LPC Calendars Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue on 14th Street (Again)
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Photo: Manhattan Sideways
The Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue at 334 East 14th Street has been in “landmark limbo” for almost five decades. Apparently the 150-year-old house of worship was calendared and considered for protection back in 1966, but for reasons unknown, the then fledgeling Landmarks Preservation Commission never voted. Only recently has the matter resurfaced, as the congregation suddenly decided to place itself on the open market for nearly $14 million (apparently they outgrew the space). As a result, the German Romanesque-style structure is in certain danger of death and dismemberment.
Local advocates and preservationists were spurred into action to ask the Commission to finally weigh in on the matter after all these years. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is spearheading the effort, and just announced that the LPC is finally ready to hear the case (it was postponed from October). A hearing was scheduled for March 25 at 9:30 am. A vote will presumably follow in its wake.
The building itself is well past its centennial at this point, and was initially conceived as a German Baptist Church in 1866. It would undergo two more tenant changes during the intervening years – first a rechristening to the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in 1926, and then a complete conversion to the Conservative synagogue in 1962.
Meanwhile, the synagogue remains on the chopping block, via Massey Knakal, for nearly $14 million.