Sky High with the Eldridge Street Synagogue ‘Oculus’ Window Restoration [PHOTOS]

Posted on: March 13th, 2017 at 9:45 am by

eldridge-window-4_wm

The sky-high stained-glass window piercing the star-stamped ceiling of the Eldridge Street Synagogue is undergoing a full restoration.

We’re told that the decorative glass of the so-called “Oculus” – an original relic dating back to 1887 – had dislodged from its lead frame that kept it in place all these years. Each section was then dismantled and carted to Sunset Park for repairs. This past Friday, we were invited to capture an up-close-and-personal look at the re-installation.

Documenting the occasion entailed a harrowing climb up seven flights on freestanding scaffolding to a platform roughly fifty feet above the floor. The perch provided a photogenic look at the entire sanctuary; the seven-year-old East Window; the massive chain holding up the chandelier; the constellation painted across the ceiling.

eldridge-window-7_wm

“The team working on the Oculus restoration is the same group who conducted the synagogue restoration [that completed in 2007] and the creation of the new window by Kiki Smith and Deborah Gans,” deputy director Amy Stein-Milford tells us. The stained glass was fixed in the artists’ aforementioned Brooklyn studio.

By Friday afternoon, the Oculus was back home, just in time for Shabbos.

eldridge-window-10_wm

The Eldridge Street Synagogue is certainly no stranger to repairs. Two decades’ worth of rehabilitation (plus $20 million) were needed to overhaul the damaged sanctuary, which devolved during an extended period of dormancy. The job began in 1987, and was not fully completed until 2007. All the stained glass windows, with the exception of the East Window, are original and were salvaged with about 75% of the original pieces.

Recent Stories

September Wines Addresses Closure Talk, Says its Amidst ‘Lease Renewal’

On Monday, we reported that September Wines & Spirits on Stanton Street is potentially on shaky ground. Several real estate listings surfaced that pitched the twelve-year-old booze shop as available for rent, leading to speculation of an imminent closure. September Wines responded to the news, however, noting that the store is not closing. At least […]

Ben Shaoul’s Hell Square Tower is Clad in Glazed Brick from a ‘Spanish Fishing Village’

With Ben Shaoul’s Hell Square condo tower at 196 Orchard Street edging toward completion, press hype is starting to come out. The latest is a puff piece about how the architect, INC Architecture & Design, chose to include handmade “metallic-glazed brick” in the facade that evokes the “old-world character of glazed terra-cotta while also bringing […]

‘Casper’ Mattress Company Replaces Stereo Exchange After 30 Years on Broadway

Stereo Exchange, the decades-old audiophile retailer, was forced from its longtime NoHo perch back in March. It had been at 627 Broadway since 1988, four years after the Wasserman family founded the business. (The store was originally called David’s Audio.) The mom-and-pop first downsized to a smaller loft location in Cooper Square that was appointment […]

CitizenM and the Bowery Bottleneck

On the Bowery, between East Houston and Delancey Street, is a traffic problem that refuses to go away. It’s the perfect cocktail of construction and roadwork to create a 24/7 disaster situation. Much of the blame can be pinned on the CitizenM hotel development at the northeast corner of Delancey. This decade-running project first seized […]

‘Zagrat’ Rated ‘Squeakeasies’ Are All the Rage for Area Vermin

New Yorkers aren’t the only unfortunate ones facing gentrification. It’s the dawn of a new era, one in which venerable rodents no longer set fires to cars or shack up in rotting constructions sites because they have to. Nay, because they want to.  And, naturally, a gentrified pest is in need of the finer things. […]