Independence Hall Museum, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, District, Israel

Independence Hall or known as Beit Haatzmaut is housed in one of Tel-Aviv’s first buildings, on the plot of land on which the drawing of lots took place (April, 1909).

This specific plot of land was drawn by the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. In 1930, after the death of his wife Zina, Dizengoff founded an art museum in his home in her memory and opened it to the public in 1932.

Four years later he initiated a wide-ranging renovation of the building, orchestrated by architect Carl Rubin. The building served as the Tel-Aviv Museum until 1971, when it moved to its new premises.

On the 5th day of Iyar 5708, May 14th 1948, the day before the British Mandate in Palestine was to expire; members of the Provisional State Council assembled in the museum and declared the establishment of the State of Israel.

In 1978, on the 30th anniversary of the State of Israel, designer David Gafni recreated the Declaration Hall in the Tel-Aviv Museum, after receiving the approval of the Beit Hatanach (Bible Museum).

The same year the declaration ceremony was reconstructed in the presence of the then president of Israel, Ephraim Katzir, Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir and Prime Minister Menachem Begin. During the ceremony a scroll was signed which announced the establishment of Heichal Haatzmaut (Independence Hall) Museum, under the sponsorship of the Eretz-Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv.

In 2010, in view of the Beit Haatzmaut Law (2009) and on the initiative of the National Heritage Program in the Prime Minister’s Office and the State Archivist, a program for planning, restoring and preserving Beit Haatzmaut and turning it into a national museum was initiated.

The building is managed by the Tel-Aviv Municipality through the Eretz-Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv. A public council appointed by law and an academic advisory committee assist them in the management, preservation, restoration, and exhibition planning.

With the inception of planning, a documentation portfolio was prepared by architect Nili Gal-Master and the researcher of Tel-Aviv’s history, Shula Vidrich.
The documentation portfolio can be partly seen on the Tel-Aviv Municipality Internet site/units and departments/city architect

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