House of Blues
Crossposted from Haaretz
In the salad days of the state, the Histadrut labor federation was active in all aspects of Zionist worker’s needs, from housing to health to leisure and culture. Included in the union’s activities were projects aimed to advance the education and vocational training of women.
In 1962, the Working Women’s Council (today’s Na’amat ) inaugurated Beit Elisheva, a unique women’s training and cultural center on Eliezer Hamodai Street in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. Like other public Histadrut buildings from that period, Beit Elisheva was architecturally unique and expressed a fascinating connection between a local tradition of building in stone and internationally inspired Modernist daring.
Fifty years later it is in bad shape. The entire building is shabby, worn and nearly impossible to recognize because of later additions and dozens of air conditioning units pocking the building with no apparent order.