>> Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 8 <<
The new headquarters building of the European Central Bank (ECB) has 45 floors above ground level and is 184 meters high, making it the eighth tallest building in Frankfurt as of 2020. The building on the right in my photo is the Frankfurt Adult Education Center (VHS), where I taught for many years. The reddish building at the foot of the tower is the former main building of the Frankfurt wholesale produce market, a listed building from the 1920s which has been preserved, renovated and incorporated into the ECB complex.
Hardly anyone in Frankfurt knows the name “Skytower” for the new ECB building. I never knew it even though I have been teaching in the immediate vicinity for the past fifteen years. In fact, I just learned of it the other day from the website skylineatlas.de.
But I suspect they will be emphasizing the name “Skytower” more often in the future (instead of just calling it the European Central Bank), because the bank has already outgrown the tower and is considering building an additional one nearby. Also they are using masses of office space in two other high-rise buildings in Frankfurt, the Eurotower and the Japan Center. Apparently this is because the ECB keeps being given more and more responsibilities, particularly supervising all the banks in the nineteen countries that use the Euro as their currency.
This is what the new ECB building looked like in 2013, when construction was still underway. I took this photo from Paul-Arnsberg-Platz. Again, the five-story building on the right is the Frankfurt Adult Education Center (VHS).
For me as a teacher, it was convenient to have the ECB nearby, because after the building was opened several ECB employees joined my courses, particularly my English-language opera appreciation course Frankfurt OperaTalk.
Here is the ECB building off in the distance, as seen from the right bank of the Main River, near the city center. The church steeple (which looks taller than the ECB, but only because it is much closer) belongs to the Dreikönigskirche (Three Kings’ Church) in the Frankfurt district of Sachsenhausen.
From 1928 to 2004, this was the site of the Großmarkthalle, Frankfurt’s wholesale produce market. The south side of the hall was served by several railway tracks, since most of the goods were delivered by train. I took this photo from across the river in 2004, shortly after the wholesale market had moved to a new location on the northern edge of Frankfurt.
Although the main market building was preserved, several smaller structures were demolished starting in 2004 to make room for the new ECB Tower.
During the Second World War, the Nazis mis-used the excellent railway infrastructure at the wholesale produce market for the deportation of Jews from Frankfurt and vicinity to the extermination camps in eastern Europe. There is now a memorial to the murdered Jews at the eastern edge of the ECB complex.
My photos in this post are from 2004, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
I revised the text in 2020.