LOWER EAST SIDE SYNAGOGUE
Built in 1887 by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, this Lower East Side Synagogue is one of today’s most beautiful historic buildings in New York City. From the late 1930’s to the mid-1980s, the building languished; in 1987, the non-sectarian, non-profit Eldridge Street Project was created and began a twenty year, $20 million reconstruction project.
In 1996 this imposing Moorish Revival building was designated a National Historic Landmark, and reopened in 2007 as the Museum at Eldridge Street. In addition to a small Museum with revolving exhibitions on the street and lower levels, this treasured architectural gem features a restored Sanctuary with its 70-foot-high vaulted ceiling, a new 2010-designed stained glass window by world famous artist Kiki Smith, detailed brass lighting fixtures, hand-crafted faux painting and wood finishing, stenciled walls and other fine touches.
Extensive documentation of the building’s history and its two decade reconstruction are available downstairs, along with stories of the lives of those who passed through the Synagogue during its 120-year history. Also downstairs is a second, more intimate house of study, the Beth Midrash, which was used for services during the reconstruction and still holds weekly services on Saturday morning.
Lower East Side Museum and Synagogue, New York, NY