Thursday, April 2, 2009

Temple Beth El, Helena

Like Helena in general, the Jewish population of the town has seen better days. When the members of Congregation Beth El reluctantly voted to disband three years ago due to their dwindling numbers, the synagogue they built in 1916 was donated to the city for use as a cultural arts center.

That conversion is now underway. A stage is being built and a geothermal heating and cooling system is being installed. (I have been re-glazing windows here this week for C/M Restoration, just one of the companies involved in the conversion.) When the work is complete, Helena will have a new performance venue that will be mindful of its past. You can read more about that past here.

I lay on the floor between pews to get as much of the stained glass domed skylight in the picture as possible. Still doesn't quite fit.

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