History victory! Library and synagogue win big in contest

for The Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

dave from park slope says:
great news!
May 29, 2012, 9:38 am
Jbob from PS says:
Can we enter Beth Elohim whenever we want to view these "public" treasures?
May 29, 2012, 11:27 am
Jerry from Grand Army Plaza says:
There are many problems here-the main problem being that $250,000 is what it will cost to fix only one of the doors, which will render the entrance very dangerous. It would certainly make more sense to put another $250,000 into the other door. So the 2nd problem: Do you see Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim synagogue doing the right thing by giving up their share of the prize money so that something can be done correctly (because, frankly, $250,000 isn't enough to fix the toilet in that synagogue)? Neither do I.
May 29, 2012, 11:53 am
Boner from Bed Stuy says:
"a museum in the Bronx" that's some real thorough stuff right there.
May 29, 2012, 3:18 pm
Pete from Slope says:

Library Yay!
Synagogue nay- (not public).
May 30, 2012, 11:41 am
Lloyd from the Slope says:
Note to Jerry from GAP: The board at Beth Elohim just gifted Old First Church $15K for their ceiling fund. These two Park Slope congregations have a history of helping each other out. So yeah, CBE does the right thing by us.
May 30, 2012, 7:17 pm
nancy from coney says:
hey the public should fund religious orginations thats what their congregations are for you would never hear of them giving money to a catholic church or mosque ever hear of seperatio of church and state the money should have went to the bandb coney merry go round
May 30, 2012, 10:26 pm
nancy from coney says:
i meant they shouldnt fund religious organizations typing 2 fast
May 30, 2012, 10:27 pm

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