Ornate—New York City
Central Synagogue, built on Lexington Avenue and East Fifty-fifth Street, was completed and opened in 1872 before the completion of the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was designed to seat more that 1,000 congregants, and is one of a handful of surviving landmarks from that era.
It is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in New York City. However, on August 28, 1998, a devastating fire destroyed the roof, choir loft and organ, with falling support beams penetrating the sanctuary floor. What remained was the skeleton of the building.
With determination, Central Synagogue was rebuilt and restored by the congregation. On September 9, 2001, the newly restored Central Synagogue was reconsecrated.