Regular Meeting January 2020
After the tribute to our long-standing club members on January, 15, 2020, Professor Christoph Mäckler highlighted our topic "Bridges" in architectural and urban planning terms, using Frankfurt as an example, of course. Since the Middle Ages, the "Old Bridge" has been part of the important north-south axis from Italy to the Hanseatic cities and thus played a major role in Frankfurt's rise to an important trade fair and trading city. For the city itself, it was not only a connection between Sachsenhausen and Frankfurt, but also a lifeline between the two sides where the people worked and lived. On both sides the bridge was bordered by bridge towers, parts of the city wall. All streets in Frankfurt's medieval townscape were also laid out in a north-south direction towards the Main and its harbor. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century, when the city walls were pulled down and the Old Bridge was no longer able to cope with the traffic that the Upper and Lower Main Bridges and the Iron Bridge (a pedestrian bridge) were built to the east and west of it. The new bridges required a new east-west connection in urban planning. Thus the first breakthrough through the old town came at the beginning of the 20th century, the construction of Braubachstrasse/Bethmannstrasse, which made further urban development measures possible, namely the extension of the town hall with the town hall tower, the "Long Franz“. At the beginning of the 20thCentury, the Old Bridge no longer met the requirements and was replaced by a new building which did not survive the Second World War. The post-war construction was renovated until 2016 in accordance with a design selected in a competition won by Mäckler. The design again emphasizes the historical elements of the bridge with the construction of the "Portikus" as well as the erection of the monument of Charlemagne and the (Brickegickel) at the historical location. One project of the New Bridge Construction Association is the reconstruction of the town hall tower "Langer Franz", which lost its spire in World War II and has since then only been closed with an emergency roof. The reference to our topic "Bridges" is the shape of this spire, which was a replica of the Sachsenhausen bridge gate tower. The Brückenbauverein hopes for the commitment of Frankfurt's citizens in the realization of this former landmark of the city.