The Golden Pudel Club was founded in 1994 at its present location, at Fischmarkt 27. To this day, it is internationally renowned as a hub for musical subculture and trends. The Golden Pudel Club is a significant political force in the district of St Pauli, which has been and continues to be exposed to the strong gentrification process. In cooperation with Project park fiction initiative it has succeeded to save the historical building in the immediate vicinity of the harbor from being replaced by a new multistorey building in 1995/96.
Against the backdrop of the impending sale of the building on the real estate market, club operators, musicians, neighbours, supporters and the Project park fiction founded the Pudel Verein für Gegenkultur e.V. (short association: VerFüGe) in 2013. The purpose of the association was and is to ensure the entire building for a lasting cultural use. In 2014, the association has been awarded the art prize "Kunstbeutel 2014” by the Hamburg cultural authority.
Meanwhile, with the help of the Mara and Holger Cassens Foundation, we succeeded in removing the property from the real estate market. However, the building has been severely damaged by a fire in February 2016. Extensive reconstruction work is necessary. The roof and first floor have now been removed. Currently, the ground floor must be gutted and stabilized for the reconstruction. At the same time a planning team is developing a design concept with the goal finishing the building in 2017. In order to meet that goal the Golden Pudel Club and the Pudel Verein für Gegenkultur e.V. are facing great financial challenges.
While the Mara and Holger Cassens Foundation supports us in preserving the building for cultural purposes it was clear from the beginning that the foundation shall not own the responsibility of the development of the building, but it should remain under the control of the Club. This means that the Golden Pudel Club and the Pudel Verein für Gegenkultur e.V. are solely responsible for the financing and implementation of the reconstruction. The funds available from the insurances are far from covering the costs of necessary for planning and reconstructing the building. The financial challenge is twofold: First fire insurance does not cover required and necessary upgrades to the building and secondly only half of the insurance money is available to the Club, as the other half has been claimed by the previous partial owner who is not participating in the efforts to reopen the Club.
Nevertheless, we are greatly relieved that our long-term plan to irrevocably dedicate the building to cultural non-profit use can be realized. This happens within the framework of a foundation model and a non-profit corporation. The upper floor will be open for readings, concerts and various useful as well as useless activities from the Pudel Club community. Activities will integrate,co-operate and co-use the park fiction public space and amphitheater. In addition to the securing the future of the Golden Pudel Club, the *park fiction archive will be an integral part of the project and will have its home in the building.