I recently saw that this beautiful building is being stripped / prepped for refurbishment so Geo and I blasted across the hills following a flyer from work to take a look.
Built in 1937 The art-deco building is the work of the notable Liverpool architect Sir Ernest Alfred Shennan. Most of his other work is also in Merseyside and comprises a diversity of building types. His inter-war designs included Westminster Banks; five cinemas including the listed Forum Cinema on Lime Street, Liverpool; restaurant interiors (The French Café and Arabic Café, both 1933, Liverpool); dance halls (The Grafton Rooms, Liverpool, 1934); hotels and office blocks. Greenbank Drive is Shennan’s only synagogue and is very different to the rest of his oeuvre up to that time which, apart from the banks, was distinctive art deco.
The Synagogue was listed in 1983, but that listing was upgraded to a Grade II* after closure in 2008 thanks to pressure by the Twentieth Century Society. It was once the largest expanse of roof unsupported by pillars anywhere in the country. The synagogue has received a substantial redevelopment grant and is on all those Heritage At Risk lists.
According to the C20 Society, The Synagogue is architecturally by far the most important and innovatory 20th century synagogue in England and is the finest surviving synagogue in Europe dating from the inter-war period. It also has important socio-historic significance as representing a last late optimistic cultural expression of European Jewry before the holocaust.
Some high ISO photographs.
Kosher split kitchen.