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Building Culture

Ernst May and the New Frankfurt am Main Initiative, 1926–1931


Susan R. Henderson

This book is a history of the initiative, its projects and actors, notably the architect and planner Ernst May, and its achievements, set within the turbulent context of the Weimar decade. It chronicles its many accomplishments: the construction of housing settlements, innovations in construction and materials, the parks and garden colonies program, innovations in school, medical facility and church design, reforms in woman’s sphere, and a crafting of New Life culture. It examines the New Frankfurt am Main in light of the social and political debates that shaped it and the works it produced, and describes the relationship of work and theory to contemporary reform movements. Finally, the narrative underscores the gulf between the idyll of modernity and the political and social realities of life in a Germany on the brink of collapse.


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Abbreviations xi


Abbreviations AfE Arbeitszentrale für Erwerbsbeschränkte AG Aktiengesellschaft ABG Aktienbaugesellschaft für kleine Wohnungen ATSB Arbeiter Turn- und Sportbund BDB Bund Deutscher Bodenreform (Union for German Land Reform) BDF Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine (Federation of German Women’s Clubs) BDNF Bund Das Neue Frankfurt BHAB Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin BM Der Baumeister BRB Bodenreform Bewegung (Land Reform Movement) BW Bauwelt BZ Bauzeitung CBWP Catharine Bauer Wurster Papers, University of California at Berkeley, Bancroft Library CCA Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal CIAM International Congress of Architects CMETH Archive of CIAM, ETH, Zurich CSP Clarence Stein Papers, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York DAM Deutsches Architecktur Museum, Fft aM DBZ Deutsche Bauzeitung DDP Deutsche Demokratische Partei (German Democratic Party) DP Demokratische Partei (Democratic Party) DGG Deutsche Gartenstadt Gesellschaft (German Garden City Society) DF Die Frau DNF Das Neue Frankfurt dns die neue stadt DNVP Deutschnationale Volkspartei (German Nationalist Party) DS Die Siedlung DVP Deutsche Volkspartei (German People’s Party) EBMA Ella Bergmann Michel Papers, Getty Museum, Los Angeles EBN Eugen Blanck Nachlass, Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Fft aM EM Ernst May EMN Ernst May Nachlass, Deutsches Architecktur Museum, Fft aM EMNN Ernst May Nachlass, Germanisches National Archiv, Nuremberg Fft aM Frankfurt am Main FGA Frankfurter General Anzeiger xii Building Culture FKN Ferdinand Kramer, Private Archive, Fft aM FN Frankfurter Nachrichten FNS Franz Schuster Papers, Sammlungen der Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna FSR Frankfurter Stadt-Rundschau FZ Frankfurter Zeitung GG Gartenstadt Gesellschaft AG, papers, Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Fft aM GK Gartenkunst GM Getty Museum, Los...

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