In December 1917, when General Allenby entered the Old City of Jerusalem on foot, through Jaffa Gate, British rule over Palestine began.
The British, who governed first by military government, later (until Israel's independence in 1948) by Mandatory administration, set up their administrative centre for the country in Jerusalem. During these years, Jerusalem began its transformation from the provincial town of Ottoman times to a modern administrative, political, religious and cultural centre.
Building activity began almost immediately and Jerusalem expanded to the north, south and west. The British determined municipal zones, commercial areas, density of construction, use of materials and height of buildings. Perhaps their most influential contribution to the character of architecture in Jerusalem was a municipal ordinance which remains in effect to this day requiring all new buildings to be faced with stone, giving a certain romantic quality to the buildings.
While much of the public building in Jerusalem was initiated and financed by Jewish organizations, the British constructed Government House (the residence of the High Commissioner), St. Andrew's Church, the Central Post Office and the Government Printing House. (From an article on Architecture In The British Mandate period by Lili Eylon)