The end of the industrial area and a new beginning
In 1989, there were still about 1,650 people working in the Spinnerei. Production continued throughout the first years after the Wall fell and Germany was reunified. Production of thread came to an end in the beginning of 1993, causing the business to be liquidated and workers laid off. In August 1993, the Spinnerei was sold to a West German buyer by the Treuhand (the trust responsible for the GDR’s formerly nationally-owned companies). Until 2000, the business produced cord for car tires; when production finally ceased, it employed about 40 people. From the early 1990s onwards, a completely new phase in the use of the site began under the leadership of Regina Lenk, the then administrator. The empty rooms were used for alternative projects – a summer academy was opened, the first few artists set up studios, and architecture firms, workshops and exhibition rooms gradually moved in. In 1998, a tango workshop began on the site and in 1999 the Leipziger Schauspielhaus created a temporary venue in the Spinnerei. Clotho, goddess of fate, had spun a new thread of life for the place that was once the largest spinning works in mainland Europe, and whose history, after 125 years, has apparently not yet come to an end.