Central Synagogue has served New York’s Jewish community since 1839, offering worship services, long-term education, and community programs. PBDW has served the congregation since 2005 as consulting architects, with responsibility for building-wide improvements to the Community House at 123 East 55th Street, a nine-story 1967 design by Ely Jacques Kahn, and for select interventions to the sanctuary, an 1872 Hispano-Moorish landmark by Henry Fernbach.
Our work on the Community House has included preparation of long-range master plans, obtaining a zoning variance for a two-story rooftop addition, and renovations to seven of building’s nine floors above grade. Interior design services have included space planning, finishes, and selection of FF&E for offices used by senior clergy, faculty, and support staff, plus early childhood classrooms, conference rooms, and large assembly spaces. Most recently we designed a new entrance and lobby, creating a welcoming image for this important institution while meeting the Congregation’s requirements for security, visibility, and flexibility.
We designed a new air conditioning system for the Sanctuary that allows that building to be cooled independently of the Community House across the street. The system includes extraordinary measures to achieve noise control and required approval from the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission.