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The Tower of the Prophets in the splendor of Carmel - disappointed hope

Migdal HaNaviim is located at the northern end of HaNaviim Street, a distance of about 500 m from Migdal Armon and its address is 2 Hori Street.

A brief history of the tower's planning

The planning of the tower began in the 50s of the last century on a plot of land where the magnificent house of the Khouri family was located, called "Khori Palace". The Khoury family was a very affluent Christian family of Lebanese origin who purchased a large plot of land and built their house in this location as early as 1908. 

The property went through many incarnations and inheritance struggles, and in 1935 it was bought by Wolf Selbotsky, a wealthy Jew from London. In 1948 the Solel Bona company purchased part of the area (south of Khoury Dahiom St.) and built the "Beit Solel Bona" on it, according to the plans of architect S. Rosov, a building considered the first skyscraper in Haifa (inaugurated in 1953).

From 53 to 1980, the architect That. Rosov Prepared a large number of planning alternatives for the site of the future tower (on the plot north of Khoury St.), according to the changing requirements of the various developers. In 1980, a final rift occurred between the architect Rozov and the developers, led by the contractor Zachariah Drucker. The design was handed over to the young architect M. flint.

The Tower of the Prophets was inaugurated in 1985 accompanied by an extensive advertising campaign in which it was announced that "Finally there will be something to do, somewhere to shop, there will be a place where you can do business. Haifa is waking up!'
However, today we know that the Tower of the Prophets did not meet the expectations of the entrepreneurs. The success of the building was only short and limited.

The Tower of the Prophets

The 10-story tower that opened in 1985 is located at the connection point between the lower city and Hadar Carmel, with a number of important streets draining next to it: Hanaviim Street leading to Herzl St., the main axis of Hadar, Hasan Shukri Street where the City Hall is located and Huri Street going down to Wadi Nisnas.

The tower includes commercial areas, offices, 2 cinemas (which were merged later) and a parking lot. Its shape consists of several rectangular blocks of different heights, unlike the typical tower shape which is usually designed as a single block. The facades are covered with glass that reflects the built environment, such as the adjacent Solel Bona battery house and the stone houses of Hassan Shukri Street.

On the first floor of the tower is the "Al-Midan" theater, an Arab theater established in 1994 on the basis of the first movie theaters that were united into one theater. There is a square in the center of which is an abstract statue and several ornamental pools that are now out of use.

Tower of the Prophets (illustration Dr. David Bar On)

M. Tzur, the architect of the building

Moshe Tzur, born in Tel Aviv (1948), studied architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and urban planning at the Technion. Upon completion of his studies, he began working in the office of Prof. Al Mansfeld, from which he retired in 76 to open an independent planning office together with the architect G. cub. His wife, Orna Tzur, also joined the office. 

In Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, he designed an office of Create office and residential towers and hi-tech complexes. He was also a partner in the planning of the city of Harish and Timna airport. The Tower of the Prophets was the first work of M. Tzur in Haifa. Apart from that, he designed the "Elbit" building in Haifa for the MTM, which won him the "Rachter" award for architecture in 1988.

In addition to the "Rachter" award, M. Create many more awards for his works and among them:
Award from the Council for Israel Yaffe for the Children's Museum project in Holon (2003) and Award from the International Council for Tall Buildings (2019).

The Tower of the Prophets today

The tower today reminds of the fate of the new central station in Tel Aviv: a great hope and an equally great disappointment. The reasons for this lie both in various planning problems and in the social and economic changes that Hadar Carmel was affected by.

The plaza in front of the tower faded under the blazing sun, the ornamental pools that were integrated into the plaza are filled with stones instead of water. The aggressive, disorganized signage damages the integrity of the glass-covered facades. Only they continue to reflect the surrounding buildings and the blue sky as before.

Dear readers,

The articles in this section are based on open information published in sources such as Wikipedia and other websites and may include various historical inaccuracies arising from the aforementioned sources.

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Dr. David Bar On
Dr. David Bar On
Dr. David Bar On • Architect and urban planner

Articles related to this topic

30 תגובות

  1. An excellent building. It's a shame they didn't continue to build taller
    Look at how much life Migdal Ahad Ha'am brought in.
    Every Hadar needs such a construction evacuation

    • thank you for your response. Indeed, the urban renewal process of Hadar Carmel is required by reality, but the buildings of historical and architectural value must be preserved.

