Location: Jaffa, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Surnames/tags: tel_aviv jaffa_american_colony Drisko
Originally constructed by two members of the attempted (and failed) Jaffa American Colony in the Ottoman Empire, George and John Drisko , and called the La Grande Hotel. The hotel stands on Auerbach Street in the German-American Colony neighborhood of what is now Tel Aviv-Yafo.
"However, between diseases, the non-Maine-like climate and the not-so-friendly Ottoman authorities, within a couple years, most of the Mainers – including the Driscos – returned home," after selling to a German missionary, Peter Martin Metzler, who would use the space as a mission for Swiss-German pilgrims.
In 1869, Templar Ernst Hardegg bought the hotel, renaming it the Jerusalem Hotel, and the newly christened German Colony on Auerbach Street blossomed into an inviting luxury location that hosted the likes of Mark Twain and Thomas Cook."
In 1940, the British shut the hotel down, exiling its current owners to Australia and appropriating the space as a militarized zone and headquarters.
The structure was shuttered and abandoned from 1958 until the mid-2000s, when Avi Zak and partners acquired the space and began remodeling it to its former grandeur, attempting a precise restoration of its 1940 appearance, featuring "Ottoman design, marble columns, and detailed floral walls." This revision incorporated the neighboring Norton House.
The five-star hotel now features an associated restaurant called George and John after the original Maine founders of the hotel.
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