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New perspectives for the "Ginnheimer Spargel"

01.08.2020 | 10:24 Clock | Favorite places
New perspectives for the 'Ginnheimer Spargel'
New perspectives for the 'Ginnheimer Spargel'
New perspectives for the 'Ginnheimer Spargel'

Can you still remember the time when the Europaturm, commonly known as the "Ginnheimer Spargel", was not only one of the tallest telecommunications towers in the world, but also a popular excursion and leisure destination? When the upper part of the tower was used as a disco, restaurant and viewing platform, where visitors could enjoy delicious cakes while enjoying the breathtaking view of the city or look for the next sweetheart at singles parties? Those days are only vague memories now, as the 311-metre tower, completed in 1979, has been closed to the public for around two decades.

Already a year ago, it was revealed that there were new plans for the use of the Europa Tower, and then in December 2019, funds were approved for its refurbishment. Does this mean that we will soon be allowed to climb up to Frankfurt's highest roof again? That we will be able to enjoy the unique view of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main area from the pulpit? If the plans of the owner Deutsche Funkturm are anything to go by, the answer is "yes"! The wish is that in the next few years the roof and the two floors below it can once again be used for public use.

A wish that will be preceded by a lot of work. In 1999, public use of the tower had been banned because it could no longer meet current fire safety requirements. Whether dining or dancing, the spectacular view from the pulpit could not be enjoyed from then on due to its closure. Since then, the tower has only been used by Deutsche Telekom for technical purposes, while the once highly frequented visitor areas have remained empty.

Now there are the new plans for the revival of the tower - and they still come up with a real surprise: Because was originally planned to open only the two floors in the pulpit for visitors, there is now the consideration to also use the roof as a viewing platform. For this, however, a little more money would have to be spent, because for a safe use quite a few modifications would be necessary, such as a parapet at the edge.

Another hurdle that would have to be overcome to make the tower accessible to visitors again are the elevators. There are three shafts in total: two of them were once used by the public, one by the fire brigade. The latter is now used to go to the top, while the other two shafts are used by a lift manufacturer to test its own products. If these shafts were to be used by the public again, all three installations would have to be completely replaced in order to meet current safety standards. According to a feasibility study, Deutsche Funkturm would require an investment of almost 50 million euros for a complete technical overhaul, which would also be necessary. This would not only guarantee technical safety. A new entrance area would also be created, in which security checks could then take place.

While the federal government has promised half of the financing, the city would have to pay for the remaining 25 million euros - a sum that Frankfurt alone cannot handle. Therefore, Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann is trying to raise the necessary funds from the state. Because the tower, says Feldmann, "was always conceived as a public building and should be again." Feldmann believes the chances of the state providing partial funding are quite good, given the building's listed status and overriding importance. "We're talking about the second-highest telecommunications tower in the republic - or actually even the highest," Feldmann says.

So it remains to be seen whether the ambitious plans for the tower can be realized. But let's be honest: it would be great if we could soon enjoy the view of our city from the pulpit again. And if this then also rotates again - the technology for this is still available - then the "Ginnheimer Spargel" would rise guaranteed very quickly again to one of the most popular destinations for Frankfurt residents and tourists alike. We are curious.

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