Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Update on a Jerusalem House --
My, How You've Grown

New Talbieh neighborhood
(circa 1925)
Last month we posted a feature on the "Newer Jerusalem suburbs. Talbieh. A Christian Arab community" along with a picture from the Library of Congress collection.
An enlargement of the one-story house in the picture on the right

The Talbieh neighborhood is adjacent to the Jewish neighborhood of Rehavia.  After World War I, the land was sold by the Greek Patriarch to Arab Christians who built homes. British Mandate maps from the 1940s show approximately 90 homes, some residences for foreign consuls.  In the 1930s several Jewish families also moved into the neighborhood.

After the 1947 UN Partition vote, Arab and Jewish tensions grew. Residents in the Arab and Jewish enclaves in each other's areas left, many expecting to eventually return.  Such was the case with the Arabs of Talbieh.  

The one-story house grew a second story by 1941 when the
building was converted to the Lady MacMichael British Red
Cross Convalescent house for British officers

We focused in our earlier feature on the one-story house and identified it as situated at the corner of what is today Jabotinsky and Yitzhak Elhanan Streets across from the Inbal Hotel. 
Entrance to the MacMichael House

Aerial photo of Talbieh (circa 1935) The road going from
the bottom left to the top right is Jabotinsky Street today. Note
the two-story building on the corner

We recently found more pictures of the building in the Library of Congress files, pictures taken at the beginning of World War II when the building was converted into a convalescent house for British officers.

 After the British left Palestine in 1948 and the 1949 armistice agreement, the State of Israel became the guardian of the building and made it available for private residence.

Click on pictures to enlarge.  Click on caption to view the original photo.

The 5-story house today on the the corner of Jabotinsky Street,
once Emir Abdullah Street. (Credit: Google Maps, Street View)

A side view of the 5-story house

1 comment:

  1. "My, How You've Grown" indeed. Not just the houses but the whole neighborhood and the whole city. From a few houses with nothing around them, this all ara now is a flourishing, populated, green, developed neighborhood and city.
    The descendants of the Arabs who lived in Talbiya and Katamon who ran away in 1948 try to picture their neighborhoods as huge developed Arab areas. In fact they were a small number of extravagant villas in the middle of nothingness - which was turned later to a developed green neighborhoods by Israel - with modern infrastructure etc.