Angel Orensanz Center on Norfolk Street Should Reopen in Two Weeks

Posted on: January 9th, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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The Angel Orensanz Foundation at 172 Norfolk Street – built in 1849 – will probably reopen in roughly two weeks, a source familiar with the situation alleges.

You’ll recall that it’s been nearly a year since Angel Orensanz closed its doors, albeit temporarily. The historic synagogue-cum-catering hall fell victim to its own historic architecture last March when ceiling joists holding up the balconies reportedly cracked. Guests at the Soho Rep fundraiser fete heard loud pops and noticed the sagging upper floor.

The Fire department promptly showed and shut the facility immediately. A full vacate order was issued by the Department of Buildings.

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Photo: Anna Silman

We hear word that the last of the $240,000 reinforcement work will be completed sometime next week. The DOB is reportedly scheduled to inspect the premises the following week. Reopening is expected thereafter, assuming approval.

Meanwhile, there’s been plenty of negative press since the closure ten months ago, notably regarding rescheduled events and a lack of reimbursement. In particular, a relocated wedding and a “botched” bar mitzvah ceremony.

The Angel Orensanz Center is a landmark synagogue at 172 Norfolk Street, built in 1849 to house the Reform congregation of Anshe Chesed (“People of Kindness”). It was designated as such in 1987, a year after Spanish artist Angel Orensanz purchased the property. Before that acquisition and subsequent restoration, the building had been abandoned.

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