Bauhaus Treasures Beginning to Get the Care They Deserve in Tel Aviv

JoAnn Greco explores Tel Aviv's trove of neglected Bauhaus treasures, which date to the growth of the brand-new Israeli city as a haven for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.
April 3, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Dating to the city's formative period, "as the city grew dramatically and welcomed new immigrants in the 1920s and '30s, the city's bright white edifices have become a hallmark, typically portrayed as glowing entrancingly under brilliant blue skies."

According to Greco, the new city, established in 1909, "provided a blank slate upon which architects could experiment." Tour guide Michal Minsky describes the attraction of the modern style this way: "The Bauhaus was very plain, so it fit everyone. The idea was not to show off. Everything was new and everything was the same."

Greco, however, finds many neglected examples during her travels through the city, despite a UNESCO conference organized around the topic held in 1994 and World Heritage designation in 2003. Although only about 1000 of the city's 4000 Bauhaus structures are currently protected by historic preservation guidelines, Greco describes nascent city efforts to "help building owners and developers give the structures the tender loving care they so need and deserve."

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Published on Friday, March 30, 2012 in The Washington Post
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