Here in Los Angeles, I found another synagogue that is undergoing a restoration project! The Wilshire Blvd. Temple started out as the first congregation (B'nai Brith) in L.A. in 1862. The Reform congregation built a new building in 1929 in a Byzantine revival mood. Today, the synagogue is undergoing a $175 million renovation! Hoping to get a sneak peak into the building, we drove down Wilshire Blvd. to find this gem. I immediately recognized the building, covered in scaffolding and plastic. We turned down the street right next to the building and I quickly jumped out next to the side door to see if I could pop in for a visit. Although I didn't actually get to go into the synagogue, I did run into a lady who works there who was going home for the evening. I asked her if I could take a look inside. Nope. The building is "hard-hat only" until 2013 (at least!). Wow, I thought. This project is quite an undertaking. Although I was in awe of the scale and beauty of the pictures I saw online, I sighed with relief that our little Reform synagogue in Ligonier has been so well cared for over the years!
Here are some links to the Wilshire Blvd. Temple website and an article in the LA Times detailing the renovations.