The Carlshütte, founded in 1827 by the businessman Marcus Hartwig Holler (1796-1858), was the first industrial company in Schleswig and Holstein and the first ironworks in the Danish Nation State to which both duchies belonged.
The Ahlmann family has been increasingly involved in the Carlshütte business since 1883, initially under Johannes Ahlmann’s management. Following Julius Ahlmann’s death in 1931, his widow Käte assumed the Carlshütte business. She temporarily expanded the the ironworks to up to 2500 employees and was one of the most renowned female entrepreneurs in the 20th century.
On the occasion of her 70th birthday in 1960, she founded the Ornamental Cast Iron Museum Büdelsdorf in order to ensure that the collection compiled by her and her predecessors is preserved appropriately and is made accessible to the public.
Directly in the neighbourhood of the Carlshütte premises, the Danish architect Carl Storgård built a single-storey, flat-roofed four-winged complex which is laid out around an interior courtyard - and meets the requirements for the presentation of the ornamental cast iron collection very accurately.
The museum was opened in 1963. Käte Ahlmann was no longer privy to experiencing this. She passed away a few months earlier.
In 1981, the museum was initially taken over by the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district, later by the town Büdelsdorf.
The Ornamental Cast Iron Museum Büdelsdorf has belonged to the Schleswig State Museums Foundation since 2010. It is a branch of the Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf.
The museum was comprehensively modernised from 2011 to 2016 while the building was also refurbished energetically. Moreover, the original approaches made by the architect Storgård, which were lost within the scope of the first museum reconstruction at the end of the 1980s, could again be seen. With the conclusion of the construction work, the new set-up of the museum with a modern exhibition concept started.
The “new” Ornamental Cast Iron Museum was opened on July 1, 2016.
2017: the Ornamental Cast Iron Museum has been subjected to intense quality management and is bestowed with the “Certified museum” seal of quality.