A second installment from the Providence Preservation Society’s 2010 Most Endangered Properties series — the old Temple Beth El at 688 Broad Street (1910-1911). Like the previously discussed Atlantic Mills Towers it suffers from being a hulking pile in a difficult location (in a more than difficult economy). What can be done with this thing? It is still an inspiring edifice, but judging from the protective ‘netting’ around the capitals it’s going to need help soon. PPSRI provides some history;
In 1908, the Congregation Sons of Israel and David, a reform group, decided to move from their temple on Friendship Street. After renting a hall Downtown for a year, they decided to purchase land on Broad Street and construct a new temple. The interior of the Temple was built to reflect the Reform style of worship of the congregation. The congregation decided to build a new temple on the East Side during the 1940s as the population around Temple Beth El was no longer the German Jewish community it had once been. The neighborhood now consisted of a number of small Orthodox congregations from Eastern Europe. In 1954, Temple Beth El was sold to the new Congregation Shaare Zedek, which formed out of five smaller Orthodox groups in the neighborhood. Interior changes were made to reflect the congregation’s Orthodox style of worship.
The current owner plans to put it up for sale. Any takers? Any suggestions? More info and complete list at PPSRI. More pix after jump.
Herman Hassenfeld Talmud Torah