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 its old town. The exhibition Forever New: Frankfurt’s Old Town explores the events of the past 120 years.
“Forever New: Frankfurt’s Old Town”
September 22, 2018 — March 10, 2019
Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)
Schaumainkai 43, Frankfurt am Main
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 the “recovery of the old town.” 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 the Technical Town Hall was built, a building which would define the old town for years to come. A first reconstruction took place at the Römerberg in 1983 — at the same time as Postmodernism appeared in the form of the art gallery Schirn and the Saalgasse.
In 2005, the decision to demolish the Technical Town Hall 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.
To coincide with the exhibition, jovis Verlag is publishing a broad illustrated catalog entitled “Forever New: Frankfurt’s Old Town Building between Dom and Römer since 1900”.