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Publication

  • Seizing Jerusalem: Architecture in Action, 1967-1977
    Alona Nitzan-Shiftan
    Author
    University of Minnesota Press, 2015
  • GRANTEE
    Alona Nitzan-Shiftan
    GRANT YEAR
    2014

Moshe Safdie, Western Wall Plaza proposal, model, 1973. Courtesy of Jerusalem Municipal Archive.

This is the first architectural history of a "united Jerusalem." In June 1967, the Israeli army shocked the world by seizing East Jerusalem from Jordan. But what ensued in the decade following was actually far more remarkable—a fierce battle over the image of Jerusalem and who would create it. Everyone from municipal bureaucrats and local architects to international luminaries like Louis Khan jockeyed to transform one of the world's most emotionally charged cities. Arguing that architecture is neither transparent to the dictates of official politics nor an autonomous disciplinary operation, Seizing Jerusalem surveys how debates that shook the architectural culture of the 1960s directly affected the shape and future of the Holy City. In so doing, this book reveals a history of modern architecture not only as built form but also as political and social action.

Alona Nitzan-Shiftan is associate professor at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, where she chairs the Architecture Program and heads the Architectural Heritage Research Center. She received her PhD from MIT, and her work was sponsored by CASVA, the Getty/ UCLA Program, the Israel Science Foundation, and the Frankel Institute at the University of Michigan. Her research on Erich Mendelsohn, I. M. Pei, "United Jerusalem," "Whitened Tel Aviv," historiography, and heritage has been published in journals such as Theory and Criticism, the Journal of Architecture, Architectural History, Perspecta, and TDSR, as well as in numerous anthologies. She is the elected president of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN), and has served on the board of directors for the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE). Besides her manuscript on Jerusalem, she has also authored a volume on Israel for the Modern Architectures in History series, published by Reaktion Books.