  2. The Tower of the Prophets was innovative and ahead of its time. The glass panels were specially imported from Italy and for the first time a building was erected in Israel entirely covered with a glass curtain wall. The young Moshe Tzur started his office building career with the Tower of the Prophets. The tower was innovative on an international scale: a diagonal ramp between the floors of the mall, the first of its kind in Haifa. Elevators inside a mall space, the first tower with an active Carmelit station, mixed uses, flexible spaces.
    The tower catapulted Haifa to the forefront of new construction for offices with the best refinements. The Ayalon Mall, considered the first in Israel, preceded it by a few months, but the Prophets Mall was built at the same time.
    If you ask leftist architects from the politically biased faculties, they will immediately jump on the ugly Arab construction (a criminal plot) from which gangs used to terrorize the Jewish residents of Hadar. The stairs - the stairs of the prophets were a battlefield of the Haganah in the battle for Haifa. The fact that they left part of this ugly construction plus garages and other hazards damaged the prestige of the Tower of the Prophets. It's a shame that in the original plan they didn't shave off the entire Peretz and Hori streets and build Kiryat Offices (this was the plan and part of it is the Labor Party building).
    The plan to create an office building that would connect with the lower city was not realized for all kinds of reasons, some of them being the mistaken intention to build Kiryat Rabin with the missile tower. The government offices abandoned the Tower of the Prophets even before the courts abandoned Khoury Street and emptied Hadar and the tower of a strong buying power that would have generated traffic in the mall.
    As soon as the government offices left, the tower was emptied. Those leftists will want to compare it to the new central station, even though there is no resemblance, except for a few businesses and a church that have taken up residence in some of the empty shops.
    The central station in Tel Aviv was an ugly, clumsy monster of transportation terminals. The Tower of the Prophets was an elegant tower, whose shell was wisely and sensitively divided into a number of cubes that emphasize the topography towards the lower city, and its curtain walls reflect the sky and clouds until sometimes it is 'swallowed' entirely if viewed from the direction of the lower city. The tower also provided plazas and squares, fountains and balconies to the landscape and many here remember it positively. Neglect is the lot of a city that does not know how to preserve any monument and that has driven away businesses and residents.
    The Tower of the Prophets is an innovative masterpiece, in form and structure, in movement and materials - to this day one of the most successful and innovative office towers in the stencil landscape of rectangles and circles with no identity in height that fill Gush Dan, even if they are elegant - the Tower of the Prophets is not tall (much higher than 10 stories as indicated in the article) more interesting and beautiful than them even though he turned 40, stands the test of time and is waiting for entrepreneurs to renovate and return it to what it was meant to be - the magnificent office tower and "landmark" of Hadar.
    If we were in Tel Aviv, surely the style and good taste writers would crown it as marking a path breaking path that is committed to being preserved as one of the first office towers in the 80's. But this is Haifa, and they come here to dirty and spoil.
    When they tell you about Villa Hori, tell them that there were Arab sniper positions behind the villa. Please in kind.

    • To the loyal and opinionated reader, Eyal, thank you for your comment. It is legitimate to praise the Tower of the Prophets, just as it is legitimate to criticize it harshly. But bringing in leftist and rightist matters here - this is really not the place and it detracts from the value of your words. Too bad!

  3. David Brown, in connection with the article about the Salem by Salem building in the city, it would be appropriate for you to know who the architect Yehezkel Y. is. Zohar who was one of the most senior Haifa architects during the Mandate and in the years after. Zohar was born in Yugoslavia and completed his academic studies in Hungary. He immigrated to Israel with his family in the 1920s and here he married Pina Katz, the daughter of Ephraim Katz of Sabinia. His office was near Palmer Gate and many of the buildings there are the result of his design He built a lot in the neighborhoods of the city: Hadar, Carmel Zarfati and Tel Mana. The doctor's house near Rothschild Hospital is also the fruit of his planning.

    • Thank you very much for your interesting comment, it's a shame you didn't respond in the right place. As far as I know, Yehezkel Zohar was an engineer, but I may be wrong since there is no entry for him on Wikipedia. It would be desirable if you took care of writing an entry about it in Wikipedia.

  4. No matter what building you build. If those who buy the property are stingy Ashkenazi Jews who are not willing to invest a shekel in their investment, and sew draconian leases that bind the tenant to death, the building will deteriorate and become a garbage can. Look at the whole center of Tel Aviv as an example. Enter the apartments and see how the buildings look externally and internally. An ugly phenomenon among the Jews, knocking under the protection of the law, throwing away and looking for a new sucker. It pretty much explains the political and social situation we have reached. The same disgust of scheming and greed without social or national values.

