Friday, January 8, 2010

Uptown Synagogue Falls On Hard Times

House of Worship That Once Hosted 2,000 Members Is In Great Disrepair

By Jim Williams, CBS2 News

Read all about it here, along with video



    Has some great pics of the inside of the Synagogue.

    Being that it's Shabbat I probably shouldn't directly link to it.

    As a lapsed Catholic with a bad moon rising I probably shouldn't push my luck.

  2. The condition of this building is NOT new news. It has been that way a LONG time. Unfortunately, this reporter gives us no perspective or timeline.

    To survive and come back as a synagogue, it needs congregation members that are nowhere in sight. It is unfortunate but it is a fact of our demographics and lifestyles.

    To survive with more resources and a vibrant use, it would have to be deconsecrated and this small, determined family would have to give up its dream of rebuilding a congregation in Uptown in that building.

    The Angel Orensanz Center on NY's Lower East Side is a good example of a deconsecrated historic synagogue building that is put to good use. Founded by the now late sculptor Angel Orensanz, it is an arts and special event space that is showing up more and more in nationally televised events.

    In reality, the Uptown synagogue is a better/newer building, was built with substantially better materials, is more reasonably sized and has better stairs, entrances, exits, etc. It has a lot of points over the Orensanz center and would do well as a special events venue.

    At some point, this congregation will have to make a choice: Demolition or conversion to another use.

  3. Some houses of worship have been renovated into residential buildings. Some have become theatres. Others have become "community cultural centers." Still others get passed to other religious groups and remain as worship spaces. There's got to be some kind of life-after-life for a building like this in a location like this!