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Great weekend reading from the Jerusalem Post

by michael February 23 2008
Municipal news

The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem's only English-language daily and more or less the paper of record among English-speaking immigrants and residents of Jerusalem, tends to catch a lot of flack for its editorial stance and sometimes lax standards. But once in awhile they'll hit it out of the park with a Jerusalem-related article, and they have this weekend, publishing a long compendium of the various unfinished building projects that dot Jerusalem. A sampling:

Another architectural natural disaster casualty is the steeple of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which collapsed in an earthquake in July 1927, and remains wrapped in scaffolding to this day.

In 1538, according to legend, the Ottoman engineers who built the Old City's ramparts failed to include Mount Zion and were publicly hanged by Jaffa Gate; the two lied that they didn't know David's Tomb was a Muslim holy site. Over time, their names were forgotten but not their building blunder.

Skipping ahead four centuries to the beginning of the British Mandate over Palestine, Sir Ronald Storrs - who in 1918 became military governor of Jerusalem and in 1921 civil governor of Jerusalem and Judea - commissioned Scottish town planner Sir Patrick Geddes to draw up a master plan for the city.

Storrs's plan bears a vague resemblance to Pierre Charles L'Enfant's layout of Washington, DC - a diamond-shaped city with boulevards running at right angles. The only part of Storrs's plan implemented, however, was a series of garden suburbs, including Boneh Bayit (today Beit Hakerem), Janziria (now known as Rehavia) and Talpiot.

There's a lot more. Check it out. And Shabbat shalom from Jerusalemite.


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