This visit was to a recently reopened historic synagogue on a narrow street just north of the Manhattan Bridge in what is now Chinatown, but when built in 1887, was part of the mostly Jewish Lower East Side. After falling in disrepair for many years - and I was in this building about 20 years ago before its restoration - considerable funds were raised to fully restore this into both a museum and functioning synagogue.
Museum and synagogue web site at: http://www.eldridgestreet.org/about_u_m.htm
My photos at: http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=12s7evvm.1fvrt2cy&x=0&y=-5v2qp3&localeid=en_US
You can see this block from the bridge if you're riding on the Manhattan bound B or D trains:
The interior was built in a very traditional 19th century European style, with a bima in the center; men on the ground floor and women in the balcony. Note Moorish influence in the mosaics on the front wall and ceiling with the stars.
Much of this architecture can be traced back to medieval Spain, during the days of the Moors and the mix of Christianity, Judiasm, and Islam - and this carried over to the architecture of synagogues in Eastern Europe over the centuries.
A beautiful restoration of the stained glass as well ...
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