IG Farbenhaus

The IG Farben Building or the Poelzig Building was built from 1928 to 1930 as the corporate headquarters of the IG Farben conglomerate in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is also known as the Poelzig Ensemble or Poelzig Complex, and previously as the IG Farben Complex, and the General Creighton W. Abrams Building. The building’s original design was the subject of a competition which was eventually won by the architect Hans Poelzig.

On its completion, the complex was the largest office building in Europe and remained so until the 1950s. The IG Farben Building’s six square wings retain a modern, spare elegance, despite its mammoth size. It is also notable for its paternoster elevators.

South façade of the Poelzig Building showing the main entrance. The building was the headquarters for research projects relating to the development of Nazi wartime Zyklon B, the cyanide-based pesticide that was later used by the Nazi regime to generate the lethal gas used in concentration camps. After WWII, the IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the Supreme Allied Command and from 1949 to 1952 the High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG). It became the principal location for implementing the Marshall Plan, which largely financed the post-war reconstruction of Europe. The state apparatus of the Federal German Government was devised there. The IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the US Army’s V Corps and the Northern Area Command (NACOM) until 1995. The US Army renamed the building the General Creighton W. Abrams Building in 1975.

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