Central Synagogue, designated a New York City Landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1975, is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in New York City and one of the leading Reform congregations in the country. On August 28, 1998, a fire was accidentally ignited as workers were concluding a three-year renovation of the building. The roof and its supports were destroyed and several support beams fell, penetrating the sanctuary floor. The choir loft and organ were completely destroyed. Miraculously, the ark was spared because it was under a separate roof. The Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) remained in place as did the mezuzah on the center door where it remained throughout the reconstruction
The Gabe M. Wiener Memorial Organ, donated by the Wiener family and installed during reconstruction, is an extraordinary instrument commissioned and built for the specific requirements of the congregation’s worship services and music program. It is comprised of two consoles and 4,345 pipes, 55 stops, and 74 ranks, located in the front and rear of the sanctuary. It replaces a 1926 Kilgen organ of 1,552 pipes that was destroyed in the fire.
The LARES system was installed in conjunction with the organ to enable the instrument to achieve its full potential, and to further the music program at Central Synagogue.
Acoustical Consulting Firm:SIA Acoustics
Acoustical Consultant: Sam Berkow
Contracting Firm: Altel
Venue Capacity 1400