The Jane Dows Nies Memorial Building

Purpose-built in Jerusalem’s American Colony, 26 Salah ad-Din Street has been our home since 1925.

The Albright’s first presence overseas was as the American School of Oriental Research in 1900, headquartered in a large room in the Grand New Hotel (now the New Imperial Hotel) inside the Jaffa Gate. In 1906 the school was moved to 6 Ethiopia Street, and in 1908 to a house opposite the German Archaeological Institute. In 1909 a vacant lot was purchased north of Damascus Gate, however, the school continued to rent space elsewhere until funds for building construction would be available, not until 1924.

Architect: M. Frederick Ehmann
Consulting architect: Everett V. Meeks
Contractor: Elias T. Gelat 

Students at the Yale School of Architecture, under the direction of Dean Everett V. Meeks, competed to develop plans for the building, a group of three buildings connected by a loggia set around an inner courtyard. The competition was adjudicated in February 1922, and the Trustees unanimously awarded the first prize to student P.E. Isbell. The plans were then referred back to Dean Meeks, also a member of the New York firm Carrere and Hastings, who was then appointed Consulting Architect. Dr. Nies then sailed with the plans to Jerusalem, where he obtained the services of a constructing architect, Frederick Ehmann for execution of the plans. Ehmann 

Builder Elias T. Gelat first completed the Annual Professor’s building in 1924, then the main building shortly after, and finally the Director’s house in 1931. A proposed fourth building unit to complete the quadrangle was never constructed.

The Albright property in 1920 on which the School was later constructed
Nearing completion
Everett V. Meeks (Library of Congress: