About the project
Independence Park was a centrally located, 12-acre area planted in 1958 by the South African Zionist Federation to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. The Jerusalem Foundation placed several sculptures in the park over the years: The Loop, an abstract bronze sculpture created by American sculptor, printmaker and sketch artist Robert Engman (b. 1927), was erected on a natural rock shelf in the center of the park in 1972 (it was later moved to the Joseph & Ceil Mazer Park); Skedion by Stephanie Scuris was also erected in 1972; Tremor, a minimalist sculpture by Michael Gross (1920-2004), one of Israel’s leading painters and sculptors and recipient of the Israel Prize for Sculpture in 2002, was placed on a hill at the park’s edge in 1983, and Sheep, a stone sculpture by Israeli sculptor Pesach Flit (b. 1935, Ukraine) was created at the Jerusalem Stone Sculpture Workshop and erected in the park in 1992. The Jerusalem Foundation carried out a major renovation of Independence Park in 1996 and rededicated it as the Harry Wilf Park, following years in which the park had fallen into disrepair and disuse. Shlomo Aronson designed the multi-million dollar renovation to create a center for leisure activities and to open the park visually and functionally to the surrounding city. The park features an undulating, grassy central space and waterways that lead down to the Mamilla Pool, a reservoir mentioned in writings dating as far back as the Romans, which is thought to have provided part of the Old City’s water supply. Four gates, the Terra Sancta, Park, City and Nachalat Shiva gates, were added later to mark entrances into the park.