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Descriptive View

Of The New Synagogue, Now Building At New York, For The Congregation Under The Pastoral Charge Or The Rev. S. M. Isaacs.

The Synagogue is to be fifty feet wide, by eighty-five deep, exclusive of a semicircular recess in the rear, for the ארון הקדש (the ark). The style chosen is the Byzantic, which flourished some centuries back, and was especially used by the Portuguese and other Jews when persecuted in the middle ages; the imposing grandeur of the style, together with its Oriental origin, its deep shadows, bold projections, noble columns, and lofty arches, will render it best adapted for a building of this class and character. On looking at the front of the pile, the spectator will at once receive the impression that the building is intended for a place of worship, not of the poetical deities of the Greeks, nor the pompous trinity of the Christians, but of the mighty God of the Jews. The deep front door, with its heavy arches and simple but boldly-ornamented columns projecting out from the wall about four feet, encircling the front stoop with their bases, will, with awe, invite the stranger into the sanctum of the interior, and there the mind will be most deeply impressed with the feelings it has been prepared for by the exterior. After passing through a vestibule, and entering the inside, the holy ark will attract the greatest attention: five steps leading to it, and a platform six feet wide, will be covered with Italian marble; the doors will be of mahogany, enriched with tracery, and slide back into the wall; two columns and two antes will support an arch crowned with a gable, reaching up to the centre of a large window, the top of which is to have stained glass, representing the so-called מגן דוד (David's Shield). The interior will be divided into three aisles; the centre aisle twenty-four feet wide, between the columns which support the semicircular arches, that carry the walls of the clear story; the side aisles will be about twenty-eight feet high, containing the galleries for the ladies; the centre aisle will be forty-two feet high, and will be vaulted by a wooden ceiling, supported by spandrils; the ribs are to meet in the centre, ending with flowers; the pews will be neat, comfortable, and have a stand for the prayer-books; the principal light will be falling down from the upper part of the building intended to produce a solemn effect; and the whole will be calculated to turn the mind to the sublime, and to spiritualize the feeling; underneath the Synagogue, will be excellent apartments for the sexton, trustees' room, a large school-room, bath, and temporary Synagogue; the building will be situated in Wooster Street, one of the most central and respectable locations in the city; the building and ground will cost near $30,000; the consecration will take place in the ensuing summer. The architects are Messrs. Eidlitz and Blesch.