LES: Eldridge Street Synagogue
When looking for apartments near Lower East Side the Stuy Town Community is a location you should give serious consideration to. The Stuy Town Community is located near several important Manhattan landmarks. Here is a brief history of one of these landmarks close to apartments near Lower East Side the Eldridge Street Synagogue.
The Eldridge Street Synagogue: A History
Built in 1887 The Eldridge Street Synagogue is known for being one of the first synagogues built in the United States by the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Designed by architects Peter and Francis William Herter the synagogue was reported on in the local press. Writers of the time were greatly impressed with the building’s overall design. Built in the Moorish Revival style of architecture the synagogue had 70 foot high vaulted ceilings, hand stenciled wall art, highly elaborate handcrafted brass fixtures, and stained glass windows. These various elements came together to create a building that was striking in its overall appearance.
As a religious institution the Eldridge Street Synagogue served thousands of worshipers from its opening date through the 1920s and also saw a cogeneration that included important religious leaders such as Rabbi Abraham Aharon Yudelevich a famed scholar of the Torah . Aside from serving as a spiritual home for the local community the synagogue also assisted in other important civic matters. The synagogue assisted immigrants in acclimating to their new home in the United States. Services included feeding the poor, assisting in employment matters, housing assistance, aid for the ill, and even loans.
Sadly as time went on the synagogue saw less use and started to fall into disrepair. Following the 1930s the local community started to spread out into wider areas and joined different congregations. Also immigration quotas and the financial and social devastation of the Great Depression also added to the decline in membership. By the 1950s rain leaks and unsound construction lead to the synagogue cordoned off the main hall due to safety concerns and lack of funds for use upkeep. Religious study was moved downstairs into the Beth Midrash (study hall) and the main sanctuary of the synagogue sat unused from 1955 to 1980.
The Eldridge Street Synagogue: Restoration And Current Use
In 1986 the Eldridge Street Project undertook the task of restoring the synagogue for use in matters of education and civic events. After 20 years and 20 million dollars of work the Eldridge Street Synagogue reopened to the public on December 7th 2007 as the Museum at Eldridge Street. The restoration itself was undertaken to assure it matched the original theme and design of the building. Elements such as replication of plaster elements, redrawing of stenciling, and master crafted woodwork were just some of the design elements used.
The museum offers tours on the history of immigration, the Lower East Side, and Jewish history. It also continues its historical role as a place of worship. The Orthodox Congregation Kahal Adath Jeshurun has continued to hold services and has not missed a Saturday or holiday service since the first opening of the synagogue in 1887. As befitting such a historic landmark the Eldridge Street Synagogue was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1996.
As you can see apartments near Lower East Side offer a lot to their residents. Aside from a convenient location near several of the city’s amenities you are also within walking distance of some of Manhattan's most famous landmarks. The Eldridge Street Synagogue is a striking piece of history and as museum also a place to learn more about the rich history of the Lower East Side.