Historic building slated for demolition

A decision by Haifa's planning and construction sub-committee to allow the destruction of the historic Lev Hacarmel building is sparking fury among residents, officials and conservationists.

By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY
November 11, 2007 08:11
1 minute read.

 
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A decision by Haifa's planning and construction sub-committee to allow the destruction of the historic Lev Hacarmel building is sparking fury among residents, officials and conservationists, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Haifa. The building, described as "one of the most beautiful on the Carmel summit," is being slated for destruction after a majority of committee members voted for it to be pulled down and for a new building to go up in its place. According to the report, the head of the planning and construction sub-committee, Rami Dotan, says Lev Hacarmel is "just another old building" and there are many others that are more attractive and deserving of preservation. He added that a more attractive building will be constructed on the site, for the benefit of all residents. But dissenting committee member Shmuel Gelbhart said that the committee based its decision on a false presumption. The committee had been shown an opinion by leading architect Amon Ben-Or, in which he reportedly said the building should be torn down. But according to Gelbhart, Ben-Or later said his words had been misused to promote the planned construction project on the site, and in fact he recommended that the building be preserved. A member of the municipal preservation committee, Professor Yossi Ben-Artzi, said the planning committee was "hurrying to destroy the building" despite Ben-Or's comments. Ben-Artzi said that his committee and several conservation groups would soon issue an appeal against the decision.

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