Historically, Jägerstrasse ran through the heart of the Berlin banking district. The Mendelssohn family owned no less than six buildings on this street, as they grew their family business into the largest private banking house in Berlin. Thus, Jägerstrasse became the nexus of the social life and business activities of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn´s descendants, a dynasty of bankers, artists and scholars with ties to the upper echelons of Prussian society.
In 1815, two sons of Moses Mendelssohn, both bankers, moved their offices to Jägerstrasse 51, between two Prussian state banks - the Königliche Giro- und Lehnbank (later: Reichsbank) on Oberwallstrasse and the Preussische Seehandlung (later: Preussische Staatsbank) at the corner of Jägerstrasse/Gendarmenmarkt.
Around 1890, a counter hall was built for the headquarters of the Mendelssohn Bank, but was converted into a coach house ("Remise") before the decade was out. This stately hall, with its brick vaulting and granite pillars, housed the coaches the ennobled banking family used to travel to their villas in the outlying district of Grunewald and the manor in Börnicke near Bernau. On these estates, the Mendelssohns continued their tradition of concerts at home, which they had begun in Jägerstrasse with their famous friends Clara Schumann and Joseph Joachim.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Mendelssohns became exceptionally generous patrons of the arts, also founding endowments and social charities. In 1938, their banking house was liquidated by the National Socialist regime, and the building at Jägerstrasse No. 51 was turned over to the Reich Finance Ministry. Under the Communist German Democratic Republic, the coach house was used as a humble garage and auto workshop, while new stories were added to the original, two-story baroque edifice.
After the fall of the GDR in 1989, the building was restored. In 2004, the Mendelssohn-Remise was re-opened to the public in its original condition as part of the 18th annual "Jewish Culture Days", which were dedicated to the theme "Mendelssohn & Company". For further details, please see the Exhibition Brochure for the Jewish Culture Days 2004. Today, the Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft uses the coach house to host exhibitions and to organize cultural events in the tradition and spirit of the Mendelssohn family.