Blueprints

The layout of EPCOT Center’s lost Israel pavilion

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For years there has been much speculation about the design of the proposed Israel pavilion, which was featured prominently along with Spain and Equatorial Africa for EPCOT Center’s phase 2. A little artwork has trickled out, mostly Herb Ryman renderings. I am unsure if this art had been previously published, but I discovered this layout drawing for what appears to be a complete plan for the Israel pavilion. Would this have been the final design? It’s impossible to know. But the style is consistent with the drawings created for training and maintenance manuals of the era.

Epcot Israel Pavilion blueprint layout

The above is a low-res preview. You can click the link below to download a much larger version.

Download

jerusalem lions gateThere are some tantalizing details on the drawing. The entrance would have been a reproduction of Jerusalem’s Lions’ Gate, one of the seven open gates in the city’s Old City Walls. A large theater in the back would have been built to resemble King Solomon’s Palace, of which no historical records exist — only descriptions in the Bible. It would have been fascinating to see how Disney’s designers and architects would have interpreted the architecture.

Herb Ryman Israel Modern Shopping District Concept ArtThis rendering of a shopping area by Herb Ryman has been in circulation for some time, and at last we can understand where it would have fit into the plan, as to the west of the entrance courtyard is the “Street of Modern Isreal,” with four shops and a bakery.

Doing a quick count, the theater would have had a capacity of about 200 guests and the restaurant about the same. On the eastern wall is a spot designated as a “Jerusalem Panorama.” Would this have been a forced perspective model with a painted backdrop? Or perhaps a short looping wide-format film?

I’m just now beginning to study the drawings and look forward to your feedback as new details are uncovered about the Israel pavilion.


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3 Comments

  1. Steph

    November 18, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Where did you get the drawings?

    1. How Bowers

      November 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Believe it or not, I found it by spending two hours sifting through the loose papers in bins at Theme Park Connection.

      1. Hector A Parayuelos

        February 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm

        That’s some incredible commitment – I’ve sifted through those a few times and usually succumb to dust allergies within 5 minutes

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