Have you ever heard about the Hoesch area in Dortmund that is also called the “Phoenix- West”? No? Well, if you are interested in Germanys’ historical background it might be one of the most important places for you to know about and a great location to visit.
The area I am living in is called the Ruhr Metropolis (Ruhrgebiet) and there is my city Dortmund in it. Here, by walking just some meters away from my home I can see one old monument. There are just some leftovers from the former great factory but I still can imagine how it looked like many years ago.
The idea to build the factory was suggested by the manufacturer Hermann Diedrich Piepenstock who already ruled a family business which produced hooks and pins. In 1820-1835, he had been already very much popular in Dortmund because he had built a rolling mill and produced the first tinplate in this city. On the 23d October 1840 he bought the “Hörder Burg” – the ancestral seat of the gentry family Hörde to build ironworks there. He got inspired by the Englishman progress for processing a whole heap of slabs to steal in a short time line and that’s why Diedrich Piepenstock invited Samuel Dobbs who was an English engineer and created a lot of factories in the United Kingdom for helping him here in Dortmund. Due to this cooperation Dortmund’s name had been boosted and made a fundament for its further achievements.
On November 17th 1841 Piepenstock received the allowance for building the first piece of his factory which was the “Hermannshütte” and with this event many citizens accepted the new job offer and became the first staff members. In their workplace they started processing steal and through their improved technology it was possible to do it faster, better and in a way easier than before. It lead to a heated gossiping in the past because a hope was born that Germany might become greater than the United Kingdom from industrial point of view.
As a result, the whole factory gained a lot of attention and started upgrading for example by working 24 hours a day. In 1849, there were 42 puddling furnace, 4 rolling trains for railroad trains and because of that in 1852 the firm became the first incorporated company in Hörde and even was the main component of “Hörder Berkwerks- & Hüttenverein”. In 1871, the industrialist Leopold Hoesch became owner of the factory and changed it’s name it into “Hoesch”. In present time people in my area still call it Hoesch so as you can see by changing its name it gained more popularity remaining until today. Many people don’t know that in 1992 the firm Thyssen-Krupp became owner of this factory and in the same year the whole building stopped working. Lastly in 2001 it was sold to China.
During all these years the environment suffered the most because the factory released enormous pollution particles and still Dortmund tries to get cleaner air by planting many trees. Not only the nature suffered but also the former staff members and citizens because they breathed the same dirty air which lead to a high percentage of lung cancer or other diseases.