Smack dab in the middle of the revival of North Broad Street, you can easily spot Congregation Rodeph Shalom, located at 615 N. Broad St., pretty much across the street from the newly redeveloped 600 N. Broad Street. The congregation has made this address its home since 1871, and has resided in their current striking building since 1928.
And such ornate details
The congregation has experienced significant growth in recent years, and as a result, is planning an expansion of their facilities. The new addition, according to this article from the Jewish Exponent, will add over 27K sqft to the synagogue. It will include a two-story day care center, administrative offices, a multi-purpose room, and a drop-off driveway. The addition, designed by KieranTimberlake, will cost about $18M, of which $12M has been raised thus far.
Current view, from the south
Rendering of the existing building plus the new addition
From the looks of it, a previous expansion occurred at some point to the west, which attempted to quietly blend in with the original building. The new structure will have a distinctly contemporary look, drawing a sharp contrast with the Moorish-style, Deco accented front of the synagogue. This will be a break from the look of most of the other buildings in the area, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Attempting to cleave to the architecture next door would almost definitely come off as a poor imitation, so it’s good to see the designers make a strong choice for contrast.
This is yet another sign the North Broad Street corridor heading in the right direction. Let us hope that whatever path is ultimately chosen for the Divine Lorraine represents a similarly positive step.