Stiftstraße  8–10, 60313 Frankfurt am Main
Stiftstraße 8–10,
60313 Frankfurt am Main
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  2. Bild 2

The “Porcelain Bear House”

During the turn of the last century, the street “Zeil” developed into a magnificent boulevard containing stores and businesses. In 1897 the firm “Porcelain Bear” was established at Stiftstrasse 8-10, a side street. Together with his brother-in-law Otto Bonwit, Moses (called Moritz) Bär sold kitchen utensils along with glass and porcelain wares.1 In 1903 architect Wilhelm Plate joined the building’s natural stone façade with three multi-storied gables and furnished it with large shopping arcades. Of particular interest are the typical art nouveau floral ornaments under the arching roof-edge and the gables. A humorous touch is added by the torsi of four bears with their paws resting on the intertwined initials MB while they look down at pedestrians.2 Moritz Bär remained part of the firm until his death in 1925, and Otto Bonwit managed it alone until he died in 1933. Leopold Bär was able to continue operating the business until it was taken over by the Johann Handel company in 1936.3 Today there is a supermarket outlet on the ground floor.
  1. Lerner, Franz (1955): Das tätige Frankfurt im Wirtschaftsleben dreier Jahrhunderte (1648 - 1955). Zugleich ein Handbuch der Altfrankfurter Firmen. Frankfurt a. M.: Ammelburg, S.45; Hessisches Wirtschaftsarchiv, Darmstadt, 764: Firmenkarteikarte (1924-1936), Sp. 1–2.
  2. Másala, Lino (1986): Denkmaltopographie Stadt Frankfurt am Main. Braunschweig: Vieweg, S.73; Zeller, Thomas (2004): Die Architekten und ihre Bautätigkeit in Frankfurt am Main in der Zeit von 1870 bis 1950. Frankfurt am Main: Henrich, S. 283.
  3. „Besitzwechsel“ In: Frankfurter Zeitung, 25.06.1936 (Nummer 320-321), S. 6.