.
In fall 2001 the house was bought by private owners because in the city council of Bayreuth there could not be found a majority for the public purchase. The new owners reconstructed the estate and in summer 2002 the city and the foundation each got a rental agreement for ten years.
Since July 1st 2002 the administration rooms, the archive and the library with the seminar room of the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation are in the attic. In the four rooms on the ground floor of the building the city of Bayreuth arranged a memorial exhibition of about 95 m² dedicated to the life and functioning of Wilhelm Leuschner with the help of the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation. The opening was on September 28th 2003. In the ancient carpenter's shop in the rear building the “Bildungswerkstatt Wilhelm Leuschner” was arranged in December 2003. In February 2004 the seminars of the memorial work were started. Since the opening the visitors have been accompanied by the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation in seminars and events aimed at political education.
The building history of the house it is not at an end yet. In the years of the first decade of the 21st century it became clear that the politically often praised “public-private partnership” of the public purse with private investors is anything but a guarantee for the permanent establishment. The high lease payments and the quarrels with the landlord endanger the settling of the memorial in the birthplace after the year 2012. The Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation and the booster club Leuschner-house work hard to find a durable solution for the further operations of the memorial beyond the year 2012.