There is Nothing Left of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol on Norfolk Street

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 at 5:06 am by

The arson attack against Beth Hamedrash Hagadol on Norfolk Street hollowed out the 167-year-old synagogue. Yet, any hope of the remains being incorporated into the planned development on its ashes is dashed.

Just take a look. There is nothing left of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol.

The tragedy compounded Monday morning thanks to the fatal structural collapse of the then-still-standing south tower. While in the process of razing the destabilized tower, the masonry collapsed and trapped two construction workers. Both were rushed to the hospital, where one later died and the other remained in serious condition.

Department of Buildings, meanwhile, issued a stop-work order which was later rescinded to allow for “demo of brick wall to a safe level.” Which is what’s happening now.

The Beth Hamedrash Hagadol structure dated back to 1850, when it was erected as a Baptist church. The synagogue took over three decades later. It became one of the first city landmarks, receiving designation in 1967. It fell into dormancy and disrepair over the last decade. A teenage arsonist named David Diaz set the three-alarm blaze in May 2017, but for reasons unclear, was released from custody and not charged by NYPD.

The site itself will be redeveloped into two-towered residential building.

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