In 1961, famed architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974) received a commission to design a new synagogue. His client was one of the oldest Sephardic Orthodox congregations in the United States: Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel. Due to the loss of financial backing, Kahn’s plans were never realized. Nevertheless, the haunting and imaginative schemes for Mikveh Israel remain among Kahn’s most revered designs.
Susan G. Solomon uses Kahn’s designs for Mikveh Israel as a lens through which to examine the transformation of the American synagogue from 1955 to 1970. She shows how Kahn wrestled with issues that challenged postwar Jewish institutions and evaluates his creative attempts to bridge modernism and Judaism. She argues that Kahn provided a fresh paradigm for synagogues, one that offered innovations in planning, decoration, and the incorporation of light and nature into building design.
|Publisher:||Brandeis University Press|
|Series:||Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
SUSAN G. SOLOMON is the author of American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space (UPNE 2005) and Louis I. Kahn’s Trenton Jewish Community Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and heads her own research firm, Curatorial Resources & Research in Princeton, New Jersey.