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Adas Israel, Washington’s Oldest Synagogue, Completes Move; Will Be Museum

Washington’s oldest synagogue has completed a two-day move on 28 balloon tires to a new site and a new role as a museum operated by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. The 93 year-old building was the home of Washington’s Adas Israel Congregation when it opened its doors in 1876. It has not been used as a house of worship since 1908 but was retained by the congregation and recently declared an historic landmark.

The Historical Society acquired the building but it had to be moved to a new site to make way for Washington’s subway system. It took two days to move the 270-ton, 58-by-25-foot structure to its new location three blocks from the old site. A Virginia-based moving firm received a $45,000 contract for the job. The Historical Society conducted ceremonies today celebrating the preservation of the building.