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The Chicago Loop Synagogue, completed in 1957, is among the last structures ever constructed in the Loop as a dedicated house of worship. Loop Synagogue’s architects adapted the design to its hyper-urban setting and used its hemmed-in site as an opportunity to achieve something introspective, inspiring, and uniquely modern. The site of today’s synagogue has been the home of its Orthodox Jewish congregation since 1929. After a fire destroyed their earlier building, the congregation rebuilt in a modern style, commissioning architects Loebl, Schlossman, & Bennett, who had a thirty-year pedigree as designers of outstanding local religious structures. For the Loop Synagogue, Loebl, Schlossman, & Bennett’s design shirked the monumentality of the firm’s early history-inspired work and instead composed the Loop Synagogue using simple planes of metal and glass. At street level, clear floor-to-ceiling storefront glass gives Loop passersby full view of the stone-lined lobby and a glimpse of the entrance to the primary worship space above. Above the street are the expansive stained glass sanctuary windows playfully capped it with jagged overhanging metal cornice. Above the main glass doors along Clark Street is a bronze and brass sculpture by Israeli sculptor Henri Azaz depicting outstretched hands. Design for the upper sanctuary is pure mid-century modern, finely-detailed but restrained in color and ornament,. Restrained, though, is not a good description for American artist Abraham Rattner’s fantastic stained glass that makes up the sanctuary’s east wall. The window’s theme was taken from Genesis’ telling of the first act of creation: “And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” And boy, is there light. Rattner’s window shatters the space’s reserved minimalism, bathing the monotone sanctuary – and any worshippers in it — in fireworks of color. Architects and stained glass artist here worked together, embracing the confines of their urban site and turned its limitations into opportunities for great architecture, lining the sanctuary walls with smooth white stone, then painting onto them with light stories and symbols of Jewish life. (Authored by John Cramer)

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Comments (38)

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Alex Bazhan on December 3, 2012

Superb city landscape! Wonderful panorama of CHICAGO! Yours faithfully, Alexey.

Tewbacka on December 4, 2012

Incredible architecture for the 50's Marlene. Still looks "right up there" Like it cheers Gary

BernardJ47 on December 4, 2012

L+F. To piękna kompozycja Marlene. Wspaniała sceneria dużego miasta. Pozdrawia Bernard

Ilie Olar on December 4, 2012

Interesting architecture! 4-24 Ysl!

Greetings from Romania, Ilie

Kalev Vask on December 4, 2012

Interesting building, good capture and as usual good photo comments.
Like With best wishes, Kalev

Godo Nikolov on December 4, 2012

Good lines and nice composition! Like! Greetings from Bulgaria.

Mircea_RAICU on December 4, 2012

Very nice , and unusual !

~Marlene~ on December 5, 2012

Nikos... Samad... Micky... Alex... Gary... Bernard... Ilie... Kalev... godonikilov... and... Mircea...

Thank you all so much for the great comment and the Likes, with extra thanks to Bernard, for the special Y*. I'm very pleased & honored! Micky... I'm happy you enjoyed the info!

Best wishes, Marlene

İsmail Taşoğlu (yemt… on December 5, 2012

Hello Marlene,

Very excellent point of view shots. Great colors. Expression of good information. Congratulations.


Best wishes, İsmail

Garzer on December 5, 2012

Beautiful photo!Like! Greetings, Klaus

cindy555 on December 5, 2012

Very nice Marlene


Have a nice day...Here yesterday a very hot 100f :-(


Martin Beitz on December 5, 2012

Now I see the diversity of the sacred architecture. ;-) Like for this unusual synagogue. Best wishes, Martin.

~Marlene~ on December 7, 2012

Ismail... Klaus... Marion... and... Martin...

Thank you all so much for the very nice comments and the Likes, with extra thanks to Ismail, for the special Y*. I appreciate it all! Martin... Chicago is known for it's unique & diverse styles of architecture, which Is why I love showing it to you!

Best wishes, Marlene

Zsuzsanna Bánfalvi on December 10, 2012

Interesting synagogue , nice photo !

Very , very nice !


My friendly greeting ,Natuska

~Marlene~ on December 11, 2012

Thank you so much, Natuska, for the lovely comment. I'm very happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

Siger2 on December 16, 2012

Nice architecture and composition ! Bravo Marlene

Greetings from Paris - France


Siger2 on December 16, 2012

Sorry... I forgot something... Like 33 !

Greetings from Paris - France


~Marlene~ on December 16, 2012

Thank you kindly, Siger2, for the very nice comment and the Like. Both are much appreciated!

Season's greetings, Marlene

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 2, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by ~Marlene~