Thursday, September 25, 2014

Torah ark from East Village synagogue finds new home on Wall Street

[Photo from April by Bobby Williams]

The ornate Torah ark from the soon-to-be-condoed Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 E. Sixth St. has been been moved to Episcopal St. Paul's Chapel, part of Trinity Wall Street.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Changing demographics and a real estate deal played into this ark's path to an Episcopal church. Local historians and preservationists say Anshei Meseritz, built in 1910, was the last surviving tenement shul in the East Village. It was one of hundreds of similar shuls created to memorialize the birthplaces of immigrants living in what is now the East Village and Lower East Side.

The aron ha kodesh, or sacred ark, at Anshei Meseritz filled most of a back wall, reaching at least 12 feet high to a stained-glass window. The white and gold ark, with its painted faux marble, plump carved birds, striped spheres and a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish writing, represented a mix of new and old-world design...

As previously reported, the city approved the condo-conversion plans last December. Workers will renovate the building and add two floors.

The landmarked building between Avenue A and First Avenue was in disrepair and the congregation's population had dwindled. Synagogue leaders signed a 99-year lease with East River Partners worth some $1.2 million. The renovations include a penthouse addition and an elevator. The synagogue will reportedly retain space on the ground floor and basement for their use.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Plan to add condos to historic East Sixth Street synagogue back on

Play spot the potential penthouse atop the East Village synagogue

A final look inside the Anshei Meseritz synagogue on East Sixth Street

Stained-glass windows removed ahead of condo conversion at Congregation Mezritch Synagogue


Anonymous said...

@anon 11:04

Indeed poor assholes are better because they don't have the funds to rape an entire neighborhood so quickly. If we keep going in this direction we're going to be like Dubai.

Rocky Raccoon said...

The last thing we need are more luxury apartments regardless if the revenue they generate helps keep a portion of the building nice and pretty and provide space for a small group to meet in prayer. As we have seen far too often in the LES, religious groups will sell-out to the highest bidder and get a few crumbs off the table in the form of a floor or two in the new development to pray. Evidenced by the development on 11th between 1st and A (one of the first to use this model)and most recently by the tear down of the old theater on 12th and B. Let's not forget Mary Help of Christians of course as well. They don't even make an offer to any of the developer's of affordable housing. If they did they could still walk away with either cash or a place to pray, and perhaps do the work of the Lord they claim to worship and honor.

Anonymous said...

I think organized religion has been shrinking in big cities for decades. How do you keep a house of worship and its connected buildings such as schools, and related housing open without members and their financial support. You could look at these buildings as businesses that have lost their clients for good. I'm not sure I would use the words "few crumbs" to describe what the faith groups get for their property but I can assure you the will not be paying taxes on any of that money.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by affordable housing? If dibladio wanted to take people from the shelters and move them in would you support that? Or do you mean affordable for you and your friends? Its amazing how any self proclaimed progressives are opposed to housing shelter folks in their.hood
So please be clear. Do you mean affordable for white artist types or for African American women and kids in the shelters? And talking about people raping a hood in just.wrong. poor choice of words.

Anonymous said...

Affordable Housing means what a working or middle class person can afford lets say 1400 for a studio 2000 for a one bedroom not the current 2500 for a Studio and 3200 for a one bedroom. This group pays taxes and is now squeezed out by short supply of housing stock leveraged by profit hungry Landlords. This group can cover the operating expense with reasonable rent rolls with out burden to public funds.