The developer wants to build luxury homes on the plot and needs to remove the wall to do so. The wall, which is about 4 meters tall (now buried), is believed to be part of the oval-shaped stands that would surround the race track, which may have looked something like this:
The uncovered portion of the wall seen in previous pictures (which the developer is preparing to remove) is actually just one segment of a much longer stretch buried in several plots in the Wadi Abu Jamil area–now one of the most expensive real estate markets in Beirut.
From the developer’s plot (known as 834) the wall continues in both directions. It runs underneath the downtown synagogue (white, red-roofed building):
And then cuts across several more plots as seen by the yellow doted line:
|Map obtained from the Culture Ministry by The Association to Protect Lebanese Heritage|
Above we can see the red-roofed synagogue standing alone in the grassy area. Immediately to the right of the synagogue is the developer’s plot, 834
Going left from 834, the wall runs underneath the synagogue and then out through the grassy area on the other side known as plot 1370.
Plot 1370 is seen here a few years back, before the grass had grown:
The wall is buried but you can see the trace of it running through the center. In the foreground we can see the paved Spina or central island of the hippodrome. Part of the stands have also been found on 1370, which is also slated for development, but is currently disputed in the courts.
Then continuing left of 1370, past the cross street, the wall then runs under a garden with a circular walking path (below) and may be found partially under the road and under a cluster of buildings further left of that. More of the hippodrome could be found under a parking lot on the far left of the satellite photo (near Ahlia School). The hippodrome stadium then curves around with the road, coming back above the synagogue, where another part of the stands have been found (as indicated by the red color on in the previous satellite photo)