Collapsed wall
Collapsed wall in Jerusalem Photo by Michal Fattal
Text size

The developers of the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem have pledged to rebuild a 150-year-old wall they demolished accidently last week.

The wall was built in the 1850s as part of the Mahane Yisrael neighborhood, which is said to be the second neighborhood erected outside the walled city of Jerusalem after Yemin Moshe.

Many of the quarter's homes, now part of downtown Jerusalem, were destroyed over the years.

The wall, on the corner of Hamaaraviim and Agron streets, was one its last vestiges.

The Waldorf Astoria has been under construction in recent years within the old Palace Hotel.

The project has been a sore point both with veteran neighborhood residents and the capital's conservationists, because although the Palace Hotel was declared a protected building, only its facade was retained, with a modern building going up behind it.

With the work on the new hotel almost complete, the developers took down a concrete wall that had been built against the old wall, toppling the older structure as well.

Following complaints by residents, the developers, together with the Jerusalem Municipality, pledged to rebuild the wall with the same stones.

"The wall might not have been magnificent, but it gave a feeling of atmosphere and character to the street," a resident, Dalia Zomer, said.

The Jerusalem Municipality said it had been the plan all along to demolish the concrete wall and the old wall, retaining the old stones to be used in its reconstruction.