Created By: Temple Beth El
The oldest synagogue building in the city had been shut down and systematically vandalized for over a decade when Spanish sculptor Angel Orensanz swooped in, purchasing the property in 1986 and converting it into an art studio. Now known as the Angel Orensanz Foundation, the synagogue was designed by Berlin-born architect Alexander Saelzer, who intended for it to resemble the Cologne Cathedral. Upon its opening in 1849, it was the largest synagogue in the country and could hold up to 1,500 worshippers. Orensanz’s foundation continues to host occasional shabbas services—in addition to a vast array of cultural programs—and is a popular spot for weddings and bar mitzvahs.
This point of interest is part of the tour: 5th Grade Lower East Side Tour