We’ve been following the plight of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, the shuttered synagogue at 60 Norfolk St. The Landmarks Preservation Commission is weighing a proposal from the synagogue to demolish the building, which was protected in 1967. Today a local preservation group, Friends of the Lower East Side, is weighing in. Here’s part of the email we received a short time ago:
In recent years, fire, water damage and, especially, a failure to maintain the building have all contributed to the building’s degradation. This seems to be a case of “demolition by neglect,” for which the synagogue should not be rewarded. Currently, efforts are being made for an impartial structural engineering report to assess the condition of the building… It is important for everyone to email the Landmarks Preservation Commission asking that they reject the request for demolition of this landmarked historic building. . Click here to contact LPC.
Rabbi Mandl Greenbaum has told us the only realsitic option at this point is to knock down the building and then construct a new condo complex with a synagogue on the ground floor. Sustained efforts to raise money to restore the synagogue or find a developer willing to restore the building failed, he said.