An Old New York synagogue was converted into a luxurious triplex in the East Village on offer for the price of 2.3 million dollars.
It is a low-rise apartment building, which was built in 1847 and in 1908 became a shul for the Hungarian Jewish community, serving as a synagogue until the mid 1970's.
The sellers decided to renovate the interior of the triplex, which covers an area of 150 square meters in the style of a "aspen ski lodge", full of glass and wood, and stripped it of any Jewish markings. However, the name of the synagogue is still elegantly emblazoned in Hebrew letters on the front of the building, and the large decorated glass windows point to its Jewish heritage.
In 2008 it was resisted as an historic building by preservationists in New York City, as "a fine example of an early 20th century Classical Revival style synagogue surviving on Manhattan’s Lower East Side,” according to New York City’s Historic Districts Council. The Hungarian Jewish community is one of the oldest in the city, and when it bought the house on East 7th Street in the beginning of the last century, it also invested $10,000 in renovating it, "with a brick and stone façade in the then popular Beaux Arts style,” according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The architects, of course, were Jews.
The Hungarian community grew greatly in those years, and nearly 100,000 new members arrived in the city as part of an immigration wave of educated Jews who left their homeland, the Austro-Hungarian Empire due to political strife. The relative wealth of the community is reflected in the design of the building: the limestone façade is decorated with fine works of art, the kind that only a prosperous and well-established community can afford to expend on its own building.
The property itself, has five rooms with high ceilings, a glass wall that opens onto a 40 square meter balcony and the best part, a bathroom the size of a studio apartment with an elegant glass enclosure, an extra large sink, a Corian bathtub and a shower made entirely of Carrara marble, a heated towel rail and Agape products. There is also a security guard in the lobby, a gym, a rooftop with a view of the city and even a dryer. Parking, on the other hand, is lacking.
The property was first put up for sale for $2.4 million while the market was "dormant," according to the sellers. Now they promise that public interest is back big time. People are probably less enthusiastic with the religion part and more excited due to the fact that lofts in the East Village are simply a rarity.