Historic Temple On East 6th St. Combines Piety With A Penthouse
Rather than sell the building for residential use only, this building gets the best of everything.
The Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezritch Synagogue, built by Polish-Jewish immigrants, has been an active congregation at 415 East 6 street in the East Village, since 1910. More than 100 years later in 2012, it was slated to be demolished due to a dwindling congregation, crumbling brick-work and broken windows. Any hope of keeping this historic structure a viable place of worship was looking unstable, at best.
Thanks to Jody Kriss of East River Partners Developers, the congregation, as well as the structure, are both being saved. Mr. Kriss and the late Rabbi Pesach Ackerman spearheaded the restoration that includes a dramatic multimillion-dollar gut renovation of the 22-foot-wide Gothic building. The synagogue still has a big place in the heart of the community and the neoclassical facade proudly displays a stunning stained glass window that continues to shine down on East 6th Street, like a beacon of hope.
The deal that was struck was for three high end condos, including one 11-foot penthouse addition, to be built upstairs while the congregation continues to meet and worship below. East River Partners has paid the synagogue $1.2 million to lease the upstairs space for 99 years and is donating $20,000 annually to the congregation for the next 198 years. East River Partners is also donating an $180,000 allowance to reconstruct the sanctuary and to create other areas such as offices or communal spaces in the basement.
It wasn’t an easy project to get green-lit. As one might imagine, the congregation had reservations about any part of the synagogue being used for profit for real-estate developers. Mr. Kriss said, “Back when we started the construction, people would curse me out. But when they found out that we were preserving the synagogue, and not demolishing it, they wanted to shake my hand, instead.” This building holds a great deal of significance in both the Jewish community and the neighborhood at large.
The Lower East Side was an original gathering place for Jewish immigrants straight from Ellis Island at the turn of the century. Andrew Berman, president of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation says, “… it speaks to the unique role that that the East Village played in the history of the Jewish diaspora. This little building spoke to the hopes and dreams of this generation.”
Now those dreams are being expanded upon to include some truly fabulous living spaces. Ranging in price from $2.95 million for the second floor-through apartment, to $4.4 million for the 2,564 square-foot duplex penthouse. The penthouse boasts two huge terraces totaling 813 square-feet, which is larger than most studio apartments. The top floor has a chef’s kitchen that connects living and dining rooms and both open up to the terraces. The bottom floor is where you’ll find the master and second bedroom, as well as a large den.
The lower two units have six rooms, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms each. One measures in at 1890 square-feet and the other at 1911 square-feet, respectively. Check out the floor plans here.
Additional features for all units include some pretty cool amenities like: a private keyed elevator, deep soaking tub, video monitor, custom cabinetry, Bosch washer / drier and dishwasher, built in Sharp under-counter microwave, and an individually controlled, energy efficient heating and cooling system. Plus—a Rabbi just downstairs for any spiritual emergencies.