It was announced today that the new City of David Centre for visitors, called in Hebrew “Mercaz Kedem” has been approved. It is to be built over the archaeological remains found in the Givati Parking lot. Ari Yashar of Arutz Sheva writes:
“The plan to build the visitors’ center will aid in exposing the important archaeological finds to the broader public and serve as a focus for tourism that will help in developing the city of Jerusalem,” noted the Committee’s announcement of the project’s approval.
The new approval will advance construction on the center, containing a museum, visitors’ center and auditorium in City of David’s Givati parking lot excavation site, reports Haaretz. The center will also provide access to the City of David National Park, and display recent archaeological finds.
In approving the project, the Committee gave conditions that the height of the building must not exceed the street level above the area near the Old City wall, so as to maintain the general building height in the neighborhood. The center’s roof and passages to the lower level were ordered to be open to the public.”
The following illustration was published in Haaretz newspaper:
The building was designed by the architect Arie Rahamimov. According to the Ministry of Interior:
“The plan is an example of outstanding architecture that will contribute to the development of the national park and create public space that befits the location within the site and the city, as well as address the needs of the million and a half annual visitors to the national park.”
In order to facilitate the new building, a complex built by Silwan residents that included a playground, community center and cafe, was razed, drawing criticism from local residents and left-wing groups in Israel.