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

Cashing in on the Bowery Graffiti Wall with ‘Limited Edition’ Prints

Last week, Goldman Properties announced that art fans could “own a piece” of the famous Bowery Graffiti Wall. “For the first time in history,” the copy read in all-caps, people could purchase limited edition prints of the PichiAvo mural (“Urbanmythology”) currently holding court. Cashing in on the wall. Seventy-five 47” x 15” archival color prints, […]

‘Happy Ending’ Busted in Purported NYPD Vice Squad Sting, Appears Kaput

It’s been a rocky tenure for the Happy Ending reboot on Broome Street, but the end now looks appears closer than ever. For the second time in five months, the nightclub was raided by the authorities. A tipster sent word that Happy Ending was raided by cops (accompanied by firefighters) a couple weeks ago, and […]

Tonight, Learn More About Big Tim Sullivan, ‘King of the Bowery’

As part of the Lower East Side History Month festivities, tonight the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and Grace Church High School welcome author Alice Sparberg Alexiou to speak about the (in)famous Timothy Sullivan, or as many knew him, the puported “King of the Bowery.” Sullivan resided at the Occidental Hotel (now the SoHotel) at 146 […]

Exhuming James Bond’s Runaway Car Scene on the FDR [VIDEO]

Yesterday, actor Sir Roger Moore passed away at the age of 89. He portrayed a more humorous James Bond in a record-setting seven franchise films. He died in Switzerland after “a short but brave battle with cancer,” according to tweets from the family. So, we thought it appropriate to revisit the scene from Live and […]

Seward Park Basketball Courts Hamstrung by ‘Absentee’ Contractor

Area youth will need to wait another couple months to play ball inside Seward Park. The current resurfacing job underway the last couple months is behind schedule. Until yesterday, there had been almost no activity in the rear corner of the park for at least two weeks. The big boys came to play yesterday, though, […]