MENDELSOHN, ERIC


MENDELSOHN, ERIC
MENDELSOHN, ERIC (1887–1953), architect. He was born in Allenstein, Germany and was a member of the revivalist movement in European architecture from the 1920s onward. His early works, especially his sketches made during World War I and the buildings designed in the early twenties (such as the observatory near Berlin, 1920), are of an expressionist character. His later buildings are noteworthy, against the background of the contemporary style, for the originality of their shapes and their monumental nature. He built a large number of business-houses and large office blocks in Berlin and in other towns in Germany, as well as factories and dwelling-houses. When Hitler seized power in 1933, Mendelsohn left   Germany and worked in Britain and Palestine until the outbreak of World War II. Between 1934 and 1939, he built in Palestine the villa and library of Zalman Schocken in Jerusalem, the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Jerusalem, the Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus, Chaim Weizmann's villa in Reḥovot, part of the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture at Reḥovot, and the Haifa government hospital. When World War II broke out, he went to the United States, and from 1945 onward, built in various places. His works include the Maimonides Health Center in San Francisco, and many synagogues, in which he tried to achieve a monumental impression without adherence to any traditional style. These include synagogues in St. Paul, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Dallas, Texas; Saint Louis, Missouri. He wrote the autobiographical Letters of an Architect (1967). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Whittick, Eric Mendelsohn (Eng., 19562); W. Eckardt, Eric Mendelsohn (Eng., 1960). (Abraham Erlik)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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