Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Murr Tower ad dating back to 1975

Ad cleaned and rearranged by Tarek Chemaly

And how about this time capsule of an ad.

The Murr Tower, which still stands empty and incomplete after all this time, was supposed to be - as per its ad which appeared in Annahar newspaper in 1975 - as "the first skyscraper of the Middle East" (interestingly, it was not the first skyscraper-inspired structure - look here), and the ad boasts its 40-storey high length. And that it is the highest building in Lebanon. 

The ad specifies that the first stage of construction of the first 20 floors started and finished within one month, and that the second one started on April 5 1975 and was supposed to finish "at the beginning of May" - the war that erupted on April 15th 1975 had other plans. The building included as per the ad 400 offices, a cinema, a restaurant and cafeteria, telex and telegraph center, a telephone for every office and other amenities which were high-end for its time.

If you wish to see the current inside of the tower, which was taken over by various militias over time (specifically during the war) please look at the fascinating images here. For a while there were plans to turn the tower into a fancy high-rise but these never materialized (here).

The tower still remains as a hollow, empty, and macabre reminder of a Beirut with a questionable past, and sadly, murky present and uncertain future.