This nine story condominium replaces a small, poorly configured community house abutting Congregation Shearith Israel’s landmark Central Park West synagogue. The under-built parcel will now accommodate an expanded community house with five levels of residential space above.
The new community house provides space for a complex and varied schedule of congregational programs, gatherings and rituals. The ground floor will provide a new entrance to the historic synagogue and will allow for wheelchair access to every level of the combined facility. Located below grade is a large banquet room along with a kosher kitchen and building support spaces. Upstairs are classrooms and study spaces for youth and adult education programs, new administrative offices and a building manager’s apartment. Also planned is space for a portion of CSI’s extensive archive of documents and artifacts, a collection which extends back to the congregation’s origins in the 17th century.
The residential portion of the building consists of five full-full floor apartments and a duplex incorporating the penthouse with views overlooking Central Park.
The project’s prominent siting in a historic district along the Central Park West skyline led to a lengthy and complex approval process. Ultimately, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to approve PBDW’s design and commended it as an appropriate, harmonious addition to the district and the individual landmark.