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Wallach, Yair and Cirujano, Julio (2022) 'The Unbuilt Parliament: British Colonial Plans for a Legislative Assembly in Jerusalem.' Jerusalem Quarterly, 92. pp. 69-101.

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The deliberations over the establishment of a legislative assembly in Mandatory Palestine have long been dismissed by the historiography as one of many failed ideas of the Mandate. Yet the legislative assembly was not a mere concept thrown around in pointless rounds of negotiations; it was also an architectural project that came remarkably close to being built, involving several plots of land in Jerusalem, countless architectural drawings, and clay models, designed primarily by the Mandate's celebrated architect Austen St. Barbe Harrison. The legislative assembly chamber was, as of the early 1930s, a central element in the design of the central government offices – the most ambitious unfulfilled scheme of the British Mandatory Palestine government in Jerusalem, aiming to accommodate all executive and legislative bodies in a single building. The deliberations over the scheme remained restricted to the top echelons of the Palestine government, with no involvement of Arab Palestinians or Jews. The project, which was derailed and revived several times in the 1930s and 1940s, was finally abandoned only in early November 1947. The project and its design throw new light on colonial state-making in Palestine and its flaws.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: British Mandate Palestine; Jerusalem; legislative assembly; architectural history; urban planning; Austen St. Barbe Harrison; Arab Revolt; colonial architecture
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
SOAS Doctoral School
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
ISSN: 15652254
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 09:44
Related URLs: (Publisher URL)

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