Architectural history of the Mythenquai

The city of Zurich opens itself up to the lake.

Today's Mythenquai stands on what used to be marshland until two centuries ago. The shore of the lake used to run along the line of today's Gotthardstrasse and Alfred-Escher-Strasse. In the eighties of the 19th century, urban engineer Arnold Bürkli initiated a large-scale backfilling project to create the Bürkliplatz square and the lakeside parks with the Quaibrücke and the arboretum. In this way, Zurich came by a spectacular promenade, for the most part located in the still independent Enge municipality, and for the first time the city truly opened itself up to the lake. The transition to a business district started with three insurance companies constructing prominent head office buildings on the Mythenquai and the former Alpenquai: in 1897 Rentenanstalt, in 1899 Zurich Insurance and in 1913 the Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, today's Swiss Re.

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