"FOREVER NEW: FRANKFURTS OLD TOWN – Building between Dom and Römer since 1900" 22 September 2018 to 12 May 2019 at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum


There is no other place in Frankfurt that boasts such a rich history in terms of architecture and its instrumentalization for identity and tradition, as the core of the city’s old town, located between Dom and Römer. The advent of Modernism around 1900 called for a new city hall and the breakthrough of Braubachstraße. Plans dating from the Ernst May era to counteract the disastrous conditions in this densely built-up area were implemented later by the Nazis, who referred to their measures as “recovery of the old town”.

Hühnermarkt, 2017 © Foto: Uwe Dettmar

After the area was destroyed in 1944, a heated debate about its reconstruction flared up. The 1950s saw the construction of modern structures, and in 1974 Technisches Rathaus was built. The first reconstruction efforts started at Römerberg in 1983 — at the same time as Postmodernism appeared in the form of the Schirn and the Saalgasse. In 2005, the decision to demolish the Technisches Rathaus sparked a controversy about what should be built in its place. How this resulted in the new old town is a major theme of the exhibition. The walk through history reveals the spectrum of the frequently recurring debates about (old town) reconstruction.

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