jewish immigrants

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How the Synagogue Where George Burns Worshipped Became an Artist’s Studio

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The preserved façade at 58-60 Rivington Street (Photo: Daniel Hoffman)

Hale Gurland was among the aspiring artists, bohemians, and hippies who crowded Soho in the 1970s. From the small room he rented on Wooster Street, the Jewish sculptor and painter ventured out one day in 1973 to buy a pair of cheap shoes. On his way, he noticed a derelict synagogue with a “For Sale” sign at 58-60 Rivington, at the corner of Elridge, a scene he described in a magazine interview a couple of years ago: “People were going inside the building because the doors were out, junkies were shooting up. I walked in, and the place looked like Dresden after the bombs.”

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When the Forward Building Rose Over the Lower East Side ‘Like a Colossus’

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

Facade of the Jewish Daily Forward Building.

Facade of the Jewish Daily Forward Building.

On a warm June night in 2008 two officers of the NYPD’s 7th precinct picked up actress Tatum O’Neal as she was buying crack-cocaine outside her condo building in the Lower East Side. She told police she was researching an acting role.
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