Page C1.1 . 04 October 2000                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
  • Preserving Jerusalem
  • Louis Sullivan's Bradley House
  • Dancing About Architecture

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Preserving Jerusalem

    by Lili Eylon

    In Jerusalem, as in many old cities around the world, there is a constant need to balance the historic with the modern. Tens of civilizations have left their mark in this city during its 4000-year-old history. The inhabitants, after centuries of living within the city walls, began in the second half of the 19th century to move outside the walls.

    As the population grew, so did new building projects. In the process, before the value of cultural heritage became fully appreciated, many ancient structures were destroyed. The questions historic cities face today: what to preserve, what to restore, and what to demolish?

    In 1998, the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem mounted an exhibit entitled, "Why Buildings Do Not Fall." Aimed mainly at young people, with hands-on displays, the show demonstrated what types of construction are most likely to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. New construction is usually adapted to meet many of these dangers.

    But what about man-made disasters—the deliberate destruction of buildings or sites with architectural, historical, religious, or ethnographic significance that are part of a people's cultural heritage? Such calamities are usually less publicized than earthquakes, but whether major or minor, they are just as irreversible.

    There are plenty of parties to share the blame: entreprenurial developers, an unaware public, and a municipality whose sensitivity is frequently blunted by the desire to increase its income, modernize the city, and adapt to growth.

    The Case for Preservation

    At the same time, in Israel as in many countries, many people believe that old buildings ought never to be demolished, but rather preserved, restored, and revitalized. In Jerusalem, such people are talking about structures contributed by many nationalities, giving the city's urban fabric its unique coloring.



    ArchWeek Photo

    The old Shaarei Zedek Hospital was built in the mid-19th century. Since this picture was taken, the building has been reconstructed, with the facade left as is, to serve as home to the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
    The Jerusalem Municipality

    ArchWeek Photo

    Once a Turkish caravanserai, today the Khan has been revitalized as a popular theatr and bar.
    The Jerusalem Municipality


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Advertise       Privacy       Comments
    GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   SCRAPBOOK   |   COMMUNITY   |   BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   ARTIFICE   |   SEARCH © 2000 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved