Berliners Call for Street to Be Renamed After David Bowie in Online Petition

The exceptional artist lived and recorded in Berlin in the 1970s.

Photograph used as the basis for David Bowie's Heroes (1977) album cover Photo: Masayoshi Sukita/David Bowie Archive

Following the death of the iconic musician and artist David Bowie, fans and residents of Berlin have started an online petition in an effort to change the name of the street where he lived from Hauptstrasse to David Bowie Strasse. At the time of writing the petition collected 2,992 signatures.

The legendary star shared an apartment with the American musician Iggy Pop in the German capital’s district of Schöneberg in the 1970s. During that time, he recorded three albums with Tony Visconti and Brian Eno, and collaborated with Iggy Pop on the record The Idiot (1977) at Berlin’s Hansa Studios.

On Monday, Bowie fans flocked to his former address to lay flowers and candles. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said “He’s one of us.”

David Bowie at the Berlin Wall, (1987). Photo: Denis O'Regan/Getty Images.

David Bowie at the Berlin Wall, (1987). Photo: Denis O’Regan/Getty Images.


Describing Bowie as “an icon of rock and pop,” the petition stated that “there are many Hauptstrassen in Berlin, but there isn’t a David Bowie Strasse yet. Hundreds of thousands, even millions of people associate memories with David Bowie’s music. This extraordinary artist deserves this special honor in Berlin.”

One petitioner, Sarah Sladek, wrote “I signed because I think David Bowie was an outstanding artist who’s influence had a lasting effect on the the music and art scene and who influenced the feelings and lives of many people. He was closely associated with Berlin because he lived and worked here; his work was shaped by this city.”

Another supporter, Petra Vladi wrote, “I’m signing because Berlin, with its people and uniqueness, was a huge inspiration for David’s masterpieces.”

Fans lay flowers at David Bowie's former Berlin residence at Hauptstrasse 155 in the city's Schöneberg district. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Fans lay flowers at David Bowie’s former Berlin residence at Hauptstrasse 155 in the city’s Schöneberg district.
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

On Tuesday, district councilor for Tempelhof-Schöneberg Daniel Kruger conceded that renaming Hauptstrasse “wasn’t out of the question.” However, he hastily added that under current laws important individuals must be deceased for five years before a street can be renamed after them, DW reports.

Affixing a plaque to Bowie’s former residence at Hauptstrasse 155 however, was still an option, Kruger said.

Bowie released three albums during his time in Berlin between 1976 and 1978. Low, Heroes, and Lodger later became known as the Berlin Trilogy.

One of Bowie’s biggest hits Heroes was inspired by a couple, Visconti and his lover, that the musician spotted embracing by the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Germany.

Terry O'Neill, David Bowie - Scissors, 1974 (1974). Photo: Artnet.

Terry O’Neill, David Bowie – Scissors, 1974 (1974).
Photo: Artnet.

In a different, less likely attempt, Italian fans have launched a petition to bring Bowie back to life. The statement on the petition simply reads: “Letter to God. Say NO to David Bowie dead.”

Meanwhile, AFP reports that the Groninger Museum in the northern Netherlands is looking into extending the retrospective on the musician titled “David Bowie Is” after the institution was inundated with more than 18,000 ticket sales since the announcement of his death.

Bowie’s last photoshoot was featured on his official website and Instagram account on his birthday, just two days before his death from liver cancer.

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