Preservation of a National Historic Landmark Synagogue

Beth Sholom Synagogue Preservation Foundation



Image courtesy of Beth Sholom Synagogue Preservation Foundation.

Beth Sholom Synagogue, an active congregation just north of Philadelphia, planned for increased access to and interpretation of its extraordinary building, one of the region's most important pieces of modern architecture. Built between 1954 and 1959, Beth Sholom is the only synagogue designed by the acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is recognized by the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of Wright's most important projects and is the only 20th-century synagogue designated as a National Historic Landmark. Research about the glazed roof of the building, which truly pushes the limits of building structure and materials, provided material for the synagogue's newly opened visitor center and its exhibition 360 Degrees of Light. This research also contributed to general public knowledge of Wright's work and the unusually collaborative relationship that Wright had with his client, Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen, to whom the architect gave credit as his co-designer.