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Zeil Side Streets

Public space
District: Local district:
Size of area:
5,895 sq. m.
Project management:

Ms. Petra Kanamüller
fone: +49 (0)69 212 35856

Project description

Reasons for planning
The side streets leading to the Zeil no longer meet the demands of this important downtown zone in functional or design terms. This became abundantly clear after the design makeover of the Zeil. The ancillary roads to the Zeil earmarked in the resolution passed by the City Council are Grosse Friedberger Strasse, Schäfergasse, Reineckstrasse, and Fahrgasse with the plaza and road “An der Staufenmauer”.

The Fahrgasse/plaza at Staufenmauer project for which the final design is currently being completed is of exceptional importance as here the focus is not just on enhancing the street itself and improving its leisure-time qualities, but also on drawing public attention to two historically important themes. First, the Staufenmauer itself, which is approx. 600 years old and is only preserved here, but also the adjacent Jewish quarter that existed here until its destruction in 1938 / 1944 with the main synagogue.
The plan is also to adapt this special sequence of public spaces effectively to climate change. Precisely in downtown Frankfurt, the design of shady and well-ventilated roads and plazas is of crucial importance in particular for the health of the citizens who live here.

Planning area

While Grosse Friedberger Strasse and Schäfergasse join Konstablerwache in the north, Reineckstrasse runs parallel to it to the west, and Fahrgasse leads south as far as Battonstrasse (see map). The redesign of the Fahrgasse between Battonstrasse and Zeil includes the plaza west of Staufenmauer and the “An der Staufenmauer” road behind it.

Planning objectives
The design of all Zeil side streets is destined to augment the character and ambient qualities. Moreover, the focus is on improving the spatial-functional links to the Zeil, which underwent a facelift in 2010, and thus appreciably boosting the appeal of this central downtown zone.
Grosse Friedberger Strasse:
The redesign of Grosse Friedberger Strasse, which was modernized in 2017, significantly improved ambient qualities and thus strengthened its function as a shopping street. This was achieved with measures such as making sidewalks far wider, restricting the volume of traffic searching for parking spaces, structuring the street space by introducing ten new trees and giving the surfaces a new look.

Schäfergasse will be given a makeover in line with similar principles.

In the case of Reineckstrasse, a service road running parallel and behind Zeil, the emphasis was in particular on adapting the pavement surface to match the Zeil visually to underscore the importance of this link between Zeil and Fahrgasse. This was achieved by opting for new paving with a visually brighter, smoothly graded asphalt top to reduce heat accumulation in hot summers, and by limiting car traffic to the delivery services required by the retail outlets, with the goal of otherwise banning traffic from the area close to the Zeil.

The idea behind redesigning Fahrgasse is to draw people’s attention to the different functions that Fahrgasse serves north and south of Töngesgasse. Once again parking spaces will be reduced and, in the future, only the southern stretch will have parking spaces. The northern section will be designed as clearly part of Zeil and traffic banned other than delivery services.

Northern plaza “An der Staufenmauer”:
The adjacent northern plaza “An der Staufenmauer” will form a special place for tranquil relaxation in the shade with a view of the historical Staufenmauer town wall. New tree locations along Fahrgasse and decorative shrubs on the plaza will create a small green oasis that contrasts with the hustle-and-bustle in the Zeil shopping precinct.
The southern, not publicly accessible section of “An der Staufenmauer” plaza will be given a new surface and like the northern section will boast lights integrated into the ground to illuminate the Staufenmauer.

“An der Staufenmauer” street:
The “An der Staufenmauer” street, which starts from Fahrgasse will be given a smooth graded pavement and be rendered barrier-free while factoring in the hospitality outlets there. It will only be open to delivery services and traffic police. The street space will be made over in a way that brings to mind the former, confined buildings of the former Judengasse ghetto in the 18th century. Equally, the later Classicist new buildings on Börnestrasse erected in the early 19th century will be reflected. Memorializing this special historical part of the city will be supported by placing objects and plaques here on the history of Judengasse and its synagogues as the location of the former main Jewish temple (1860-1938) and/or the current office building on Kurt Schumacher Strasse 41, drawing attention to the Museum Judengasse across the road.

Project progress

While Grosse Friedberger Strasse reopened in May 2017 after the makeover, Reineckstrasse was completed in November 2018.

Pre-planning resolutions have been taken for the Schäfergasse and for the spatial sequence of “Fahrgasse with the ‘An der Staufenmauer’ plaza and street”.

At present, an interim design is being finalized for the northern “An der Staufenmauer” plaza that will be swiftly implemented in second-half 2023. The planned design of the passageway next to the building at Kurt Schumacher Strasse 41 from “An der Staufenmauer” street is to be realized swiftly to eliminate the current ugly state. At the same time, it will memorialize the main Jewish synagogue that once stood here. Planning will continue in 2023 for the entire “Fahrgasse with ‘An der Staufenmauer’ plaza and street” with the objective of construction work being realized in 2025.