>> Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 10 <<
Currently there are two skyscrapers in Frankfurt which are listed as being 170 meters tall. This is the “architectural height”, which includes spires and other such permanent features, but does not include external things like flagpoles, antennae, or signage, which can easily and cheaply be changed.
In the case of Frankfurt’s two 170-meter buildings, opinions differ on which should be listed first. But the industry websites emporis.com and skylineatlas.com both list the TaunusTurm as # 10 and OpernTurm as # 11 (Emporis claims the TaunusTurm is two centimeters taller), so for the purposes of this Countdown I’ll do the same. Since both of these buildings were built by the same project developer, Tishman Speyer, they probably won’t care which order I put them in (if indeed they even notice).
The TaunusTurm was completed in 2014 and has 40 floors above ground level. It is located at the intersection of Taunustor and Neue Mainzer Straße, soon to be Germany’s first and only intersection with skyscrapers (defined as high-rise buildings of 100 meters or taller) on all four corners.
The Neue Mainzer Straße, by the way, is my nomination for the most disgraceful street in downtown Frankfurt. It has narrow sidewalks, no bicycle lanes and four automobile lanes going in the same direction, which encourages unbridled speeding.
This photo from 2015 shows the TaunusTurm in the center, with the Main Tower on the left and the Commerzbank Tower on the right. The trees in the foreground are in a strip of park known as the Anlagenring, a semi-circle of parks around the city center replacing the old city walls, which were torn down on orders of Napoléon between 1804 and 1812. The metal rings in the foreground are (or were) part of a sculpture in the park.
In normal times, I often used to ride my bicycle past the northwest and southwest sides of the TaunusTurm on my way to the Frankfurt Opera. In Corona times, not so often.
To explain the name of the building: “Taunus” is the name of a range of small hills just north of Frankfurt, and “Turm” is a German word for Tower.
Friedrich Schiller, with his back to us, has a pen in his hand and seems to be pondering what to write (if anything) about all these new buildings. Perhaps something like: Was sind Hoffnungen, was sind Entwürfe / die der Mensch, der vergängliche, baut?
Which means, more or less: ‘What are hopes, what are designs / which man, the perishable, builds?’ (1803)
My photos in this post are from 2015 and 2020. I revised the text in 2020.