Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture: Mikveh Israel and the Midcentury American Synagogue

Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture: Mikveh Israel and the Midcentury American Synagogue

by Susan G. Solomon

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Overview

Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture: Mikveh Israel and the Midcentury American Synagogue by Susan G. Solomon

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781584657880
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2009
Series: Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life
Pages: 236
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.

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