ack in March, this appeared on the cover of Heidelberg's free newspaper (click to enlarge any image in this post):
It shows the Heidelberg Altstadt from the north side of the Neckar, with a big change - the addition of that big modern box-like thing on the side of the Stadthalle, a Heidelberg landmark. Right now there's a little park where that box is sitting in the picture. The article says the design has been approved for the addition to the Stadthalle, and I didn't really read any further than that. Other than the fact that the photo was a little shocking - shocking enough that I saved it to share here - I assumed the addition was some kind of done deal. A really weird decision - I thought we all got over throwing up crap like that in the middle of nice old things back in the 50s or so - but done nonetheless. After all, this is the administration that put those jarring benches in last year.
Apparently a lot of other people were shocked when they saw it too. Since March, Heidelberg has exploded in signs and events for and against the addition, and there's going to be a vote about it this Sunday (July 25). There are handmade signs (oddly one on the Theodor Heuss bridge actually says "this sign is handmade" after imploring you to vote against the addition), parties and concerts to raise money against it, and a bunch of crap in our mailboxes. Even one of the local Italian delivery joints is asking us to vote against the addition (and then, after voting, order some salad from them):
There doesn't seem to be as much publicity in the pro-addition camp, but it's out there. They say it will save a lot of money over building something new in a less historical section of town, like near the Bahnhof. Other than that, I can't figure out what their arguments are. The most common sign just says it's "for the future" and this is illustrated by a young-Republican-looking blond guy frowning at the camera.
I don't think I can vote but haven't double checked that yet. Most of my German friends don't seem to care whether they build it or not. I guess maybe the mayor wants it in the Altstadt so they can have big meetings and stuff right there on the Neckar to show off the town to visitors. It's ugly. Seems they should be able to come up with something better.