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Protecting monuments in Frankfurt - landmark protection law in Germany

What is monument protection?

Monument protection serves to protect cultural monuments and overall facilities relevant to cultural history (ensemble protection). The aim of monument protection in Germany is to ensure that monuments are permanently preserved and are not falsified, damaged, impaired or destroyed. As a rule, monument protection refers to mostly architecturally designed cultural assets that are to be permanently secured. The legal definition and framework conditions for monument protection are laid down in Germany by the monument law. Measures that are necessary for the preservation and maintenance of cultural monuments are referred to as monument preservation.

When it comes to buildings, there is a wide range of styles in Frankfurt. The architecture worthy of protection ranges from the Middle Ages through the Wilhelminian era and the New Frankfurt to postmodern times. In Frankfurt, the monument landscape deals with multi-layered topics, such as buildings with public use, sacred buildings, housing developments, and upper-class housing developments. In addition, it is not always about closed buildings, but also public parks and cemeteries. Most protected buildings in Frankfurt are around the period after 1945 through to the 1980s and 1990s. But even more recent buildings such as the Deutsche Bahn headquarters, which was completed in 1993, have now been placed under monument protection.

Every now and then you find the fact that when building a new building, clients only get the old facade and the rest of the building fabric is lost through fundamental interventions. The pure preservation of the listed facade was the case, for example, with the construction of MAIN TOWER, Eurotheum, the FOUR project on Junghofstrasse, and the former Federal Audit Office (ehemaliger Bundesrechungshof in German). This approach is the result of concessions made by those involved in complex planning processes. In particular, technical conditions and public issues such as fire protection, nature conservation or water law are the reason for this. Interventions in the substance behind the facade are unavoidable, especially when changing the use of a building.

According to Maria Wüllenkemper, district curator of the State Office for Monument Preservation and responsible for Frankfurt, there are around 4,000 individual monuments in Frankfurt.

As the Zuerich House showed, a granted monument protection does not always remain valid.

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