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Zeilgalerie is a shopping centre located at the Zeil in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was opened in September 1992 and is 41 metres tall with 10 floors, one of which is underground. There are approximately 70 stores situated in the 41 metre long building.
In 1936, a clothing store called Peek & Cloppenberg bought two buildings on the Zeil. However, one of the buildings was damaged in World War II and was converted into a post office and a small shopping area in 1955. However, this received little income and in 1990, Peek & Cloppenberg sold it. The site was bought and the Zeilgalerie constructed on the small site by Jürgen Schneider.
When it first opened in 1992, the Zeilgalerie only had 1 escalator which went in an upwards direction. The architects of the Zeilgalerie said this was so that more light could enter the building through the front. However, a few years later, a downwards travelling escalator was installed and the light the architects wanted was lost.
A remote studio on level 7 was maintained by Radio RPR until 1995. The studio was removed and replaced by shops.
An IMAX theatre was added on to the enormous roof of the Zeilgalerie in the late 1990s. However, the cinema soon turned bankrupt and the space was converted into a cinema for premieres of films. However, this succumb to the same fate and the area remains as an empty cinema hall.
The building is owned by Rodamco Europe, a real estate company from The Netherlands. They bought the building in 2001 for 48 Million Euros. There are about a dozen escalators now unlike the one which was available when the building first opened.
In January 2007, the owners agreed to divest the shopping centre.
The building followed an unusual design by Kramm & Streigal on the interior by which the floors are sloped so that a visitor is able to walk to the top of the building without stairs or escalators. This makes access to stores easier for disabled people. Along the centre of the building are escalators and a glass lift.
The building has an entrance which is nearly entirely glass. Above the entrance to the shops is a vertical glass wall which usually displays advertisements. The entrance to the restaurants and the cinema is a curved glass wall which extrudes into the street. Construction of a building was difficult in that location as it was between department stores.
On the top of the shopping centre is an open-air observation deck which offers views of the skyline of Frankfurt and the surrounding area, despite being only 41 metres. The reason why these views are offered is due to the high ground it is situated on. The observation deck is a circular area with a telescope. This area can get crowded however there is a less crowded viewing area below it which also shares the area with a cafe.
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