Construction began on the Sixth & I Street Historic Synagogue in 1906, after architect Louis Levi and builder Arthur Cowsill satisfied District of Columbia engineers that the 45-foot span reinforced concrete foundation – new technology for the time – would hold the weight of the building committee, the engineers and seventy two courses of heavy brick, and, by implication, of the entire building.
"The new temple of worship," noted the Washington Post on January 5, 1908, "although not so large as a number of other churches in the city, is considered, from an architectural point of view to be one of the finest in Washington. It is built of light gray vitrified brick, with handsome terra cotta trimmings and unglazed red tile roof. There are five domes, a large one in the center, forty feet in diameter, and smaller ones in each corner. The style of architecture is a combination of modernized French and Byzantine. The trimmings over the entrances are rich in decorative effect and harmonious in their proportions."
"The chief feature of the interior," the Post continued, "is the large central dome, the ceiling of which rises 69 feet above the auditorium floor. Cathedral style is used in the interior, the large and small arches rising in graceful bows to meet each other. The glistening white enamel of the panel work and the rough white sands work of the walls made the richly colored stained glass windows, of which there are more than a score, standing out in striking contrast."
Category: Religious - Judaism