The original chandeliers were gas. These modern reproductions are to look like the previous gas versions. After the fire, we found the original gas pipe in the rafters that fed the original gas fixtures.
In the late 1800's, people thought that air flow helped prevent tuberculosis. The building was originally equipped with a vent at the top of the building. We restored to a newer style exhaust fan and replicated the vent that was originally at the top of the roof, since the previous one was removed.
The building had a single wood stove to heat the sanctuary. This modern reproduction shows an example of what likely would be there. The vent pipe went up to a brick flue and out the chimney.
The pews at St. George Episcopal Church looked just like the ones seen in the 1894 photo of the Temple Israel interior and were likely originally made from the same manufacturer. We custom made these based on the similar design. In addition, we only made half as many as were originally in the building in order to make room for a museum in the other half.
The company who made this pump organ, United States Organ of Cleveland, Ohio, only existed for several years in the 1880s. This working pump organ was donated by Bob and Connie Primus.
These stars of David return to the building the distinction that makes this a synagogue. When digging for French drains, we found one of the original stars in the ground. Turns out that these new stars were only about an inch off in size from the original ones!
The Bimah is very similar to what was originally in the building.
The Ark is based on an old German design.
This seven arm Menorah is the standard Menorah in a Synagogue. The nine arm Menorah is used for Hanukkah to remember the eight days of the oil lamps burning.
A round window was originally in this spot and let light in from the outside. With this wall now as a fire wall separating the old building from the addition on the other side, this stained glass is lit artificially. The stained glass was donated by Edward, Carolin, and Gretchen Koplin.
This Torah was donated by Jacob and Valerie Ever. We believe it is an old Polish Torah, circa 1900 or 1910.
This Ner Tamid was donated by David Cohen. This is made of polished pewter(?) and is of an old German design. We hung the Ner Tamid with an old Victorian hook.
With the major renovation and restoration done since 2008, we have done small projects since then. The plot of land next to the synagogue was also originally owned by the old Congregation Israel (most likely as a buffer from the neighbor). The new sidewalk and paved section of road helps against erosion, but also makes the plots look better. The small hole in the sidewalk is a water valve.
No matter whether or not the original synagogue ever had a garden or planting beds, today as a museum, the landscaping in the front drastically improves the curb appeal! Likewise, the plantings help coincide with other plantings elsewhere in the town.
One feature of the old building that has stayed with the building is not even a part of the building! That object is the old fire hydrant. This series of photos show how this hydrant has stayed put despite the many other changes of the buildings, the telephone and power lines, and the addition of paved roads and sidewalks!
Temple Israel in 1894
Temple Israel in 1929
Temple Israel in 1995
Temple Israel in 2001, before the front facade restoration.
Temple Israel in 2001, after the front facade restoration.
Temple Israel circa 1940
This is the same hydrant today after many layers of paint, an increase in ground elevation, and after the sidewalk and curb were formed around it.
The writing on the bonnet states:
B. HOLLY'S PATENT SEPT 14 1869
HOLLY MF'G CO. LOCKPORT N.Y.
The Holly Manufacturing Company was established in May 1859 and
"by 1881, over 100 cities in 35 states in the United States were using the Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection."
Copyright 2017 • Temple Israel Foundation