The Bahnhofsviertel came into being from 1891 to 1915 on the grounds of the former Frankfurter Westbahnhöfe (Western Stations), which was closed in 1888.
With an area of just 0.5 square kilometers, it is the second-smallest 'Stadtteil' in Frankfurt, and borders on the Main to the South.
The general area between the town walls and the gallows was largely devoid of buildings at the beginning of the 19th century, but the growing industrialization resulted in the removal of both the walls and the gallows, and some villas were built in the area complete with large gardens.
The Taunusbahn was inaugaurated in 1839 running to Höchst am Main, and its station stood on the Anlagenring (Taunus Anlage). Later the stations of the Main-Neckar-Bahn and the Main-Weser-Bahn were constructed. These western stations were used until 1888 when they were replaced by the new Centralbahnhof Frankfurt, about 500 meters further west. Early on in 1891, before the area was built up, the Bahnhofsviertel became the site of the 'Internationalen Elektrotechnischen Ausstellung', which was directed by Oskar von Miller.
During the Second World War, the quarter was not hit so hard as the Innenstadt but many buildings were destroyed, particularly in the North. During the time of occupation by American forces, an active night-life developed. . In the South, on the banks of the Main is situated a small but well-known park - the Nizza. In 1860 an arm of the Main, the Kleine Main, was filled in connecting an island Mainlust with the 'bank'. On this land, the town gardener, Sebastian Rinz, laid out an area with mediterranean vegetation, and this area soon became known as Nizza (German for the French town of Nice) in the local slang.
Contrary to popular opinion, the red-light trade is only a small part of the Bahnhofviertel - it is concentrated mainly along the the Taunusstraße and also its side streets. The infamous drug scene has been hindered by various social measures, and drug addicts have largely disappeared from view.
After the destruction of the Second World War, and the demolitions of the 60s and 70s, the Kaiserstraße is one of the last-remaining 'Prachtstraßen' of Frankfurt.