New York City’s Central Synagogue was built in 1872 in the Moorish Revival style as a copy of Budapest’s Dohány Street Synagogue. Designed by Henry Fernbach, it is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in New York City and one of the leading Reform congregations in the United States. It was designated a NYC Landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
The building was restored in 2001 after an accidental fire ignited the roof in August 1998. Though the roof and its supports were destroyed as a result of the fire, UBS’s shoring kept the building standing during restoration. The marble plaques on the north wall of the foyer honor the firefighters of NYFD’s 8th Battalion for saving the skeleton of the building, the exterior walls, all the windows on the main and gallery floors, and the rose window on the east wall over the choir loft.