Anyone who has taken a walk around Tel Aviv this year probably noticed the strange lighted glass blocks embedded in sidewalks throughout the city. I had heard that they have something to do with the 100th anniversary of the city’s establishment. Well today on my way home from work I stopped by a recently restored apartment building in Nahalat Binyamin Street called “Beit Hatamar”, or “The [Date] Palm House” in English, and took some pictures (with my phone—sorry about the quality). And I called the phone number listed on the little glass brick in front of it.
As it turns out, these are markers for various types of landmarks that are important to the history of Tel Aviv—when you dial the phone number you can enter the location’s list number, and listen to a recording that explains the significance of the place. What a great idea! When I got home I looked at the city’s Centennial Website and found a list of all the places in the tour—it’s quite interesting.
Beit Hatamar is a perfect example of Israeli Eclectic Style architecture, and the unique type of construction and design for which Tel Aviv has become a world-famous landmark.
Here is the information on the history of the building, taken from the city’s website:
8 Nahalat Binyamin St.
The Palm House was built in 1922 by Yehoshua Zvi Tabachnik who wished to create an Eretz-Israeli style of architecture that would emphasize Jewish motifs, in his words: “…to revive the Hebrew style in Hebrew construction,” blended with art-nouveau style.
The façade of the building facing us exemplifies the style of embellishment that distinguishes this architect: the palm tree. His Hebrew style was also expressed in the use of Stars of David and grillwork of the railings in the shape of the menorah.
More on Yehoshua Zvi Tabachnik
(in Hebrew only but includes a few pictures of his other buildings)
Follow-up Post: Restoration of Beit Hatamar in Tel Aviv