Meyer’sche Häuser Foundation
The Meyer’sche Häuser (Meyer’s houses) complex in Hofer Strasse in Leipzig-Reudnitz is one of a total of four such housing estates in Leipzig. They were all built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the outskirts of Leipzig. They go back to the publisher and founder of the Bibliographisches Institut Herrmann Julius Meyer. In 1888, he founded the Verein zur Erbauung billiger Wohnungen (Association for the Construction of Cheap Apartments), which built almost 2700 flats in four Leipzig districts. The aim was to provide affordable and healthy housing for lower income groups. The association was transformed into a foundation in 1900, which still manages and operates housing estates today as the “Meyer’sche Häuser Foundation”.
Reudnitz Housing Estate
The Reudnitz complex on Hofer Straße was built between 1903 and 1908, in the style of the German Renaissance. Equipped with running water and small balconies, the flats had a high level of comfort despite low rents. Here 57 houses and 448 flats were built in two parallel rows, plus an interior park, a kindergarten and a lending library.
The architecture of the Meyer houses was designed by the Leipzig based architect and master builder Max Pommer (1847-1915), who also chaired the association’s board of directors. Typical of all the complexes is a façade structure in the style of the turn of the century with numerous turrets as corner dominants. Standardised types and ensembles with communal facilities instead of individual houses were chosen to keep construction costs affordable. In fact, all four complexes were able to survive the world wars and have since been renovated and enjoy listed monument status.
What is known today is that the founder of the Margarethe Krupp Foundation in Essen wrote to Leipzig in 1905 asking for information about the Meyer houses and received it. One year later, Margarethe Krupp established her foundation, which is still the largest housing foundation in Germany.