When we are looking at the history of Germany and Austria, it is impossible to miss Gründerzeit. Gründerzeit (The Founding Era) started roughly from 1840 to mid-1870s before the great stock market crash of 1873. It is described as the golden period due to the industrialisation in Central Europe. Whilst the political reformed alongside change in the economy, there was a massive cultural development especially in architecture and craftsmanship. The huge housing demand caused the rapid development of green field sites and real estates were mainly built in neo-gothic style.
These buildings are commonly built in four to six stories and greatly decorated by fine stucco façades in Historicism. The height of the floors is normally descending from the ground storey to the upper storey. High ceilings and spacious layouts are also typical in the interior. For the lower class residences, façades are usually undecorated at the backside. Courtyards are too shaded with very limited sunlight. Also ceilings are made by wooden beam; steel girder is only used above the cellar.
These Gründerzeit architectures were once neglected and demolished in a great number for new buildings. However, due to their good locations, interior designs and characteristic decorations, conservation and refurbishments are carried out again. In fact, 80% of the heritage sites in Leipzig are Gründerzeit constructions.
The importance of the Gründerzeit lies in its significance for Germany and to an extent, Austria. It signifies the development of industry and represents Germany’s rise as a global state in the nineteenth century, mirroring economic growth in the culture and architecture of the century.