Eldridge Street Synagogue

New York City, NY

Described by the Jerusalem Post as one of the most beautiful synagogues in the world the Eldridge Street Synagogue is the first major synagogue of Eastern European Jews in New York City. Exuberantly decorated in the Moorish style, the synagogue was in tremendous disrepair and had suffered from natural disasters, and misguided post-historic painting and decoration.

In 1987, EverGreene began the historic restoration and conservation of the synagogue. The project was initiated with a thorough historic finishes and plaster survey to inform about the condition of the substrate and the decorative finishes that had been applied over time. The preservation of the synagogue’s palpable historical ambience was achieved by conserving as much of the original fabric as possible. This ambience was further sustained by maintaining a patina of age on the intricately hand-painted designs of the interior. EverGreene first surveyed the conditions of the original decorative painting and plaster, and then investigated the two most significant decorative campaigns (including exposure windows, conservation cleaning tests, and onsite mock-up samples).

The 20 year-long, $20M restoration was completed in 2007. The majority of EverGreene’s work focused on the replication of extremely damaged decorative painting. The conservation work included plaster consolidation, overpaint removal, decorative painting conservation, replication of stenciling, faux-wood graining, marbleizing, gilding, and wood finishing. New painting and decoration was given a patina of age to blend with the original.