The Goldstein Siedlung in the southwest of Frankfurt am Main between the districts of Niederrad and Schwanheim was built between 1932 and 1936. The undeveloped land north of the city forest at the height of the Griesheim barrage was then dominated by the Goldstein estate, the origins of which go back to a moated castle from the 14th century that was built by a Frankfurt patrician family named Goldstein. After an eventful history, the estate came into the possession of the city of Frankfurt in 1909 with more than 200 hectares of arable land.
In 1929, on the occasion of the 2nd CIAM Congress in Frankfurt, Ernst May presented his large-scale project Garden City Goldstein to the public. With around 8,500 apartments, it was by far the largest settlement in New Frankfurt planned by Ernst May. This plan was shelved in 1930 due to financial difficulties. In the autumn of the same year, Ernst May left Frankfurt with most of his employees and followed a call to the Soviet Union. The increasing number of long-term unemployed became more and more of a financial problem for the city of Frankfurt. Therefore, in the fall of 1931, she took part in an emergency program launched by the Reich Ministry of Finance and made the area around the Goldstein estate available on a hereditary lease. Deviating from May's project of a garden city with modern infrastructure, an agricultural settlement for the unemployed with many children was now planned. The new project provided for the settlers to build their houses themselves under supervision and to earn a livelihood by cultivating garden land and keeping farm animals to relieve the welfare funds. In the spring of 1932, the Goldstein settlement with a total of 930 small settlements was created within four years without the standard of equipment usual under Ernst May.
Instead of the rows of houses planned by Ernst May, only semi-detached houses with pitched or pitched roofs were built on around 700 m2 of leasehold land in 1932. Unemployed people with many children should be brought from welfare recipients to homeowners through their work and be able to largely earn their living by farming gardens and keeping livestock. The three house types that were exclusively built emerged from 194 proposals submitted by Frankfurt architects as part of a competition. In the spring of 1932, construction began on the Goldstein settlement on Sauerackerweg. All houses were built in a solid brickwork construction with a mono-pitch or gable roof. The first settlers were mostly unemployed builders who worked in groups of 10-20 men and had to work a total of 3000-4500 hours to complete the building. The finished houses were then raffled among the participants of the construction team. Each semi-detached house had a total living area of approx. 46 m2 on the ground floor, a kitchen/living room of 14 m2, and a bedroom of 12 m2 as well as two further bedrooms of 10 m2 each under the roof. The laundry room and pantry and equipment room were located in the elevated basement. In an annex, there was a stable of approximately 6m2.
After the strict building and usage regulations were relaxed, large-scale extensions and conversions were carried out, so that the simple archetype of the settlers' houses can hardly be recognized today. After 1945, simple settler houses were modernized and expanded by their owners. The settlement was connected to the public supply and equipped with infrastructure facilities. The grounds of the estate were gradually used for the construction of new residential complexes. In 1975 the farm was completely abandoned. Most of the buildings were demolished and a senior housing complex was built in their place. Only the manor house in the late classical style remained as a meeting place for seniors.
Today it is under monument protection together with the adjacent Goldsteinpark designed by Heinrich Siesmayer. Goldstein gained international recognition in 1996 with the construction of a residential complex built by Nassauische Heimstätte based on a design by the renowned American architect Frank O. Gehry. The Goldstein settlement is now part of the Schwanheim district as an independent district with more than 11,000 inhabitants.