The Frankfurt Intercontinental Hotel was built in 1963 on the site of the former park facing the promenade known as the Nizza, a four-acre Mediterranean garden that runs alongside the river Main. At the time of the hotel’s construction, Frankfurt was becoming a major international city for banking, but with few options in the way of accommodations for business travelers. For its first hotel on the Continent, Pan-Am opted for a bold statement that would reflect the company’s new international outlook. A slim rectangular block with ends that terminate in a v-shape like the prow of a ship, the Frankfurt Intercontinental floated above the water like a modern cruise liner. Light and transparency were afforded by continuous horizontal bands of windows that wrapped around the building’s exterior. Airy in feeling, its appearance belies the fact that at its opening, the Intercontinental became and Europe’s largest hotel. It was built by the German partnership of Apel and Beckert, the same architects who had been commissioned to design the new Oper Frankfurt, an arts building complex.