Jerusalem / New York / Art Deco

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a place where the world was (allegedly) created and where it will (allegedly) end, Jerusalem is a vibrant city throughout and a joy to wander around.

It is also a showcase of some of the most inspired architecture in the world in terms of its spiritual ambitions. The Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have a completely otherworldly feel, and are unique in terms of their complexity and reverence their builders have shown for the spirit of the place, which in both places is the Divine itself

Still even outside these and many other places of worship, you can see builders of Jerusalem trying to capture complex ideas in stone in elevate them above the mundane. Arguably the last of those is the building of the Jerusalem YMCA which was supposed to the organisation’s HQ. Designed by one of the architects of the Empire State Building Arthur Louis Harmon, it was supposed to represent a sermon in stone, combining Neo-Byzantine architecture and Art Deco. It was completed in 1933 and had a turbulent history ever since, and now houses a YMCA Three Arches Hotel.

It must truly be fun to stay at this YMCA.

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