PKSB Architects

Park Ave Synagogue


Park Ave Synagogue | NEW YORK, NY

As one of the foremost conservative congregations in the country, the Park Avenue Synagogue is a revered Jewish landmark. The sanctuary in particular, with its dramatic skylight, pendant lighting and memorial windows, holds a special place in the hearts of its congregants. In recent years, however, the sanctuary began to suffer from age and had clearly lost the original luster it once held. PKSB was retained to give new life to the sanctuary by restoring it to its former grandeur.

The primary function of PKSB’s design approach was to respect the history and sentimentality associated with the existing space. Rather than tear down the walls or just replace old with new, a lighter hand was used to polish and embellish the elements already in place. PKSB worked with the congregation to define the critical changes necessary to have the greatest effect. With a focus on selective details (improvements to the ark wall, lighting, new paint, carpeting and new podiums and chairs for the bimah), the sanctuary is refreshed without being overstated. This sensitive renovation establishes a balance between new and old and places the synagogue once again as a source of great pride in the Jewish Community.