The Jerusalem foundation hopes that the building of the park will breathe new life into the entire area.
By GAIL LICHTMAN
The Jerusalem Municipality last week approved developing and naming a park in the Mamilla area in honor of Teddy Kollek, who served as mayor from 1965 to 1993. The Jerusalem Foundation, which Kollek founded and led for many years until his recent death, has taken upon itself to establish the park with the aid of donations from around the world.
Teddy Park will cover the area behind the David's Citadel Hotel, along Rehov Kariv (formerly Ha'emek) to the Mitchell Gardens and the Artists Workshops across from the Jaffa Gate.
The park is being designed by a team of architects headed by former city engineer Uri Sheetrit and internationally renowned town planner and architect Moshe Safdie (whose name is better known in the city these days in connection with the rejected Western Jerusalem plan).
Teddy Park will include a tree-lined promenade running along Kariv Street from the David Citadel Hotel to the Jaffa Gate, a 400-seat amphitheater for cultural events and a water foundation, integrating sound and light elements.
In addition, there will be a visitors center to be built in the Artists Workshops area that will tell the story of modern Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation and Teddy Kollek, as well as recognizing the contributions of donors from around the world who have aided in the building of the city.
The Jerusalem Foundation hopes that the building of the park will breathe new life into the entire area and serve as an open community center where the city's varied population can meet.
The park will certainly come as welcome news to residents of the adjacent luxury residential area of David's Village, who have been complaining for years that the area has been neglected, overgrown and filled with trash, to no avail.
"We choose to honor Teddy at the point where east meets west in the city - the place that symbolizes Teddy's life-long aim of seeing Jerusalem's residents living together in cooperation and coexistence," explains Ruth Cheshin, international president of the Jerusalem Foundation.
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