The former Anshe Shalom Synagogue building in North Lawndale was approved as an official City of Chicago landmark by City Council today.
The Classical-Revival style building on the northwest corner of Independence Boulevard and Polk Street features yellow brick and gray limestone along with Ionic columns that support a triangular rooftop pediment with tablets in Hebrew script. The interior possesses a finely-detailed sanctuary with brilliantly-colored stain glass windows and a large decorative-metal chandelier.
Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Newhouse and Bernham, the building is a surviving example of several large-scale buildings built for Jewish institutions along Independence and Douglas boulevards during the 1910s and 1920s. Completed in 1926, the building was used by the Anshe Sholom congregation until 1960, when it became the home of the Independence Boulevard Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The designation was recommended by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on May 1, 2014.
North Lawndale was Chicago’s most prominent Jewish community in the early 20th century, housing approximately one quarter of the City’s Jewish population, mostly with Eastern European roots.
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