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Angel Orensanz Center

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Basic Information

Location 40° 43′ 16″ N, 73° 59′ 9″ W
Phone number (212) 529-7194
Country United States
City New York City
Address 172 Norfolk St, New York, NY

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility yes
Website www.orensanz.org/
Geographical Coordinates 40.72106,-73.98593


Summary

The Angel Orensanz Center is housed in a Gothic Revival synagogue, built in 1849 for Congregation Ansche Chesed (People of Kindness). It is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New York, and the fourth-oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States. It was the largest synagogue in the United States at the time of its construction, and is one of the few built in Gothic Revival style.

General

The synagogue was built by Reform Congregation Ansche Chesed (People of Kindness), a congregation of primarily German Jews that was the third Jewish congregation in New York City. The building was designed by Eisenach/Germany-born architect Alexander Saeltzer. It was sold to Congregation Shaari Rachmim (Gates of Mercy) in 1873, to The First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek (To Love Righteousness) in 1886, and to congregation Sheveth Achim Anshe Slonim in 1921, which used it until 1974. That year, the synagogue was abandoned, and it was later vandalized.

Spanish sculptor and painter Angel Orensanz purchased the property in 1986. He restored it, and converted it into an art gallery and performance space known as the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts. The building was designated a historic landmark by New York City the following year. It has subsequently become home to the Shul of New York, a liberal Reform synagogue.


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