2432 N TEUTONIA AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
2432 N TEUTONIA AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue
Other Name:Greater Galilee Missionary
Reference Number:29082
Location (Address):2432 N TEUTONIA AVE
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1925
Survey Date:197520152023
Historic Use:synagogue/temple
Architectural Style:Exotic Revivals
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Herman Bruns
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue
National Register Listing Date:3/5/1992
State Register Listing Date:1/27/1992
Additional Information:"A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office.

2023- resurveyed as part of Milwaukee Houses of Worship thematic survey.

This compact rectangular building topped by copper-domed towers, was originally built for an orthodox Jewish congregation. A round art-glass window framed by a massive central arch, and a slightly curving front gable with a teardrop finial dominates the facade. Beth Israel's domes, thin-arched motifs, patterned-brick façade, monumental grand staircase, and chaste detailing, imposing form and stocky massing recall Polish synagogues in Posnan and Regensburg. Inside, the main sanctuary rises more than two stories high, to a large, circular, amber-glass skylight. An art-glass circular window in the vestibule lights the women’s gallery in this formerly Jewish Orthodox synagogue where men and women worshipped in segregated settings. Backlit art-glass intrados punch through the vaulting at the front of the church to display beautifully intricate, abstract patterns, some suggesting the Star of David. As Milwaukee’s north-side Jewish population waned in the early 1960s, one of the city's oldest and largest African-American congregations, Greater Galilee Baptist Church, moved into the building. The new owners removed or toned down its exotic stencil and plasterwork embellishments and greatly modified the front of the nave, but they retained the tile and mosaic floors, most of the plasterwork trim, and the elaborate art glass in the vaulting. The focal area that formerly housed the Jewish congregation’s Torah scrolls was converted to a baptismal font to welcome the newest members of Greater Galilee’s congregation. (Paul Jakubovich, Buildings of Wisconsin)."
Bibliographic References:Date of construction, designer: building permit Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript. "Lay Cornerstone of New Beth Israel Synagogue Sunday," Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 3 July 1925, 1/5.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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