This week instead of our Tel Aviv walk we did a Haifa walk. Each time we pass through Haifa I see The Old Commercial Center. It stands out in downtown. We can see that this area is being renovated while most other buildings in the surroundings are in poor condition.
The Old Commercial Center is located at Moshe Aharon and nearby streets. It’s not far from the Sail Tower or as other call it HaMifras House.
Map of the area:
The Old Commercial Center
The Old Commercial center was build between 1923-1928. It was designed by architect F. Korenberg as the first center in Haifa for dwelling and Jewish owned businesses. The site comprises of six buildings on three short streets. The buildings are three stories high, with ground floor designated for shops and businesses, and the top floors flats with chic balconies in an eclectic style. The lively center had hotels and cafes. It became know as the Old Commercial Center following the construction of the New Commercial Center.
Large sums have been invested in renovating Haifa’s old Turkish market, which in Ottoman days was the city’s commercial center and later on degenerated into a high-crime area. In addition to subsidies to attract artists, the area has been upgraded into Compound 21, with shops selling everything from jewelry and clothing to dolls, paintings and sculpture, all accompanied by a variety of activities including festivals and street markets. It’s especially worthwhile coming on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, for an organic market, jazz performances, B-movie screenings and a variety of other activities. Don’t miss a visit to Agaf, a delightful art gallery that also functions as the studio for 16 artists who work in the Lower City. The floor is covered with opened tubes of paint, testimony to the fact that it’s a workplace where you get a close-up look at the artist as well as a place to acquire their work.
Paris Square received its name as a tribute to the French company that constructed the Carmelit (Haifa’s subway). Carmelit’s final stop, as well as many restaurants in the Lower City, are situated on Paris Square.
I ate Shawarma in a pita from a nearby restaurant and it was tasty.
I liked the eclectic architecture and as reconstructions continue, this area is becoming more attractive. But visiting in the evenings would probably be better. We were there on a Friday morning and the area was sleepy with many restaurants and shops closed.
Hope you liked this short tour and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional attractions nearby see Haifa page.