For the past few years, Mayor Nir Barkat has been bringing groups of people to the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel to provide them with an idea of how The Jerusalem Gateway will look once completed. Now, he has taken on a new initiative to build an observation tower in the heart of the project.

With a planned lifespan of just ten years, the tower will be used as a way for interested parties to monitor construction. If approved, the 60-meter structure will be built in place of the dilapidated Mitcham HaRechev across from the Central Bus Station, which was recently slated for demolition.

Barkat has an uphill battle, however, as the Jerusalem Preservation Council is attempting to prevent the historic structure from being destroyed by appealing the decision. The tower proposal was only discovered when a design by Israeli architect Erez Ella was spotted in the demolition permit.

If approved, the observation tower would join the recently completed Ester Observation Tower at the Hansen House, which was inaugurated in November 2017. If the plan does not come to fruition, it will join the Sela Observation Tower on the Armon HaNatziv Walkway as another architectural “what if?” in Jerusalem’s history.

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