25 September 2009

Brooklyn: 3 synagogues named 'Historic Places'

Three Brooklyn synagogues have been chosen for the State Register of Historic Places, according to the New York Landmarks Conservancy's Sacred Sites Program. Several others are waiting approval.

The Brooklyn Eagle story is here.

The three synagogues are:

- Ocean Parkway Jewish Center, Kensington. Built 1924-1926, the Classical Revival-style synagogue/center was designed by Brooklyn architects Samuel Malkind and Martyn Weinstein.

- Shaari Zedek Synagogue, Bedford-Stuyvesant. Built 1909-1910, it is an early work by an important and influential Brooklyn-born architect Eugene Schoen, who was also an interior and furniture designer. Since 1944, it has been St. Leonard’s Church.

- Kol Israel Synagogue, Crown Heights. Built in 1928 and designed by Brooklyn architect Tobias Goldstone, it features a fieldstone facade embellished with Moorish-influenced decoration.

Three more sites - Jewish Center of Kings Highway, Young Israel of Flatbush and Kingsway Jewish Center — have been reviewed by SHPO staff, and will be presented at the December board meeting, according to Friedman. The seventh — Temple Beth El of Boro Park — is still being researched.
Nominations mean eligibility of Sacred Site grant and loan programs and other possible restoration funding sources.

Over 22 years, it has made more than 100 grants to 50 landmark Brooklyn churches, synagogues and meeting houses - some $800,000. During 2007-09, a Brooklyn survey identified 172 religious buildings that have functioned as synagogues; 113 current and 59 former synagogues were surveyed, as well as 118 Roman Catholic churches.

Aliza Ross of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, who worked on the survey, wrote in an email, “During the summer of 2007, myself and two colleagues working for the Conservancy spent three months looking for historic synagogues in Brooklyn. (Most are not listed in the white pages, therefore, one must drive and/or walk around to find them.) We spent hours upon hours researching their history, documenting their condition, and discussing their eligibility with Kathy Howe of the SHPO. Without the work of the NY Landmarks Conservancy, these synagogues would still be unknown architectural gems.”
Read the complete article at the link above for much more information.

Thanks to Joy Rich for this link!

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