Agudas Achim – 2015 Most Endangered

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Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation was designed by the architectural firm of Dubin & Eisenberg and constructed in Chicago’s Uptown community in 1922. Changing demographics within recent decades have led to a dwindling of the congregation. The result has been deferred maintenance to the building over the past several years. The building has also been recently vacated.

Described as “the last grand Chicago synagogue” its construction was a result of a merging of two congregations, the First Hungarian Congregation, known as “Agudath Achim” founded in 1884 on Chicago’s West Side and the former Uptown community based North Shore Congregation known as the “Sons of lsrael”.

Agudas Achim Synagogue is a magnificent structure, built in a combination of styles and detailing including influences of the Romanesque-Revival style (particularly at the arched entry to the synagogue) and with Spanish and Art Deco influences on the upper walls and cresting. However, the massing, volume and overall composition of the building was considered thoroughly modern for its time in 1922. This design effect still presents a stark contrast with the surrounding buildings with its massive walls and side setbacks of cream-colored brick and stone

The interior of the building IS highly ornamented with an impressive 2 200 seat sanctuary located on the second floor of the building The sanctuary with its grand volume, high clerestory and sloping ceiling features a beautiful chancel archway and an ark cabinet designed and commissioned by the architect of the synagogue, Henry Dubin and constructed in Italian mosaic tiles by German craftsman its brilliant and intricate patterns of rich gold blue and green colors radiate beautiful hues of color which stand in front of a large arched stained glass window containing some of the same j9WG| tones as the ark cabinet

The building had been recently listed for sale and it is thought that a developer may purchase the structure and that the historic property may be threatened by a potential demolition

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