Fire seriously damages historic Lower East Side synagogue

Anita Tucker
May 17, 2017

Investigators on the scene working to find out why Beth Hamedrash HaGadol, the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in NY, was struck by a 3-alarm fire that badly damaged the historic landmark site.

The fire started in the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol at 60 Norfolk about 7 p.m., the FDNY said.

No one was inside at the time of the 3-alarm fire, which reportedly destroyed the interior of the synagogue.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The enormous blaze broke out shortly before 7pm Sunday evening and was brought under control around midnight by more than 100 firefighters, according to FDNY.

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Sakowich, who said the building has sat vacant for 10 years, added that there are no reports of missing people or injuries.

Some advocated for the empty structure to be torn down while other groups, including one on Facebook, wanted to save it with some pushing for a major multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to restore the building in need of fix. According to the Lo-Down, the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission are on the scene to assess the damage to the landmarked structure.

The congregation closed the synagogue in 2007 after it determined that it did not have the between $3 million and $4 million needed to fix the building.

The building was given landmark status in 1967 and designated an endangered historic site in 2003.

Other reports by My Hot News

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