Sixth Street Community Synagogue

New York City, New York (1847)

The Building: 
The Sixth Street Community Synagogue was originally the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Mark, built in a renaissance revival style in 1847. Much of the church membership was killed in the 1904 General Slocum steamboat disaster in which the boat caught fire on the East River and more than 1,000 people perished. Thereafter, Germans began moving uptown and eventually abandoned the church.

The building stood empty for years afterward until it was brought back to life in 1940 by a group of Jewish visionaries who converted it to a Community Synagogue. The distinctive, pre-Civil War structure is a stately red-bricked building and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It is located within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District created in October 2012.

Project Synopsis: 
HPCS USA conducted an assessment of the 3000 sq. ft. flat plaster-on-wood-lath ceiling and cornices, which revealed that a high percentage of the plaster keys were broken or missing, and that the plaster matrix itself had deteriorated into powder.

From the attic side of the ceiling, HPCS USA consolidated the plaster with direct applications of various dilutions of acrylic resin, which bonded the plaster to its wood lath substrate and infused the powdery plaster matrix. The ceiling cornices were treated from a remote location. The work is guaranteed for 25 years.

Sixth Street Community Synagogue interior
Sixth Street Community Synagogue interior.
Historic Plaster Conservation Services