Abandoned President Hotel Jerusalem – Fine intimate architecture smashed and decayed

posted in: Israel, Jerusalem | 0

President Hotel in Jerusalem was a small distinguished hotel with an intimate atmosphere. It was designed by architects Alexander Friedman and Meir Rubin and opened in 1954. Well located in the posh Talbiya neighborhood, it was used, among the rest, by diplomats and government personnel for official meetings. But several incidents in the course of years have cast a shadow over its warm atmosphere. Among the rest, a child lost his life drowning in the hotel swimming pool, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion got a strange illness while staying there and workers did not get their salaries on time and had to strike. At the beginning of the 1990s it served as temporary residence for immigrants. It’s dining room was later transformed into an office area of a hotel management company. Soon after, it was closed and left abandoned.

We start our tour at the entrance and reception hall.

Room number?

A mezzanine floor provides a view to the entrance hall. Here’s a view up from the entrance hall to the mezzanine level

Here’s the wall behind the small podium on the mezzanine

and another section of the mezzanine, with probably wall wooden covers / cupboards

the mezzanine leads to balconies above the main lobby

A couple of rooms in the ground floor still have their original wash rooms

with a nice ventilation element

In the kitchen, simple elements on the ceiling / roof bring plenty of natural light inside

and a recent decoration

The dining room ceiling knew better days

Corroded rebars from leaking water caused concrete elements from the ceiling to break and collapse.

We now descend to the basement level, where the bar area used to be.

The bar level is located on the same level as the swimming pool area. The bar opened to the pool to practically create a continuous space, but currently the glass doors between the bar and the pool are sealed

and the way out is through a narrow eerie corridor

In 2011, a Jerusalem group of artists named “Bait Reik” (“Empty House”) entered the building, renovated its bar and swimming pool area, and turned them into an unofficial art venue

Half covered, it has a simple ceiling where concrete beams serve as the decoration

Decorative pools and a pedestrian bridge over them dominate the back part of the pool and garden area

We shall now ascend to the room floors.

This area marks the floor corridor

but the room floors are completely destroyed.

Nothing is left from the interior.

Holes in the floors mark places where pipes and cables where placed

Shattered windows and doors are scattered everywhere

A view to the YMCA building

The optimistic elevator motor

and pipes on the roof

Currently the building is waiting for approval of plans that will turn it into a complex of a hotel and dozens of apartments. More about the hotel history in this article (Hebrew).

Visited October 8th, 2016.


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