From Synagogue to Cultural Center

A historic photograph of the Vilna Shul (left) and a schematic rendering of proposed exterior alterations (right)

Boston’s last remaining immigrant era synagogue, the Vilna Shul on Phillips Street in Beacon Hill, now serves as Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture. A destination and place of learning for anyone interested in Jewish history, culture and spirituality, this 1919 synagogue is a must-see historic site for visitors to Boston and a unique community venue for events. SSV has participated in numerous phases at this National Historic Landmark, including exterior preservation, structural stabilization, window restoration, masonry repairs and repointing, and master planning. Revitalization of the interior has included the exposure and restoration of wall murals dating to the 1920s that had been hidden under layers of paint.

SSV recently renovated the lower level for a contemporary, open, multipurpose Community Room, by taking out a central spine of columns and installing large steel transfer beams. On the same level, major excavation and underpinning was performed to create new office space under the existing Women’s Gallery. SSV also introduced handicapped access via an exterior ramp and an interior vertical lift.Other work included the installation of a new HVAC system for the entire building.

The work that SSV did was recently highlighted in the Boston Magazine Article, showcasing the recent renovations done at the Vilna Shul and how its history and significance impact the vibrant Jewish community in Boston today. Read more about it here.

Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt / 1 Thompson Square / Charlestown MA 02129 / T 617.861.4291 / © 2020 by Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt Architects

  • Facebook Social Icon