A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 16, 2009
Synagondo (synagogue + condo)

Several New York City synagogues no longer have congregations to stay operating; the buildings are sometimes turned into condos. New condominium apartments are sometimes built around a still-functioning synagogue.

The blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York coined the term “synagondo” (synagogue + condo) on August 26, 2008. The term hasn’t been used very often, but it has the potential to be used again as New York City’s synagogues develop new uses.


Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Ozymandias’ Synagondo
Recently, a fired-up crowd turned out to save the 100-year-old Meseritz Synagogue on East 6th from becoming yet another condo/luxe apartments. Later, the developer backed out, saying they are “no longer affiliated with this project.” The plan is (was?) to demolish the synagogue and construct a new building in which the synagogue would take the first floor with luxury apartments upstairs.

It won’t be the first time such a plan was put into motion, and it won’t be the last. Let’s call them “synagondos.”

Grand Street News says “these types of religious-residential hybrid buildings may become more common as developers look to capitalize on a great location and synagogues look to improve their finances and physical conditions.”

The same thing is happening at the Young Israel Synagogue on East Broadway. The scaffolding went up last June, according to Loho10002, and the permit says it’s going to be a 23-unit, 14-story residential tower--with a synagogue on the first floors.

The luxury residents will be using a separate entrance from the congregation.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Thursday, April 16, 2009 • Permalink