18th Century Heritage Home Will Now be Preserved

The Minister of Culture Abbas Mortada issued two decisions on Friday, March 6th, stating that two of Beirut’s old buildings will be readded to the general inventory of historical building for preservations. One of the buildings happens to be Hamra’s Red House.

The Rabeiz/Red House has arisen concerns this past week -more than before, if even possible- after Beirut Heritage activists were informed that the iconic Red House is set to be demolished by its owners.

According to NNA, the first decision, item 28, states, “to include real estate No. 491 (the Red House) from the Ras Beirut real estate area – Beirut city governorate in the general inventory of historical buildings.”

 

As for the second decision, item 29, “to include real estate No. 81 Al-Rumail Real Estate – Beirut city governorate in the general inventory of historical buildings.”

“Consequently, it is not permissible, according to the above-mentioned decisions, to undertake any action that would change the current status of the two properties without prior approval of the General Directorate of Antiquities GDA – Ministry of Culture,” the statement added.

According to the report of the advisory committee, formed pursuant to Resolution No. 96,  the decision includes the proposal not to approve the demolition of the building based on real estate No. 491 Ras Beirut real estate area, and to preserve it as part of the architectural heritage of Beirut city.

The statement in NNA explained that since it was necessary to preserve the Red House, as it constitutes a unique witness to the heritage building style that characterized the streets of the Ras Beirut region, and accompanied its engineering and civil development, the decision made is as follows:

 

“The withdrawal of property No. 491, the Ras Beirut area from the General Inventory of Historic Buildings, is repealed. The building will be included in the general inventory of historical buildings’ real estate No. 491 from the Ras Beirut real estate area.”

“It is not permissible to perform any action that would change the current status of the aforementioned property without prior approval of the General Directorate of Antiquities – the Ministry of Culture – for the actions intended and the materials intended to be used.”

Based on the same series of decision,  Property No. 81, is included in the Rmeil Real Estate District – Beirut City Governorate will also not be demolished based on the aforementioned property.

The property will be classified within the category of buildings belonging to the period of the sixties and seventies from the last century. “It reflects the economic, cultural, and social aspect of the period of economic revival at this stage in the history of the capital Beirut.”

“It also compiles the techniques and architecture that falls within the context of the international architectural schools that spread in this historical period, and therefore it has become part of the city’s collective memory,” the statement explained

All decisions contrary to the content of these two decisions shall be overruled and, thereby, canceled.