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Buffalo at the CrossroadsThe Past, Present, and Future of American Urbanism$
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Peter H. Christensen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749766

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749766.001.0001

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Max Abramovitz’s Temple Beth Zion

Max Abramovitz’s Temple Beth Zion

“An Airport for the Spirit, Where the Soul Takes Off for Heaven”

(p.110) Chapter 5 Max Abramovitz’s Temple Beth Zion
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Francis R. Kowsky

Cornell University Press

This chapter refers to Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, a significant example of mid-twentieth-century modern architecture that was designed by prominent New York architect Max Abramovitz. It describes the Temple Beth Zion as a four-part complex that consists of the synagogue, a two-story religious school building, a multipurpose auditorium, and a chapel. It also talks about how Abramovitz turned to the aesthetic of neo-expressionism and brutalism for Temple Beth Zion, which is termed the antirational trends that appeared in postwar modernism. The chapter recounts the deep roots of Temple Beth Zion in the Buffalo community, tracing its origin to the late 1840s and referencing it as the fourth reform congregation in America.

Keywords:   Buffalo, Temple Beth Zion, modern architecture, neo-expressionism, reform congregation

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