Loop Synagogue Case Study

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The 1950’s marked the beginning of an evolution in Chicago architecture, which would be a dramatic contrast to the two previous decades. These earlier years were characterized by stunted architectural growth and reform, and the lack of advancement was largely due to the shortage of funding associated with the Great Depression and World War II. In the midst of this new era of development, architectural firms Loebl and Schlossman & Bennett were commissioned to reconstruct the Loop Synagogue in 1957 (Figure 1) after the original building was lost to a fire. In order to both reflect industrialism and provide a functional space within the transitioning city, the Loop Synagogue was designed to incorporate modern ideals into the building. Additionally, implementation of the smaller, ornate details of the building were decisions made by the firms in order to provide a “planned experience” for visitors that would maintain traditionally religious aspects. This arrangement would ultimately create a fusion of both city and religious life that would mirror the atmosphere of the time …show more content…
Along the walls of the interior are bronze plaques the commemorate the names of those who have passed away. Bennett in particular was proud of the rings that he designed in order to hold up candles that would illuminate the names found on the plaques. This represents an interesting contrast to previously described modern features of the building, because most architectural firms would choose to install an electrical bulb. However, because Bennett did not like to connotations of having to switch on and off the light that appeared next to a deceased person’s name, he specifically created the ring that would hold the candle behind the plaque. In this case, it was decided to use the more traditional, but not convenient option of providing light for the ornamental

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