  5. Thanks for an interesting section. The painting is beautiful.
    For example, you didn't tell about the amazing view from the building. There was a restaurant called the fifth, from which the view was visible. and closed The TV studios of Channel 1 were there. (of the North). And now of the corporation here. For many years there has been a large music store. Government Offices.
    Great potential for the building. bar

    • Thank you very much for your comment, you added important information, have a good week!

  6. Really a shame about the Tower of the Prophets. A place with potential. Like many things here in Haifa go down the drain, the casino in Bat Galim, the Horev center is waking up a bit, the congress center that was long wished for. Bat Galim is still asleep. The cable car from Stella Maris to Bat Galim. The 11 cable car should be open on Shabbat for tourists and it is not. Construction development of Haifa neighborhoods in a very long hiatus…….and there is more and it is a shame for our beautiful and charming Haifa., I forgot Hadar. Hadar that is Haifa's shopping center has turned into a very sad market.

    • Thank you for your response, indeed Haifa lacks leadership with a vision to push it forward. Maybe the new leadership will lift the glove...

  7. The building has very serious moisture problems that will cost at least NIS 5 million to repair.
    The curtain wall is leaking from all directions and requires professional sealing and not "silicone repairs" as they did and they covered the whole thing.
    Almost all the balconies flow to the lower floors.
    The office floors belong to dozens of owners who are all trying to avoid the high sealing costs.
    The mess is celebrated because of a lack of budget to repair the hundreds of leaks in the building.
    There could have been a beautiful building there. It's just that there is no management at all and the building committee, which consists of a number of stingy owners, is tight on money. Too bad. Everyone will lose.

    and the building committee

    • Thank you for your response, Yaron, it is known that maintenance is the "Achilles heel" of the buildings in Israel. good week!

  8. In March 1980 I submitted as a final project at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence Italy together with a colleague from Haifa, (architect Michal Stern). The planning of Haifa's Ma'ar, which connects the lower city with the Hadar HaCarmel, the Carmelite and the Axis of the Prophets, is integrated with public buildings, commerce, an underground parking lot and plazas open to the view. It is precisely in this area that the Tower of the Prophets was later erected, which "killed the entire conception" that was supposed to be For the benefit of the entire public. The project received the highest score, 110 out of 110, from the team of examining professors in Italy.

    • Thank you for your interesting response that illustrates the difference between an academic work (congratulations on the high grade) and the reality in which economic and political forces operate beyond the architect's control.

  9. Maybe the article will inspire entrepreneurs to return to building businesses. Who remembers the glorious Shekam and the cafeteria on the roof that overlooked the beautiful view?
    Like a palace tower that begins to fill with activity.

    • Thank you for your comment, I hope the new elected officials read the article and your words.

  10. The tower is a clear example of poor performance in terms of the quality of materials that is combined with under-maintenance and the devastating result. Wide in the front with broken paving stones ..and a severe feeling of neglect with sporadic shops inside except for the musical instrument store which saves a little of the dignity of the place. From the beginning the excessive size of the extension conveyed desolation. A sense of disproportion and false growing ambitions. And in fact it is not accessible from any direction. Accessibility from there onwards, but for some reason the issue is not enforced like in other places, perhaps out of fear that it will finally collapse the whole thing.

  11. Rozov died in 1975, so I assume that the matter was transferred to the care of his son, Ari Rozov (who also passed away already). Tzur's office designs buildings for industry and commerce, their latest work that is already standing is the building in black in Mat'am, just before the entrance to the Cosmos complex, with the sloping roof. The building is luxurious and extremely well equipped inside, including an impressive atrium in the center, a wide dining room and balconies with plants. Please note, the use In squares and black glass very characteristic of Tzur.


    Thanks for the article

    • thank you for your response. Indeed, those who don't, don't make mistakes. But those who do, can also correct their mistakes.

  12. Shouldn't it be appropriate to put a large sign on the building with the name of the architect - so that everyone knows who is responsible for the disgrace?

    • why are you so negative Why consider the building a disgrace? It is not proper to put a sign on any building, like when renovation contractors put a fixed sign on the wall, "The building was renovated with the help of the contractor..." Why is this good, every building has its energy, its advantage and disadvantages. And the problem is not always compatible... it's a shame you don't support it for free...

    • The law requires that the name of the workers who were killed during its construction be indicated on the sign on the building.
      The damage due to poor planning may be more serious.
      Why is it not indicated on the sign?

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