Strasbourg: they are fighting to save this half-timbered house that has become a squat and a waste reception center
Through Ivan CAPECCHI
After having climbed to slip into a hole in a wall – the only way today to get inside the house – Maryam asks us not to make any noise: she wants to make sure that no squatters are ‘occupies the premises.
Inside, mountains of garbage are piling up on the ground. “Words fail me to describe the state of this house … It’s worse than a deposit of orders”, breathes Maryam, annoyed.
Once a beautiful home
For years, this committed citizen has been fighting for the lock house, located at 15 rue de Dunkirk a Strasbourg, be restored. Surrounded by decrepit wallpaper, she confides: “Something emerges from it… It is part of the heritage of all Alsatians, it is a duty to participate in its preservation”.
In 2009, this half-timbered house was still resplendent, as evidenced by this photo sent by Jean-Luc Déjeant, president of the Association for the defense of the interests of the central-eastern districts of Strasbourg (Adiq), which is also campaigning for restoration of this heritage.
A symbolic house
“We are calling for the restoration of the building because there is a risk that it will collapse, due to lack of maintenance”, pleads Olivier Ohresser, president of Friends of Old Strasbourg, in solidarity with Adiq and the fight of Maryam. “It is a house which has a heritage interest and which symbolizes the relationship that Strasbourg has always maintained with its rivers,” he adds.
The house, for which a demolition permit was issued in 2014 (the project was eventually abandoned), is owned by the group Ports of Strasbourg (formerly Autonomous Port of Strasbourg). The deputy director of the development of the port area, Paul Euvrard, explains himself.
Restoring this house is not easy because the Local Urban Planning Plan (PLU) of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg asks us to respect two contradictory injunctions: on the one hand, to restore the house almost identically in order to preserve its interest heritage and, on the other hand, to ensure that its function matches that of the area in which it is located, namely to host activities linked to trade and industry. The only way out of this paradox is to integrate the restoration of this house into a larger project.
The lock keeper would eventually house part of the offices of an urban logistics site and would be renovated in this context. In this sense, it should be bought soon by a private company, explains Mr. Euvrard.
Broken trust relationship
Still, the project seems to be at a standstill at the moment. Moreover, the president of Adiq no longer believes in it: “We have been fighting for 12 years and, over the years, we have only noticed the lack of the port’s share in this. case. They only react when they are questioned ”.
“Pending a return from the project leader, we have taken a number of protective measures”, argues for his part Paul Euvrard. He lists: “Since the end of 2020, we have been clearing the site on a regular basis, just as we have put in place reinforced surveillance of the site to avoid squats. In addition, two consultations are underway for the roof and the installation of barbed wire curtains around the building to prevent people from entering it ”.
“If they want to turn it into offices, let them make it into offices,” says Maryam, for whom the only urgency is that this house be saved because, she is alarmed, “it is in danger!” “
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