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93-year-old Washington Synagogue, Bought by Historical Society, Will Be Moved

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A 93-year-old synagogue building that once housed Washington’s Adas Israel congregation will be moved virtually intact next month to a new location three blocks from its present one so that it can be preserved as an historic site. The brick and wood structure was purchased by the Jewish Historical Society of Washington from the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority which is building a subway where the synagogue originally stood. The Historical Society, a non-profit group, paid a token fee of $10 and is seeking a Federal grant for historic preservation.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed tentatively to pay half of the $150,000 moving cost. The balance and funds for restoration of the building will come from bank leans secured by personal notes of leaders of the Jewish Historical Society. The synagogue was constructed in 1876. Adas Israel moved out in 1908 but retained the property which has now been sold to the Transit Authority.

The lower floor of the synagogue had been converted to stores. Only the upper floor, containing the sanctuary, will be moved to the new site which the Historical Society has leased from the District of Columbia government. It will be put on a new foundation. The old synagogue is of Federal style architecture. The interior is of pine paneling painted white and is well preserved.

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