Rothschild Boulevard, one of the most important and iconic streets in Tel Aviv, is located in the heart of the White City of Tel Aviv. As one of the first four Tel Aviv streets it was built on top of sand dunes. The well-maintained pedestrian thoroughfare was first named Rehov HaAm (“the people’s street”), but in 1910 its name was changed to Rothschild Boulevard, in honor of Baron de Rothschild. The street was not designed to be a boulevard, however draining the dry stream (wadi) which ran along the middle posed too big a challenge, and it was decided that the street would be constructed on either side, forming the first of several Tel Aviv boulevards. The splendid tree-lined byway boasted both the city’s first kiosk and its first street light. Migdal Shalom Tower, Israel’s first skyscraper is located nearby.
- Financial heart of Tel Aviv with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the head offices of major banks and brokerage houses nearby.
- Cultural center with the recently renovated Habima Complex: the main theater, Habima, and the Heichal Hatarbut -Fredric Mann Auditorium, the home of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
- Culinary center with tens of top posh restaurants, galleries, cafes and trendy kiosks
- Leisure center for walkers, runners, and bikers
The street is lined with Bauhaus Buildings, the iconic architecture of Tel Aviv which led to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rothschild Boulevard runs, in the south-west, from the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, northwards through the White City of Tel Aviv.
The buildings at the western end of Rothschild Boulevard (near Herzel St) are typically eclectic-chic – the architectural style that was prominent at the turn of the 20th century, consisting of a mix and match of neo Greek, neo Roman, neo Mediterranean and local Arab influences. Further to the north-east, the buildings turn into the more notably known International Style (mistakenly called the Bauhaus school.)
Tour Guide Folklore
In 1921, Winston Churchill decided to visit Tel Aviv. The city was still young, and its newly planted trees were not yet full grown. Anxious to impress, the mayor borrowed mature trees from neighboring areas and stuck them into the middle of Rothschild Boulevard – just beginning to take shape. At first, they say, Churchill was amazed at the sight of such lush development having taken place in such a very short time. But he burst into laughter after local children climbed the trees for a look at the respected visitor – and the trees collapsed. Patting the embarrassed mayor on his shoulder, Churchill made a kindly remark about the importance of having roots.
Independence Hall was originally the home of Meir Dizengoff (Beit Dizengoff). This is where onMay 14, 1948 David Ben Gurion declared the State of Israel’s Independence and Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed. Deciding on a venue for the declaration wasn’t easy. There was fighting going on in Jerusalem, but the possibilities in Tel Aviv weren’t universally acceptable. One — the Habima Theater — had huge, vulnerable glass windows. But here at Beit Dizengoff, the walls were thick, the windows high and the main hall was on the bottom floor.
The building was restored in 1978 and is preserved as it was on the evening of the declaration. It is possible to listen to the original recording of the declaration speech inside.
16 Rothschild Blvd, 03-5173942.
Rubin Museum, Bialik’s home, the Bauhaus Museum and former City Hall (Beit Ha’Ir City Museum) are some of the standout buildings on serene avenue mainly constructed by wealthy people from Europe accustomed to gracious living.