Tuesday, November 17, 2009

frank lloyd wright: beth shalom: elkins park pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright was invited by Beth Shalom Congregation of Philadelphia to design a new synagogue in the suburb of Elkins Park. Mr. Wright accepted the comission in September 1953. In March of 1954, he submitted a design to the Board of Directors of the Congregation. The Board approved the beautifully executed designs of Mr. Wright and arranged to build the new structure. The building, explained by Mr. Wright, is meant to evoke an image of a mountain. It is the Mt. Sinai in modern materials of concrete steel aluminum and glass. Mt. Sinai was the location God chose to reveal his Torah to Moses for Israel and for mankind. Mr. Wright therefore designed a natural symbol of communion betwen God and humanity with this his only synagogue he designed durning his career and the last project he completed before his death.

I had the pleasure to tour the synagogue myself, to see this wonderful piece of architecture, now a National Historic Landmark. The interior is a grand light filled space with soaring dimensions and handcrafted modern details. I feel it is truly one of his best works.
Beth Sholom Synagogue



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