Temple Brith Sholom
117 Madison Street, Cortland, New York
The problem was a typical one facing small congregations with very limited budgets. This congregation consisted of approximately forty families with a maximum budget of $100,000. Seligmann understood that to be able to make this building “a useful instrument for the congregation practically every space had to be designed to serve a dual function.” Indeed this was the synagogue of which Seligmann was a member.
The sanctuary needed, for normal occasions, to accommodate 60 to 75 people, while on high holidays and festive occasions it had to accommodate some 250. The social hall needed to accommodate 150 people with banquet-type seating. Three classrooms and an office were also required.
The site is on the corner of two residential streets in an older area of the city. The site diagonally across the corner is occupied by a church. The two street sides face north and west. Approach to the site is principally from Madison Street, a branch of the main north/south street of the town. The site had been recently filled to permit construction, but was known to flood.
All photos by Eduard Hueber