39: Park Avenue Synagogue | MBB Architects

44m 04s |
In this episode, Cherise is joined by Mary Burnham, Founding Partner, and Sara Grant, Partner, from Murphy Burnham & Buttrick or “MBB” Architects in New York City. Mary and Sara share their experience working on the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. To meet the growing needs of one of the largest Jewish congregations in North America, MBB crafted a comprehensive plan for the Park Avenue Synagogue that transformed it from a place focused on worship into an educational and community hub.

This 6-story, 65,500-square-foot building renovation focused on creating welcoming community spaces for this vibrant and growing congregation to gather. Redesigned circulation includes a glassy stair off the lobby with materials and detailing that are consistent with the stair MBB recently designed for Park Avenue Synagogue’s Center for Lifelong Learning at 89th Street. Similar details include a vertical niche housing an installation of historic stained glassed windows created by the American artist Adolf Gottlieb for Park Avenue Synagogue during the 1950s. The installation creates a visual connection to Park Avenue Synagogue’s new, recently completed building and honors the synagogue’s rich history.

This project has unique challenges and opportunities - a compressed 18 month design and construction schedule, there were periods of occupancy for service during construction, the adaptive reuse of the existing building inspired a design that honors the synagogue’s rich history, and much more.
Topics Discussed:
Expansion Joint
Acoustic Panel
LED strip lighting
Low Iron Rated Glass

Credit: Francis Dzikowski
MBB – Drawings
MBB & Situ – Construction Photos


Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT  image
Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT
Senior Spec Writer | RDH Building Science
Mary Burnham, FAIA image
Mary Burnham, FAIA
Founding Partner | Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects
Sara Grant image
Sara Grant
Partner | Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects