• FA-115013 Source: Technisches Museum Wien
Collection Area
Die Quellenvielfalt des Archivs
Technical Drawings
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Plan for an underground public convenience for ladies and gentlemen, 1904

The last remaining art-nouveau public toilet in Vienna is classified as an historical monument.

The public convenience at Graben was planned by architect Franz Krasny (1865 - 1947). He was a student of Otto Wagner and Carl Hasenauer. The first underground public convenience in Vienna remains in use. Today, it is also a popular tourist attraction.

From the mid-19th century, public toilet facilities were installed in the ever-expanding city of Vienna for reasons of hygiene. There were numerous discussions on ‘conveniences’. In 1863, the local council founded a ‘Urinal Commission’. A great crowd of visitors was expected for the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873. In his pamphlet ‘On Street Cleaning’, the doctor Richard Müller warned that Vienna would offer its guests ‘the spectacle of a poorly cleaned city [...]’.

In 1880, the resourceful Berlin businessman Wilhelm Beetz sought approval from the Royal and Imperial Capital and Seat of Power of Vienna for the construction and operation of ‘public conveniences for persons of both sexes’ in public squares. This was initially declined. But he then referred to the fact that such public conveniences were already run successfully by private companies in Paris, London, Berlin and other cities. Wilhelm Beetz's application was approved on July 24, 1883. He moved from Berlin to Vienna and founded a company that exclusively dealt with the construction and operation of public toilets in Vienna. Beetz constructed numerous new installations and took over the running of the ones already in existence.

The archive holdings of the Wilhelm Beetz company can be found in the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) in the collection of ‘Small and Special Company Stocks’. They provide an impressive cross-section of documents on the corporate history of the company Wilhelm Beetz Bauunternehmung GmbH, which is still in existence.

Inv.Nr. BPA-008802/2
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