The building, is a memorial site, museum and cultural institution serving various purposes. The centerpiece of the Beethoven-Haus is Beethoven’s birthplace at Bonngasse 20. The neighboring buildings (Bonngasse 18 and 24 to 26) accommodate a research center comprising a collection, a library and publishing house, and a chamber music hall.
The Beethoven Haus association, founded in 1889 to preserve the house, spared the house from demolition. The following years were characterized by renovation and remodeling works to turn the house into a memorial site. At the time, major parts of the building were still as they had been in the second half of the 18th century.
In order to preserve spacious museum rooms, the floor plans of the main house were changed and an office for the association, plus a library and a flat for the janitor were installed. Construction changes in Beethoven’s flat were limited to the stairs and the passageways to the front building. The inner yard was decorated with trellises and sandstone slabs, and a garden replaced the place where the beer hall had been.