With Congregation Shaare Zedek’s synagogue at 212 West 93rd Street, slated to be demolished in the coming months, the temple’s leaders are considering ways to preserve the stained glass panels in the 94-year-old building.
Synagogue President Michael Firestone tells us in an email that there are several ideas being considered.
The short answer is yes, we are taking steps to preserve the stained glass windows. I will note that the plans for the new sanctuary are in their embryonic stage. One idea that has been discussed is installing the oculus from the sanctuary ceiling in the new sanctuary ceiling (backlit with LEDs since the overall design of the new building does not allow for a skylight). It will probably be artistically reduced to accommodate the fact that the ceiling of the new sanctuary will be about 20 feet tall, as compared to the 40-foot height of the present sanctuary.
Other than that, all that can be said right now is that the new sanctuary will be much smaller than the current one and so there will not be anywhere near enough space to re-use all of our stained glass. But we are working with our architects to come up with a sanctuary design that re-uses other elements of the existing stained glass to the extent that it is physically possible and aesthetically pleasing.
Also yet to be explored is the possibility of using some of the sanctuary stained glass in parts of the building beyond just the sanctuary.
Photos via Shaare Zedek.