Details

Keywords Change this

Concrete

Project timeline

1965 – 1967

Type

Religious

Location Change this

49 White Street
10013 New York City
USA
www.synagogueforthearts.org

Current state

Original

Also known as Change this

Synagogue For the Arts, Baruchim Ha Ba'im

Architect Change this

__

Article last edited by Bostjan on
February 04th, 2015

Civic Center Synagogue Change this

New York City, USA
by William N. Breger Change this
1 of 4

Description Change this

Baruchim Ha Ba'im. Also known as the Synagogue for the Arts, the Civic Center Synagogue is a spiritual, cultural, and communal center of traditional Judaism, located in downtown Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood.

The unabashedly modernist Civic Center Synagogue was designed by William N. Breger and completed in 1967. While the building is completely out of context among the 19th-century buildings surrounding it, there is a certain optimism to its mid-20th-century exhuberance that makes it seem somehow fitting.

The Civic Center Synagogue was founded by Jacob J. Rosenblum in 1938 in a loft above a store to serve the area's lawyers, civil servants and textile workers for weekday services. The Synagogue constructed its own building at 80 Duane Street in 1957, but that site was seized by eminent domain only three years later to make way for the Jacob Javits Federal Office Building. However, in compensation for the lost land, the Synaguge was given this plot for a new building in TriBeCa.

The fortunes of the Synagogue faded with those of the surrounding city in the 1970s and 1980s, but the rebirth of the city in the 1990s led to a rebirth of the congregation. The name was changed to "Synagogue for the Arts" to reflect the cultural changes in the neighborhood.

The award-winning contemporary building features a distinctive flame-shaped, sky-lit sanctuary, outdoor sculpture plaza, a large gallery for events, and a well-equipped kosher kitchen.

Today, with Tribeca, Soho, Battery Park City, and Wall Street home to a growing number of Jewish families and individuals, Civic Center is a full-service synagogue.

Comments

Posted by Guest | Sunday, September 15th, 2013 | 19:09pm
And finally, thank you for providing this space allowing me to share my memories of what was known as "The House that Jack Built." L'Shana Tovah.
Posted by Guest | Sunday, September 15th, 2013 | 18:51pm
As an afterthought, I also remember attending many of the dinners and other fundraisers that were held in the '50's and '60's for the benefit of Civic Center Synagogue and which were used for the construction on Duane Street and also on White Street. Thank you again.
Posted by Guest | Sunday, September 15th, 2013 | 18:43pm
Thank you so much for your courtesy and responsiveness. There was a short period during which I was a trustee of the synagogue - it was a great joy to me but by that time, I had moved to Shelter Island and the trip was too difficult for me to make the meetings so I did not continue. But a large part of me remains in the synagogue. I still remember as a little girl, walking besides my father as he and others carried the Torah from Duane Street to its new location where it is now. I enjoy sharing these memories and I thank you for reading this.
Posted by Maria Thuroczy | Sunday, September 15th, 2013 | 08:12am
Dear Helen,

All our respect to your father. It is really interesting what you added. The synagogue roots are deeper than we thought. Thanks so much for your comment. We did our best to update the page. If you would like to add something, you are very welcome to. You can edit after logging in to the site.

All the best,

Maria
Architectuul. Researcher & Editor
Posted by Guest | Saturday, September 14th, 2013 | 21:46pm
It is my distinct memory that my father, Jacob J. Rosenblum, founded this synagogue and this is so acknowledged within the walls of the synagogue. As you stated, his original motivation was to find somewhere to say kaddish in the area. Over the years, he oversaw the relocation of the synagogue to where it is now. Would appreciate your honoring his memory by so stating this in your description. Thank you very much.

A healthy and peaceful 5774 to all involved with this beautiful synagogue.

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