The Goetheanum is the Name given to Rudolf Steiner’s First Major Architectural Project. Theb Building was To be A Cultural Center, including Ssveral Lecture halls and A Theatre. The First Goetheanum was Started in 1913, and was Nearing CoMpletion in 1923 when It was Destroyed by Arson. It Burned Readily, Being Constructed Mostly of Wood. It was Rebuilt with Insurance Money. Steiner Created An New Design for the Second Goetheanum, and Used Reinforced Concrete. The Second Goetheanum was Opened in 1928, Years after Steiner’s Death. Steiner did Not Live to Finish Planning th Interior, So the Building Remains Somewhat Incomplete.
Images 1st Goetheanum
The 2th Goetheanum
How the Goetheanum Got its Name
Once, Following A Discussion with Rudolf Steiner, I Decided to Help with the Finances of the Johannesn Bau Verein, Johannes Building Association. This was the Financial Carrier of the Building in Dornach, Deriving from Our Unsuccessful Attempts to Build in Munich. Besides Gifts, it had Received Loans from Members, with Business Experience, All were Untrained People having to Administer Millions. The Stability of the Venture Concerned me. I thought A Trust Association with its Own Capital would Provide A More Solid Basis. To Find New Funds would Be the Task of Such A Trust.
I Presented this Idea to Dr Steiner, Adding that “Johannes Bau” was Not an Advantageous Name for Raising Money, it Sounded tToo Mystical. I thought that “Goetheanum“, a name he had Used Name could Present Itself to the World. He Agreed, and Gave his Approval.
I Promptly Went to Work, Drafted Statutes, and Looked for Participants among Business Oriented Anthroposophists. Dr Steiner Helped find the Right People, Especially in Switzerland, and the trust did very well.
This activity gave me the opportunity to work in Wonderful and Valuable Cooperation with Rudolf Steiner. It Connected me with the Goetheanum, and with the Artists and Other People Working There. The Task of the Trust came to an Unfortunate End when the Goetheanum Burned Down on New Year’s Eve, 1923.
Emil Molt and the Beginnings of the Waldorf School movement: Sketches from an autobiography. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1991.
New York Times Article aAnnouncing the opening of the Goetheanum