• Germany edition
 
Frankfurt begins old town reconstruction
Photo: DPA

Frankfurt begins old town reconstruction

Published: 17 Feb 2012 07:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Feb 2012 07:10 GMT+01:00

A total of 35 new buildings are planned for the area between the cathedral and The Römer – Frankfurt’s town hall and one of its most important architectural landmarks. At least eight of these will be exact replicas of the historic buildings destroyed in the Second World War while 15 will be a mix of old and new.

So far €130 million in government funding has been invested in the project, which will is expected to reach completion in 2016. Many buildings have already been purchased even though the symbolic cornerstone was only laid last month.

But opinion on the project remains split between those wanting a wanting a complete reconstruction of the Frankfurt Altstadt, or old town, and others fearing it will be historic Disneyland.

Click here for a photo gallery of Frankfurt's Altstadt

The city council hopes its compromise for at least some reconstructed structures will help return life to Frankfurt’s centre following the demolition two years ago of an ugly concrete office complex built on the site in the 1970s.

Initial plans for the prime property caused an uproar among those Frankfurters deeming it too modern. In an attempt to appease residents, the city council threw open their doors to the public in 2006 and invited them to offer their ideas on changes to the plans.

In 2007, amended blueprints were finalised much to the delight of the campaign group Altstadt-Forum Frankfurt (AFF), which had been pushing for a complete reconstruction of what they described as “one of the most beautiful old towns in Germany.”

The AFF is an initiative made up of Frankfurt-based societies, property and marketing experts and active community members who joined together with the aim of making the idea of rebuilding the old town reality.

And while the chairman Jürgen E. Aha originally told property magazine Immobilien Zeitung in 2010 that he was “pleased with the compromise,” the plans for the 27 buildings which are not going to be historical replicas have left the group less than impressed.

“The new buildings will look like dog kennels or provincial savings banks,” Aha recently lamented.

Whether an exact replica or somewhere in between, buildings in the “DomRömer” quarter, as it is being called, have to follow strict regulations. Sandstone is being used for the ground floor of every building and upper floors must be plastered or panelled with wood. Even window and roof dimensions must fit certain criteria.

The area itself will be arranged in a similar way to the original old town, with narrow alleyways running between buildings and a central square.

The architects, together with the council, hope it will bring a touch of history to the modern city centre, but Philipp Oswalt, director of design group Bauhaus foundation, has labelled the project “absurd and peculiar.”

“The designs for the replica buildings look like leftovers from a Christmas market,” he said.

DPA/The Local/jcw

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:32 February 17, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
kind of ironic -

Frankfurt is one of Germany's wealthiest post-war cities, and yet, it appears to have been fairly late at considering doing what other German cities already did ten or twenty years ago, restore their old town districts to their former glory.

I guess Frankfurt's ridiculously overpaid bankers and hedge fund managers were simply too busy lining their own pockets all those years...
21:25 February 17, 2012 by catjones
I think it was Branson, Missouri or was it Anaheim, CA that did the Frankfurt thing? Anyway, I like fake, reproductions from China. Could you please add a little pseudo-soot to the buildings? The nineteenth century has a bigger draw than the 21st, but with coax running thru the walls, who'd know the difference?
Today's headlines
Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26

UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,526
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd