History of the I.G. Farben Haus (Poelzig-Bau)

In 1925, the eight most important German chemical companies merged to form a consortium called “I.G. Farben”. Among them are companies that developed in the 19th century and remain well-known today, including BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, Agfa, …. The city of Frankfurt was chosen as the site for the main administration building because of (1) the central geographical position of Frankfurt as well as (2) the unique options for air and land transportation that Frankfurt offered already in the 1920’s. The famous architect Hans Poelzig (1869-1936) designed and constructed the building in only 24 months, 1928-1930. It remained in the hands of the I.G. Farben until the end of the Second World War. It was later sold to the German government in 1955 when the I.G. Farbenindustrie went bankrupt.

26 May, 1945, the I.G. Farben building was used as the headquarters of the American Forces in Europe. There, on 19 September, General Eisenhower, as the first head of the U.S. Forces signed the “Proclamation Nr. 2” which was important for Germany since it declared which parts of the country would be part of the American Zone. General Eisenhower stayed in the “I.G. Farben Building” until the end of 1945 and received several important guests, including General de Gaulle, Field Marshal Montgomery and Marshal Schukow.

In the late 1940’s, several political meetings were held in the “Farben Building” that led to the formulation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The U.S. Military returned the building to the German government in 1995. In 2001 the social science faculties of the University of Frankfurt began to relocate to the I.G. Farben Haus and this building forms the core of a new Campus (Campus Westend).