Struggle to save concert hall heats up

Hundreds gather at Heichal Hatarbut to protest city's plans to change building.

By TALYA HALKIN
November 29, 2005 01:49
3 minute read.
concert hall ta 298 cour

concert hall ta 298 cour. (photo credit: Courtesy photo)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Hundreds of music lovers, architects and others deeply concerned about the future of Heichal Hatarbut came together on Monday afternoon at the landmark Tel Aviv concert hall for a public debate about the city's plans to change the building. Among those present was Shinui MK Etti Livni, the author of a law proposal for the building's preservation. "This building is emblematic of secular, Israeli culture and the decision about its future should not be made by the mayor but by the public at large," Livni told The Jerusalem Post. In addition, Livni said, the manner in which renovation plans had been conducted thus far had been faulty. Even the public debate, she said, was conducted in the framework of such a tight decision-making schedule that its results were fated to have little influence. "The public's opinion is not really being taken into consideration," Livni said. "Nevertheless, I have no doubt that in the end it is the public who will determine the fate of the building, because so many people are opposed to this vandalistic plan." Over the past year, the struggle over Heichal Hatarbut has pitted the Tel Aviv municipality and the Philharmonic Orchestra against architects, conservationists and Knesset members (also including Labor MK Yuli Tamir) who are strongly opposed to the plan. At the heart of the debate is the question of whether the building should be conserved in the interests of architectural culture, or whether the building's interior should be drastically changed in order to accommodate the current musical demands of the orchestra. A series of interruptions from the audience punctuated the presentation made by outgoing city engineer Danny Kaiser, who presented the argument made by proponents of the renovation - ranging from the "dry" acoustics of the concert hall to inadequate facilities, which no longer meet police and fire department regulations. The central features of the renovation plan center upon restructuring the building's unique, fan-shaped concert hall and rebuilding it as a rectangle and tearing down and rebuilding the hall's dome. Protesters of the renovation plan who spoke at the public debate Monday afternoon reiterated the concerns that have been voiced over recent months regarding the renovation. These include the argument that acoustics are a matter of changing fashions, and that not enough efforts had been made to see if the acoustic problems could be resolved without major renovations. Furthermore, they said, the underlying reason for restructuring the concert hall was a desire on the part of its benefactors to transform it into a newer and flashier edifice. The fate of the building, which is a key feature of the "White City," recently declared by UNESCO to be a world heritage site, must - they claim - be determined by the public. The debate was following by a meeting of the city's planning and preservation committee, which is charged with reviewing and approving the renovation plans submitted by the city. Approval of the plans will most likely lead its opponents to appeal the decision.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN