History victory! Library and synagogue win big in contest

Make history! Pick which Brooklyn preservation project gets big bucks

Two ailing historic buildings will get hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovations after placing at the top of a citywide preservation contest.

Brooklyn Public Library won first prize, besting rivals across the river such as the Guggenheim Museum to snag $250,000 to repair its broken-but-beautiful front doors.

“It’s important not only for the library — but for Brooklyn,” said library spokeswoman Sacha Thompson, whose employer will use the cash to fix revolving doors that have been out of commission for a few months.

Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim synagogue got the second-most votes in the Partners in Preservation contest, snagging $250,000 to fix its boarded-up stain glass windows as part of a bigger restoration project that includes repairing its roof and facade.

“We’re thrilled,” said synagogue director Cindy Greenberg. “It’s amazing we beat some of New York’s finest institutions.”

Both buildings received eight percent of total votes in the competition, which is sponsored by American Express.

Brooklynites cast online ballots for their favorite preservation projects including returning the B&B Carousell to Coney Island and building a bulkhead at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center.

Other prize winners include a botanical garden and a museum in the Bronx.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Park Slope's Congregation Beth Elohim will get $250,000 in grant money to fix its historic building.
The Brooklyn Paper / Gersh Kuntzman