There is Nothing Left of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol on Norfolk Street

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 at 5:06 am by

The arson attack against Beth Hamedrash Hagadol on Norfolk Street hollowed out the 167-year-old synagogue. Yet, any hope of the remains being incorporated into the planned development on its ashes is dashed.

Just take a look. There is nothing left of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol.

The tragedy compounded Monday morning thanks to the fatal structural collapse of the then-still-standing south tower. While in the process of razing the destabilized tower, the masonry collapsed and trapped two construction workers. Both were rushed to the hospital, where one later died and the other remained in serious condition.

Department of Buildings, meanwhile, issued a stop-work order which was later rescinded to allow for “demo of brick wall to a safe level.” Which is what’s happening now.

The Beth Hamedrash Hagadol structure dated back to 1850, when it was erected as a Baptist church. The synagogue took over three decades later. It became one of the first city landmarks, receiving designation in 1967. It fell into dormancy and disrepair over the last decade. A teenage arsonist named David Diaz set the three-alarm blaze in May 2017, but for reasons unclear, was released from custody and not charged by NYPD.

The site itself will be redeveloped into two-towered residential building.

Recent Stories

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]

Filmmaker to Get ‘High on Ludlow Street’ with New Documentary [INTERVIEW]

One filmmaker is on a quest exhume the history of Ludlow Street with a forthcoming documentary series called High on Ludlow Street. What follows is an interview with Charles Libin, who talks about the so-called “gift of Ludlow,” memories on the block, challenges of making the film, and the current state of his beloved street. […]

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]

Gaia Cafe Planning February Return with New Essex Street Locale

Gaia Italian Cafe, a locals favorite, is gearing up for a return. An early pandemic victim, Gaia shuttered its sub-level operations in the summer of 2020 after nearly a decade on East Houston. Then word came through last July that namesake chef-owner Gaia Bagnasacco signed a lease for the ground floor of 119 Essex Street, […]

‘Be My Baby’ and a Strange 1965 Visit to Parisi Bakery (Ronnie Spector RIP)

Ronnie Spector, the chanteuse who fronted the Ronettes in the 1960s with her signature vocal yearning, died yesterday. She was 78. She passed after “a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement from her family. In tribute to her life and music, we’re re-publishing the following piece from a few years ago highlighting the […]