Hundreds flee historic synagogue after column cracks

Posted By on April 1, 2014

Cracks in several columns at a historic Lower East Side synagogue forced 500 people including Boardwalk Empire star Gretchen Mol to scramble for safety during a fund-raiser for a local theater company Monday night.

The Angel Orensanz Center on Norfolk Street which was built in 1849 and has been turned into an art gallery and performance space was evacuated at around 7:30 p.m. after the columns cracked, causing the floor on the mezzanine level to tremble, fire officials said.

Party patrons, including Third Watchs Bobby Cannavale, moved the soire outside, where singer Steve Earle played his acoustic guitar for them.

No one was hurt.

It seemed like the balcony above us was unstable and, if it fell, it could have seriously hurt a lot of people, said Cynthia Flowers, executive director of the Soho Rep theatrical company.

We are all really lucky that the Fire Department got us out of there.

The synagogue was built in the Gothic Revival style in the tradition of the German Reform Movement of the mid 19th century, according to its Web site.

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Hundreds flee historic synagogue after column cracks

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