The landmarked Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue at 60 Norfolk Street is really in a pickle. The place is falling apart, and the building has been closed for years while the owner tried to raise money to save it. But there was no help to be found, so the owners threw the towel in, and in December, they asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission for permission to demolish the building and build something that will actually make money, like condos. This made the preservationist neighbors angry, and now the group Friends of the Lower East Side, sent out an email reprimanding the owners and asking people to tell the LPC not to grant the synagogue a demolition permit.
"In recent years, fire, water damage, and, especially, a failure to maintain the building have all contributed to the building's degradation," wrote Friends of the LES. "This seems to be a case of 'demolition by neglect,' for which the synagogue should not be rewarded. Currently, efforts are being made for an inpartial structural engineering report to assess the condition of the building. [...] It is important for everyone to email the Landmarks Preservation Commission asking that they reject the request for demolition of this landmarked historic building." This is shaping up to be the most epic preservation battle of 2013!
· Sad News - Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Hardship [Friends of the LES]
· Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue coverage [Curbed]