Congregation Shearith Israel

New York, NY

A New York City landmark, this Beaux Arts-style synagogue (Arnold Brunner, 1896-97) is architecturally significant as the first synagogue in the United States to adopt a Classical-Revival style, strongly influenced by Italian Renaissance and Baroque synagogue architecture. EverGreene first performed an historic finishes investigation, which identified the original Louis B. Tiffany interior decorative painting scheme. Plaster and scagliola conditions surveys were also performed, with EverGreene providing documentation on blueprints, onsite testing, a full report with findings, design consultation, and onsite mock-up samples. EverGreene also assisted with the written specifications for the implementation phase, which included plaster and scagliola repairs, wood refinishing, and repainting the original decorative scheme of the entire sanctuary.

This restoration came with some specific challenges, such as the removal of lead paint using contact adhesives and vacuuming to minimize airborne lead particles. Artisans developed methods for the resetting of the scagliola pilasters, which had become detached from the substrate, as well as crack repairs, patching with custom-mixed matching scagliola, and honing and polishing to a natural finish imitative of Siena marble.