APS : Architectural Preservation Services

Projects

Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue

Baltimore, Maryland

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Client

Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue

Completion Date

2010

Background

Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue was completed in 1924 to serve the growing Jewish community in the Butcher's Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. The synagogue operated until the late 1950s, when it merged with another congregation and relocated to a building in north Baltimore. It was sparsely occupied during the second half of the twentieth century, but did see some use as a Baptist church. In 2009, the building was purchased with plans to reopen the synagogue.

Scope

APS conservators conducted an in-depth conditions survey of the interior and exterior the building. After sitting vacant for many years, the client was concerned about the level of restoration needed to make the building safe for immediate use.

Exterior components surveyed by APS include the brick and granite main facade, brick side facades, copper cornice and roof cap, cast iron gates, exposed aggregate concrete walkways, and decorative marble tablets. On the interior, APS surveyed all windows and window openings, plaster walls and ceilings, tile and wood flooring, wood trim, and decorative tin ceilings. Of special significance to the synagogue are two large Star of David windows at either end of the main space, as well as an ornate bimah. Recommendations for each area of the synagogue were based on several factors, including the structural needs of the building and the client's financial constraints.