(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.