A Museum in the Laundry Room
Red Vienna is the term given to the period of one-party rule by the Social Democrats from 1919-1934 (the Social Democrats have held the position of mayor and a majority on the city council without interruption since 1945). One of Red Vienna's most enduring achievements was the introduction of the social housing construction program. This municipal housing scheme and its Gemeindebauten housing has provided affordable accommodation since the First World War. The best example of social housing from the Red Vienna era is the impressive Karl-Marx-Hof in the 19th district, which provides the setting for a new permanent exhibition.
"Red Vienna in the Laundry Room" is located in the part of the Karl-Marx-Hof that formerly housed the showers and water tanks. The 300 square meter exhibition takes in the history, manifesto and key figures of Red Vienna. Construction, education, and cultural and social life during the era are also under the microscope.
The striking towers and archways of the Karl-Marx-Hof were built between 1927 and 1930 by Karl Ehn, a student of Otto Wagner. Dubbed the Workers' Versailles, the 1,300 apartment complex extends for over a kilometer. There are play areas and gardens, as well as countless communal facilities such as laundries, bath houses, kindergartens, a library, doctors' offices and stores.