While most media attention was focused on Holyland this week,
I would like to share some photos from a different major building project.
The new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel, has opened its doors.
Since Passover time, a doorman in a top hat has been on duty.
I have been fascinated by the progress of its construction,
from a shell in November 2010,
and April 2011.
Not only by day, but when it was lit up at night,
as in September 2010,
and as recently as in January 2014, I had to stop.
For years one had to walk in the street as in April 2011,
on or on the other side of Agron Street.
Once they built a cement wall, but then quickly removed it.
So much work and so many workers,
on scaffolding and in windows.
Sometimes I’d wonder what they were thinking,
and what they were doing.
Since the summer of 2010, the residential apartment building
and the adjacent hotel structure,
have slowly risen (September 2011)
and slowly progressed (May 2012).
The decades-old original facade was cleaned up and remains,
while the inside of the atrium and other details have been upgraded to the max.
Twice I have gone inside and have had a hard time
just getting past the beautiful flowers displayed near the entrance.
People are wandering in to look, to sit and have a drink.
Weddings are scheduled,
and conferences are being held in the Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotel.
Other Jerusalem, Israel, hotels have started upgrading their facilities,
as everyone has to go up a notch now.
FYI, Top hats and wonderful service yes,
but NO buses allowed in front of hotel.
If you have a few spare million dollars lying around,
there are still flats for sale in the building next door,
just across from the Mamila Mall and minutes from the Old City.
0 thoughts on “Waldorf – Astoria in Jerusalem”
I really enjoyed seeing the progress and the end results..fascinating
On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM, The Real Jerusalem Streets wrote:
> therealjerusalemstreets posted: “While most media attention was > focused on Holyland this week, I would like to share some photos from a > different major building project. The new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in > Jerusalem, Israel, has opened its doors. Since Passover time, a doorman in > a top”
Suzanne wrote a great comment with valuable information that I did not include, but she had trouble posting:”While it IS beautiful and being called “Waldorf Astoria” makes it seem new, the hotel was originally built in 1928 by a consortium of Arab investors led by none other than the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. It was called The Palace and was THE deluxe hotel in Jerusalem prior to the building of the King David Hotel, just up the street. The “shell” as you call it is the original part of the hotel. It had a grand staircase leading up to the mezzanine level and a beautiful dome up above.
After the King David Hotel opened, the British took over The Palace and used it for administrative purposes and storage. When Israel became a State in 1948, the Israeli government took it over and most recently (well before the new construction started) used it for the Ministry of Industry & Trade (when Natan Sharansky was minister of that department – that’s where he had his office).
Up until it was purchased and renovations began, there was still the British barbed wire on some of the lower windows (I used to take tourists by there just to show that to them)! One of the interesting things about the original design was that all the decorative touches on the facade were only on the street side, where they could be seen, while the back/hidden parts were very plain. I guess that saved the original builders a lot of money.
While the name “Waldorf Astoria” does give it “clout”, I rather wish it was still called The Palace.”
oy veh iz mir!!! I’ll have to see that…
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