The "Long Franz" is simply part of Frankfurt's cityscape. Frankfurt without the "Langer Franz"? Especially for many older Frankfurt residents, it is hard to imagine. But since it is a fact that hardly anyone knows it today - at least not by name - and that the tower is in urgent need of a new roof, the Lord Mayor is now personally appealing for donations for the "Langer Franz". This refers to the large, northern town hall tower with its imposing spire. At the time of its construction, it was the second highest building in the city, right after the cathedral. But with the Second World War, the Lange Franz lost its hat, and the makeshift roof hastily erected in the post-war period is not half as impressive. That is about to change.
To that end, on Monday Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann and Christoph Mäckler of the architectural firm of the same name put up a large banner on the so-called "Bridge of Sighs" at City Hall to alert Frankfurt's citizens to the missing roof of the Lange Franz and ask for donations and support.
Mayor Feldmann said, "The initiator, inspirer and key supporter is Professor Christoph Mäckler with the New Bridge Association. They have already raised 125,000 euros, but together we want more! With the ‚Hat for the Long Franz' we also want to remember the name giver: Franz Adickes, who as a proud builder once moved his office into the tower."
The Lord Mayor places the project in the tradition of the new old town: "People want places of identification and pride in their Frankfurt. The statue of Charlemagne from 1843 on our Old Bridge since 2017 is also an example of this." At the same time, the city leader makes it clear: "We do not want to and will not forget the past, the Lange Franz is a victim of the war that Germany is responsible for. What we want is to make the history and urban architecture of our city more tangible."
Since last year, Frankfurt's New Bridge Building Association has been collecting donations to reconstruct the roof of the city hall tower and give the "Long Franz" back its distinctive spire. 125,000 euros have been collected so far, but that is still far from enough. The aim of the fundraising campaign is to collect a total of one million euros. What is then still missing is to be raised with the help of the city. In total, the reconstruction will probably cost 2.5 million euros.
"The New Bridge Association Frankfurt has set itself a new goal as an association of numerous committed Frankfurt citizens: We want to give the city back a visible piece of the skyline in the immediate vicinity of St. Paul's Church - the spire of the city hall, the ‚Langer Franz'!" said Mäckler. "After the return of Charlemagne and the Briggegickel on the Old Bridge, we want to work with the city and its citizens to rebuild the historic City Hall tower. Kudos to all who are helping to give Frankfurt back a piece of its forgotten history."
The supporters of the fundraising campaign include many well-known personalities, including honorary citizen Petra Roth, Eintracht president Peter Fischer, artist Bäppi La Belle, city historian Björn Wissenbach, Primus-Linien boss Marie Nauheimer, pretzel boy Wölfi alias Wolfgang Holzer and artist Mirek Macke, in addition to Feldmann and Mäckler.