Over 155 years after its dedication, Plum Street Temple continues to be at the center of religious and cultural life at Isaac M. Wise Temple. A national historic monument since 1975, the building has been beautifully preserved through the generations. However Plum Street Temple is not a museum to the past; it is a living, dynamic sanctuary, where Wise Temple members and guests regularly come together for weekly Shabbat services, along with many other life milestones and celebrations.
With the goals of remembering the building’s incredible past, while creating a vibrant space for today and the future, the Wise Temple congregation is devoted to Plum Street’s maintenance and preservation. This devotion is reflected by extensive restoration and renovation projects to the interior and exterior of the building over past decades and the development of the Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund. Through these projects, our community fulfills its sacred obligation to Plum Street Temple and to those who built it so many years ago.
And so begins our next chapter, as we embark on both interior and exterior projects in 2023 and 2024. We invite you to peruse the photos and descriptions below outlining the extensive work to be tackled, keeping in mind that these project, estimated to cost over $1,000,000 combined, is fully funded through the Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund. As you read more about these and past renovation projects at Plum Street, we encourage you to check back on this page in the coming weeks and months as we post photos of the progress. Should you wish to lend your support to future Plum Street Temple repairs, restoration, and preservation, please consider a donation today.
From December 2023 through February 2024 we will be
undertaking an exciting project on the lower level of Plum Street Temple.
We are removing all carpet and ceiling tiles on the lower level, and pulling up
floorboards to get down to the foundation. We have several goals in doing
After completing these tasks, we will replace the lights with LED fixtures, put in new ceiling tiles and put down new carpet.
While doing these projects on the lower level, a crew will also be working in the sanctuary to remediate moisture issues near one of the windows and to repaint where the moisture has damaged the surrounding arch.
This project is estimated to cost just over $400,000.
This summer’s work on Plum Street Temple focused on needed exterior sandstone cleaning, cornice and carpentry repairs, and painting of external sheet metal, wood windows, doors and railings. As the graphics and images highlight, locations of these repairs vary extensively with regard to ease of access and height off the ground. As a result, costs associated with the requisite work include permits, scaffolding, lifts, cranes, and engineering tools needed to ensure safety of the structure during the project. The project cost approximately $650,000 to complete.
Below are in-progress photos of the 2023 restoration project.
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