Wrecking ball awaits Downtown Beirut landmark
BEIRUT, LEBANON — After a much varied past, highlighting the changes in its country, the famous Dome will be torn down.
It’s an icon, it’s an eyesore – whatever it is, it’s doomed again. The bulbous, pock-marked structure flanking Martyrs Square in Downtown Beirut – an old movie theater known variously as the dome, the egg, the bubble, the blob, saboune (meaning soap) or by its official name, the Beirut City Center Building – is inevitably going to be demolished, according to all parties currently involved in deciding the building’s fate.
Originally designed by Lebanese architect Joseph Philippe Karam, the dome was built in 1965 as part of a larger, three-part complex of towers and shopping arcades that was expected, in an untimely burst of inauspicious optimism, to become the most important commercial center in the Middle East.
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