In the 1980s, no one would have believed that Prenzlauer Berg would one day be one of the most popular residential areas in the city. The beautiful period buildings that line the streets were left relatively unscathed by the second world war, but because prefabricated block buildings were the preferred choice during the GDR-era, the beautiful structures of the period buildings fell into disrepair over the years.
It was not until the beginning of the 1980s, as part of the preparations for Berlin's 750-centenary celebrations, that refurbishment and renovation work began on a small number of the period buildings. Husemannstrasse, just a few yards from Kollwitzplatz, profited the most: the idea was that it should serve as a kind of open-air museum for the neighborhood, to show what the area would have looked like around the turn of the 20th century.
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification, the crumbling buildings throughout the neighborhood were refurbished on a grand scale and nowadays "Prenzlberg" is a well-to-do part of town. One of its unique characteristics is the unusually high number of farmers’ markets. It seems like every corner has one of those little organic markets so typical of the neighborhood and as long ago as 2007, Europe's largest organic supermarket (at the time) opened here. The streets are lined with countless cafés, pubs, clubs, restaurants, bars, galleries, and theaters, making the area a must-see for tourists.
Prenzlauer Berg continues to attract first and foremost young people and families, with streets busy with prams and buggies, earning the neighborhood the nickname "baby berg". Excellent infrastructure and the many facilities available for babies and children are what particularly appeal to young families.
In addition, the residential atmosphere is especially beautiful in this district. It has the largest area of Wilhelminian style period buildings in Germany, and features many charming squares and streets. However, the best addresses have correspondingly high prices, and the members of the alternative arts scene who had settled in Prenzlauer Berg following the reunification, are gradually being replaced by higher earners.
Prenzlauer Berg has also seen a boom in construction, with the very last plots being filled to meet the consistently high demand for residential properties. Over the last few years, the majority of the construction work here has taken the form of exclusive apartment complexes for the high earners. This is also reflected by the level of education in the area: today, around three-quarters of adult residents in the most popular and most expensive residential areas, around Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz, are academics.