In this April 4, 2008 photo of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in lower Manhattan, the front and part of the side of a three-story building is visible. The front shows two rectangular towers, one on each side of a recessed bay. All are clad in tan stucco, which is stained in places.

(JTA) — A wall of a former historic synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan collapsed, killing a construction worker and injuring another.

The 167-year-old Beth Hamedrash Hagadol building had been seriously damaged in a fire, blamed on arson, in 2017. It was being transformed into a mixed-use building in a development project that was meant to preserve parts of the building, including the south tower wall that collapsed on Monday, WCBS-TV reported.

The workers were trapped beneath the rubble after the collapse. Stanislaw Supinski, 52, an immigrant from Poland who lived in Queens, was killed.

Built in 1850 as a Baptist church, the building was purchased in 1885 to become the first Eastern European congregation founded in New York City and served Russian Jews. The congregation closed the synagogue in 2007 after determining it did not have the $3 million to $4 million needed for repairs.

In 1967, the building was declared a city landmark, and in 2003 it was designated an endangered historic site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here