Frankfurt Opernhaus 1975

[ Next ] [ Prev ] [ Index ]

The Frankfurt Opera House (Opernhaus, "Dem Wahren Schönen Guten"), like almost all of Frankfurt, was bombed in the war. Like the Berlin Wilhelmskirche, it was purposely left in its bombed-out condition as a reminder, as in this 1975 photo. But later the city parents must have changed their minds, because now it is rebuilt, restored, and back in business: CLICK HERE to see.

While at FHS, some friends and I resolved to sneak into the ruin and spend the night there but somehow it didn't happen. 40-some years later, I heard from someone who did! -- Barlow Pepin. CLICK HERE to read his account, written at the time (1966).


In April 2005, Wolfgang Coy sent the following addendum from Berlin:
I just found your picture of the 1975 Opernhaus ruin. Just to add to your comment: It was not a simple change of mind of the "city parents" to rebuild it. It was, in fact, a bitter struggle between large parts of the social democratic party, represented by mayor Rudi Arndt, and his conservative opponents in CDU (at that time NICKNAMED "AG ADEL UND BANKEN") and FDP.

Mayor Arndt announced in public that he would only pay some dynamite to bring down the ruin but no single Mark for the reconstruction - quite understandable as the Opernhaus was just 45 years of age when it was bombed (in fact it was the second Version burn down, because teh first burned out completely only one year after its opening in 1899), and because it was considered as a striking symbol of the Kaiser and the banks.

It was also no beauty but one of the first industrial serial buildings. Inside the neo-classical Facade it had top theatre technology, built in the same era and by the same architectural office that reconstructed the burnt-down Vienna Ringtheater and built dozens of other European Opera House-look-alikes - all technologically up-to-date theaters with neo-classical facades.

For the very same reason It was rebuild when CDU gained power. But they had hardly any use for it, as Frankfurt had already a well recognized Opera and the building is rather small. So ist became an expensive Concert Hall close to the banks. In some years the rebuild copy will be older than the original neo-classic Plattenbau ever was.

So, there is another story behind every picture's story ;-)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Coy
Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Institut fuer Informatik
Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin
http://waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de

[ Next ] [ Prev ] [ Index ]


Frankfurt Photos / Frank da Cruz / fdc@columbia.edu / August 2003 (updated April 2005)