Park Synagogues offer to sell its main building raises questions about the future of an architectural master –

Posted By on June 3, 2021

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio Park Synagogue, a prominent Northeast Ohio Conservative Jewish congregation, is offering for sale its architecturally significant main synagogue, designed in 1947-50 by architect Eric Mendelsohn.

A listing on the website of the real estate firm, Allegro Realty, describes the building as one of several structures on a large, park-like, 28.25-acre commercial parcel at 3300 Mayfield Road.

The listing casts into question the future of a building considered by architectural historians a masterpiece of Mendelsohns expressionist style, rooted in inter-war Germany.

The building features a distinctive domed sanctuary set atop a wedge-shaped structure with a chapel at its narrow northern tip, a central court, and a religious school at its southern side.

Allegro listed the offering a week ago. The listing states that interested purchasers must register with Allegro in order to receive access to due diligence material, schedule a tour and submit an offer.

No price or future use for the property is suggested. Officials at Allegro could not be reached late Friday. Two staff members at Park Synagogue were not immediately available late Friday.

The Cleveland Encyclopedia describes the synagogue as the largest and most ambitious of four synagogues and community centers designed by world-famous architect Eric Mendelsohn' between 1947 and 1953 in the United States.

Mendelsohn (1887-1953) contributed to the evolution of the popular streamline modern style of architecture, which he explored in Germany in the 1920s through designs for Schocken department stores in Stuttgart and Chemnitz, and other projects.

He fled Germany in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution of Jews, moving first to Brussels and then later London, and the U.S., where he won the commission for Park Synagogue, Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo Congregation.

Park Synagogue, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2019, completed its Park East Building in Pepper Pike in 2005.

At the time, the Park East building was viewed as an acknowledgment that many of the synagogues 1,800 families had spread eastward to suburbs including Solon and Twinsburg.

After Pepper Pike voters approved a rezoning of a portion of Park Synagogue's campus on Tuesday, it will move ahead with plan's to add to it main temple building. In this drawing, the extension is the rectangular building to the left.

Earlier this month, voters in Pepper Pike approved a rezoning that would allow the synagogue to build a 10,000-square-foot expansion of its facility there to be used as a community hall. The project would also include additional parking, a patio, a veranda, and a publicly accessible walking trail.

The synagogue would like to break ground in July or August on the project, Executive Director Stuart Deicher told

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Park Synagogues offer to sell its main building raises questions about the future of an architectural master -

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