The City Hall is known locally as "fox's den" or "civil servants' goal". And it is truly an impressing building of a distinct architecture.
Prior to its construction, Mainz had to do without a city hall, until the City Council in 1968 decided to change this. The project was awarded to the renowned Danish architectural firm of Jacobsen und Weitling.
"We are convinced (...) that we have created a structure of lasting value that will be noted by the public and might even be somewhat controversial. We however believe that any controversy and discussion is a positive sign, as buildings that are not talked about are normally not worth mentioning." These were the hopes and aspirations of the architect Otto Weitling as expressed in January 1974 at the official opening of the new City Hall. And there is certainly some truth in what he said.
Seven hundred years after the construction of the first city hall of Mainz, the City Council launched an international competition that was won by the renowned Danish architectural firm Jacobsen and Weitling. For 500 years, Mainz had no city hall, and this state of affairs was to change with the new building on Halleplatz, now Jockel-Fuchs-Platz after Lord Mayor Jockel Fuchs, an initiator of the project and the main speaker at the topping-out celebrations on 21 July 1972. The new City Hall was formally inaugurated by a City Council meeting held on 31 December 1973.
The very next day, a large well-humoured crowd dressed up for carnival stormed the new building and the adjacent square, and about 50,000 citizens of Mainz visited the City Hall during the week-long festivities in January 1974.
Various dignitaries from twinned cities, the then Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate Helmut Kohl, the Lord Mayor of Wiesbaden Rudi Schmitt and even the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Gustav Heinemann came to Mainz to attend the celebrations. Shortly afterwards, 600 city officials moved into their new offices.
Unfortunately, architect Arne Jacobsen died in 1971 before his project was completed. In 2002, the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the City Hall received many requests from design museums all over the world looking for some unique pieces of furniture by Arne Jacobsen, of which Mainz has plenty…
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