Mendel Greenbaum, rabbi of the Lower East Side’s historic Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue that was destroyed by a three-alarm fire in May, has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish what remains left of the building, reports the Lo-Down.
Greenbaum was scheduled to meet with the LPC about potentially restoring the crumbling church, just days after fire, set by a 14-year-old boy, ripped through the building. Those plans have obviously changed dramatically following the devastating fire. Prior to the blaze, a renovation was estimated at $4.5 million, which had already made it difficult to find a developer willing to take on the project.
Due to the extent of the damage, Department of Buildings inspectors have not been able to enter the synagogue, which is filled with rubble. Independent consultants conducted a study on the stability of the structure in which its findings were consistent with the Department of Building’s findings.
Before any demolition procedures can move forward, there will be a hearing held on Tuesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m.
UPDATE 6/20/16: The Department of Buildings has deemed the synagogue’s remains unstable, the Lo-Down reports. According to TLD, the DOB “will not insist on the immediate demolition of the 167-year-old building because a safety zone has been established around the property.”