At a right angle to the north
Looking down on the Prenzlauer Berg one notices the accuracy of the rectangular street plan. It dates back to 1862 and was layed out in the development plan devised by government master builder James Hobrecht. The population of Berlin had increased considerably during the 19th century and housing development had to be extended beyond the city gates. Hobrecht’s planning was geared to the three major existing radial roads towards the north, modern Schönhauser Allee, Prenzlauer Allee, and Greifswalder Strasse; between these, he established a grid.
As the streets of houses grew streets and places were named. After the Franco-German war 1870/71 the French Quarter between Schönhauser and Prenzlauer Allee was created. Streets were named after French towns like Straßbourg, Metz, Wörth, Mulhouse, Colmar, as well as Prussian generals who participated in the battles
– among them Fransecky and Tresckow whose streets were later renamed Sredzkistrasse and Knaackstrasse respectively.
North of the Danziger Strasse important persons were honoured: the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, the physiologist Hermann Helmholtz, the long-term mayor Hermann Duncker and the inventor of the lithography, Aloys Senefelder. Still later the Nordic quarter and the East Prussian quarter were built. Hobrecht work was also honoured; a street in Kreuzberg bears the name Hobrechtstrasse.
The historic street signs around the Kollwitzplatz were restored in the style of 1900 on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of Berlin.