Kane Street Synagogue

Brooklyn, New York


Preliminary work centered on repairing and stabilizing the façade of the Sanctuary building. A refurbished entrance and desperately needed new bathrooms were added.

The adjoining Community Building eventually became the primary focus of design efforts. The program required offices, classrooms, a chapel, and a multi-purpose assembly room. A sensitive, contemporary design approach that subtly integrated the needs of a religious community guided overall concepts as well as details.

While maintaining and cleaning the historic façade, the existing Community building behind it was demolished and rebuilt with an additional third floor and roof terrace. An intervening courtyard was enlivened with new paving, and the Community building was linked to the Sanctuary with a glass-enclosed passageway. The side of the Community building facing the courtyard (and the neighboring Sanctuary) was re-imagined as a glass curtain wall, bringing in vital light to the assembly and classroom areas.

Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals were required throughout the process. The project was cited by the agency for its modern aesthetic that integrated with, and indeed highlighted, the historic structures.