Monday, January 6, 2014

Temple Concord Added to Website

Syracuse, NY. Temple Concord.  Photo: Louis Davidson.  See more at

Syracuse's Temple Concord Added to Website
by Samuel D. Gruber

Spectacular photos of the National Register listed Temple Concord in Syracuse have been added to the impressive website  The synagogue, built in 1910-11 was designed by architects Alfred Taylor and Arnold W. Brunner.  The congregation is the oldest existing Jewish institution in Central New York, and the synagogue is the oldest extant synagogue in the region. Visit the site and see the Temple Concord pictures - but don't stop there.  Explore some of the other remarkable and often beautiful buildings represented.

Oklahoma-based photographer Louis Davidson started the ambitious site several years ago, and now has provided 360-degree panoramic pictures of almost 250 synagogues worldwide.  These views and the accompanying single point-of-view shots provide the very best imagery of existing synagogues anywhere.  We can only hope that Louis and his wife Ronnie can continue their travels, and the pace and quality of their work.  Eighty-four American synagogues have now been added with more to come, and the Davidsons recently were in Europe again, too.  

Louis Davidson was in Syracuse last summer, also stopping in Rochester, Tupper Lake and Troy.  I introduced him to Temple Concord and Temple Adath, and got to see him at work.  He moves fast.  Louis is a photographer, but he is trained as an architect and so has an architect's eye. He is not an historian or art historian - but his photos provide the resource for scholars and students alike to carry out more studies - especially comparative studies - about synagogue design, form and decoration. is a regular source for my Jewish Art and Architecture classes, so I'm glad to have Syracuse represented - and look so good!

I would like to see a project like Davidson's - even without the 360-degree imaging - that will document all the religious buildings in Syracuse and throughout Central New York.  My colleague Bruce Harvey has been doing some terrific large format black and white documentation of local churches (and also Temple Concord).  This work should be funded and expanded.

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