The municipal authorities of the Age of Promoterism pursued an urban development policy that aimed at emulating the development of such great European metropolises as Paris and London. Paris, where the boulevards, the great thoroughfares that had replaced the earlier fortifications, were widened and lavishly embellished in the middle of the 19th century, served as a model for the construction of the Vienna Ringstrasse.

On 20 December 1857 Emperor Francis Joseph decreed that the fortifications were to be razed and replaced by a magnificent boulevard flanked by monumental public and private buildings. This “ring” encircling most of the historic city centre linked it with the suburbs and in this way stimulated urban development while at the same time giving the economically successful wealthy bourgeoisie an opportunity to document their social rise by building their residences in this favoured location.