>> Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 3 <<
Frankfurt’s third tallest building (208 meters, 53 floors) is named after its address, Westendstraße 1. Actually, the main entrance is around the corner at Mainzer Landstrasse 58, near Platz der Republik. The building was completed in 1993.
This is part of a complex of buildings forming the headquarters of the DZ Bank, which describes itself as a cooperative bank serving as the central bank for about 850 local cooperative banks throughout Germany. These local banks are often in smaller cities or towns and have either Volksbank (= People’s Bank) or Raiffeisenbank in their names.
Westendstraße 1 has a distinctive steel ‘crown’ at the top which has since been imitated in several other buildings around the world, including one in Vancouver. The crown is heated in the winter to keep it from icing, as that would create a hazard for people walking below.
The German dramatist, poet and historian Friedrich Schiller was not a big fan of 20th and 21st century architecture — which is not surprising since he died in 1805. Here he is studiously ignoring the high-rise building Westendstraße 1 (off to his right, at his feet), while gazing through the trees at the Frankfurt Opera, two blocks away.
Four of Schiller’s plays were made into operas by one of his biggest fans, the composer Giuseppe Verdi, including one of Verdi’s absolute masterpieces, Don Carlo. What Verdi appreciated about Schiller was not only his skill as a dramatist, but also his progressive and freedom-loving attitude.
My photos in this post are from 2004 and 2005. I revised the text in 2020.