A public park for all generations

By offering local intergenerational recreation, a new life will come to a place that is inextricably linked to the memories of childhood and youth for many citizens of Lübbecke. Mayor Frank Haberbosch spoke of a “big hit” when he hailed the event. Even if no representative of the county government was in place on Friday, they have a large financial share in the 3.5m-euro project.

Inauguration Feast on June 25th

To properly celebrate this occasion with all citizens, on Saturday, June 25, there will be an inaugural celebration with a program for young and old. The postponement to June is due to the fact that many new plantings are still fresh and part of the land is not yet consolidated enough to survive a larger event at the moment in time without damage.

The history of the bath, which for almost three decades was the cause of disputes that changed the political landscape in Lübbecke, goes back to 1938. At that time, it was considered the construction of a bath facility in Obernfelder Allee, but that was then because of the war were not initially followed. Planning was not resumed just a few years after the end of the war. In July 1952, the council decided to award the contract for the construction works and on July 4, 1953, the “Lübbecke bath institution” was inaugurated.

The heated pool had a 50-meter pool with six lanes and diving towers one, three, five, seven and a half and ten meters. In 1963, the West German High Diving Championship took place here. The eastern neighborhood of the pool was shallower and therefore suitable for ionists as well. There was also a smaller swimming pool. Along with about 8,000 square feet of sunbathing lawns and play and sports areas, the area covered about one and a half football fields.

The focal point

For decades, the spa facility was one of the most important, if not central, points of contact for young people in Lübbeck, also because of its location within the city in the summer months. Exact visitor numbers from the 1960s and 1970s were not statistically recorded, but they probably set historical records.

Perhaps the pool would have existed to this day if the “Bielefeld Law” had not intervened. From 1973, Lübbecke suddenly had two outdoor pools within a radius of less than five kilometers: in addition to the one in Obernfelder Allee, the outdoor swimming pool of the Gehlenbeck office not far from the Mittelland Canal, which was connected to Lübbecke as a result of local government. Since then, two outdoor pools had to be funded and a discussion about the pool landscape in the city became inevitable.

A heated debate over the future of the sites soon ensued, in which the administration and most of the council favored the operation of the only Gehlenbeck outdoor pool, which was more modern and in better technical condition. In 2002, the bathroom at Obernfelder Allee was closed following a relevant council decision.

Resistance to closure came mainly from the central area of ​​the city and the western districts of Blasheim and Obermehnen. A referendum finally led to a referendum on 2 May 2004. The question was: “Should the outdoor pool in Lübbecke be preserved while the official outdoor pool in Gehlenbeck is closed and open for bathing?”. With a turnout of 40.4 percent, 57.8 percent of voters answered “No” to the question and thus sealed the fate of the bathroom, which was then eventually abandoned.

Located in monumental protection

Immediately after closure in 2002, the structural structures of the baths were placed under monumental protection, making it impossible to over-plan the area. As a result, the “grass over the issue” literally grew rapidly: With the exception of the ticket office area and locker rooms, the former outdoor pool became larger and larger, with no future solutions on the horizon.

After twelve years of “sleeping beauty”, in 2014 and 2015, three public planning seminars were to tie the knot as a form of citizen participation. The goal was to gather ideas and desires for further use. Many of these suggestions can be taken and harmonized in redesigning a landscaped public park.

Preserve the original contours

Conceived as an inland recreation area with sports, games and exercise facilities for young and old, the outdoor pool park creates a variety of references to the listed architecture. Both pools remain in their original contours and are visible, the former rowing pools as a sandy play area for children, the pools as a lawn play area. In addition, the so-called “history window” with a length of about two meters preserves the original design of the pool edge, including the drainage channel.

The space pools have been preserved in a modern reinterpretation, as has the pool clock. In an extensive renovation, the diving tower was restored almost exactly to its original condition. Even if, for structural and safety reasons, you can not walk beyond the three-meter level, it serves as a historical landmark, identification symbol and viewing platform at the same time.

The new outdoor pool park at Obernfelder Allee in Lübbecke is open to the public. Photo: Viola Willman

The concept was introduced to the citizens at the end of 2017 and was widely approved. Furthermore, she also convinced the Ministry of Homeland, Municipal Affairs, Construction and Equal Opportunities of the North Rhine-Westphalia State, which allocated funds of about 2.4 million euros from the “Future City Green” program for the redesign of 2019, paving the way for implementation.

In the fall of 2019, cleaning work began in the overcrowded area. In 2020/21 the diving tower and swimming pool were renovated, in March 2021 the landscaping works started and at the end of the year the construction of the playground equipment.

Planted 10,000 square meters of lawn

A total of about 9800 cubic meters of land has been displaced and the large basin is filled with about 1600 cubic meters of land. About 4,200 square meters of paths were paved and three kilometers of edge were installed, 300 meters of linear fences and a dozen “climate trees” were planted, 850 square meters of flowering belts, grass strips and ground cover were placed and 10,000 square meters. were planted lawn meter.

The four play areas cover a total area of ​​about 1000 square meters. Of these, 280 square meters are equipped with technical protection and the remaining 720 square meters with protection from falling sand or gravel. Outdoor sports areas together cover about 110 square meters.

The total costs of the project amount to 3.46 million euros and are therefore within the projected budget.

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