Beth Hamedrash Hagadol is a Nub of its Former Self [PHOTOS]

Posted on: January 2nd, 2018 at 9:49 am by

After weeks of demolition activity, the 167-year-old Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue is merely a nub of its former self.

Even before the fire, the house of worship, a crowned city landmark, was long in demise. Its steward, Rabbi Greenbaum, essentially let the place gradually rot since closure of the congregation back in 2007. The flames, sparked by a teenage arsonist, erased the property ten years later.

The demolition work is reportedly under the careful watch of an engineer hired by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and includes removal of the unstable building components. However, marching orders are to save as much of the historic site as possible. Once the property is re-stabilized, plans are in the offing for the Chinese-American Planning Council to convert the fire-scorched property into an extension of the Hong Ning senior housing next door.

The historic Gothic Revival synagogue was built in 1850 as a Baptist church and purchased by the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol congregation in 1885 for $45,000 (about $1.2 million today). In its declaration of landmark status, the Landmarks Commission found in 1967 that “Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue has a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest, and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”

Recent Stories

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the 1900s Lower East Side [PHOTOS]

Sundown tonight marks the beginning of the Jewish new year with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. To celebrate, below is a small collection of photos, courtesy of the Library of Congress, illustrating how Jews of the early 1900s celebrated the holiest of days while living in the ghetto of the Lower East Side. You’ll notice […]

The New Museum Returns to the Bowery from Pandemic Sidelining

After being sidelined for six months, the New Museum is back. They reopened their doors earlier this week to the public at large. As previously noted, three new exhibits will grace the space and run through the remainder of 2020; “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,” and “Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around […]

Mission Chinese to Shutter East Broadway Restaurant Due to Coronavirus Challenges

Mission Chinese Food, the popular Nuevo-Chinese restaurant, is to close its flagship Lower East Side location at the end of the month. In a lengthy missive posted to Instagram, chef-owner Danny Bowien explained the challenge of operating during pandemic times and the ultimate decision to close. “We faced the difficult decision as a business to […]

Lingerie Traded for ‘Original Goose Country’ on Rivington Street

There is a new leather vendor headed to Orchard Street. Taking the place previously occupied by a lingerie shop and cafe. Signage appeared this week outside 83 Rivington Street, announcing the forthcoming arrival of Original Goose Country. This is the first brick-and-mortar for the outerwear brand, which came into the scene in 2018. Its founders […]

Night and Weekend Work on F Train Tunnel Rehab to Begin on Monday

The MTA next Monday will begin work on the rehabilitation of the Rutgers Tube, a subway tunnel under the East River that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy eight years ago. The long-awaited repairs include track replacement, signal equipment, cabling, tunnel lights, and new pumps. The MTA is also installing a backup generator connected to the […]