The first Orient Fair (Yerid Hamizrach) held in Tel
Aviv in 1932 was preceded by four smaller exhibitions. The Fair spanned
various countries, and presented a golden opportunity to introduce
the accomplishments of the Jewish Yishuv (community) in the field
of industry. The first Fair was highly successful, thus it was decided
that future fairs would be held in structures built especially for
that purpose. Plots of land were allotted on the northern end of Dizengoff
street, on the Yarkon riverbank. In 1934 and 1936 two additional fairs
took place, this time in pavilions and halls constructed especially
for the participating countries. The Head Architect of both fairs
was Arieh Elhanani, who also designed the "Peoples Pavilion" and the
sculptures Israeli Laborer and The Flying Camel, that has become the
Orient Fair's logo. Richard Kaufman planned the pavilion lay-out and
the "Local Produce Palace"; the "Histadrut Federation Pavilion" was
designed by Arieh Sharon, and the "British Pavilion" by Joseph Neufeld.
Galina Cafe was designed by Genia Averbouch, Ginsburg and Gideoni.
The white pavilions were designed in the spirit of the International
Style, and the majority of them consisted of clean blocks with few
windows. As a befitting antithesis to the impervious rectangular pavilions,
the Galina Cafe was designed as a rounded, transparent structure.
Design of the Fair's pavilions a la the International Style contributed
to its adoption as the type of architecture representing the Jewish
community in the country. The Orient Fair expressed the desire to
"open a window" onto modern western culture. Tel Aviv and its fairs
were tantamount to a stage for displaying the accomplishments of the
"Zionist enterprise" and realization of its visions and dreams. The
fairs were also underlied by the local ambition to promote Tel Aviv
to the status of other prominent cities hosting international fairs
during the 19th and early 20th century. Following the 1936-1939 events
and the outbreak of World War II, the fairs were no longer held. During
World War II the Fair grounds were transformed into a British military
camp. In the past decades the pavilions function as warehouses and
garages, and the entire area has been neglected and fallen into oblivion.