Congregation Beth Israel (Portland, Oregon)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Temple Beth Israel
Temple Beth Israel - Portland Oregon.jpg
Congregation Beth Israel (Portland, Oregon) is located in Portland, Oregon
Congregation Beth Israel (Portland, Oregon)
Location 1931 NW Flanders St.
Portland, Oregon
Coordinates 45°31′34″N 122°41′28″W / 45.52611°N 122.69111°W / 45.52611; -122.69111Coordinates: 45°31′34″N 122°41′28″W / 45.52611°N 122.69111°W / 45.52611; -122.69111
Built 1926–1928
Architect Morris H. Whitehouse
Herman Brookman
Harry A. Herzog
Architectural style Neo-Byzantine
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 79002141
Added to NRHP July 26, 1979

Beth Israel is a Reform congregation and Jewish synagogue in Portland, Oregon, United States. The congregation was founded in 1858, while Oregon was still a territory, and built its first synagogue in 1859.[1]

Architecture[edit]

The congregation's first building was a modest, single story, pitched-roof, wood-framed, clapboard building with Gothic, pointed-arch windows and door.[2]

This early structure was replaced by an 1889 synagogue building, which was destroyed by fire in December 1923.[3][4] Designed by Portland architect Warren H. Williams, the building, called Moorish revival design in some sources,[5] is elsewhere described as a combination of eclectic and Gothic revival styles, with two towers topped by bulbous domes.[6] The Oregonian newspaper in 1923 described its style as "semi-Gothic and Mooresque".[3] It was located at S.W. 12th and Main streets in downtown Portland. Its two towers were 165 ft (50 m) tall, and the main interior space measured 82 by 56 feet (25 m × 17 m), and featured an arched ceiling 52 feet high.[3]

Postcard depicting the 1889 synagogue

It was replaced in 1928 by a notable Neo-Byzantine synagogue building at N.W. 19th and Flanders that continues to serve the congregation. It was listed as Temple Beth Israel on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[7] It is considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine-style architecture on the west coast, and was inspired by the Alte Synagoge (Steelerstrasse Synagogue) in Essen, Germany.[8][9] The interior of Steelerstrasse, the first modern synagogue in Germany, was praised as Germany's most beautiful; it was destroyed during Kristallnacht.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Facilities
  2. ^ The Ties that Bind; A Century of Judaism on America's Last Frontier, Julius J. Nodel and Alfred Asper, pub. by Temple Beth Israel, Portland, 1959, p. 14
  3. ^ a b c "Fire Destroys Big Synagogue" (December 30, 1923). The Sunday Oregonian, pp. 1, 6.
  4. ^ Temple Beth Israel: Portland, OR[dead link]
  5. ^ Temple Beth Israel: Portland, OR[dead link]
  6. ^ The Ties that Bind; A Century of Judaism on America's Last Frontier, Julius J. Nodel and Alfred Asper, pub. by Temple Beth Israel, Portland, 1959, p. 55
  7. ^ "Oregon National Register List". Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department. June 6, 2011. p. 41. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Architecture in Oregon: Treasures". Architecture Foundation of Oregon. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Essen". Retrieved May 23, 2008. 

See also[edit]

  • The Oregon Jewish Museum in Portland now houses the historical records of Congregation Beth Israel.

External links[edit]