Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City)

Coordinates: 40°51′13″N 73°56′15″W / 40.85361°N 73.93750°W / 40.85361; -73.93750
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Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights
(formerly Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist)
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City) is located in New York City
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City)
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City) is located in New York
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City)
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City) is located in the United States
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (New York City)
Location551 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, New York
Coordinates40°51′13″N 73°56′15″W / 40.85361°N 73.93750°W / 40.85361; -73.93750
ArchitectWilliam John Cherry and Herbert E. Matz of the Cherry & Matz firm
Architectural styleArt Deco
WebsiteHebrew Tabernacle Congregation
NRHP reference No.11000620[1]
Added to NRHPAugust 31, 2011

The Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights is an historic domed Art Deco style building and Reform synagogue. It is located at 551 Fort Washington Avenue, on the corner of 185th Street, in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.[2][3][4]


Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights, 2013


Designed by architects Cherry & Matz of Manhattan, the building was built during the years 1931 to 1932 at 551 Fort Washington Avenue, across from Bennett Park on West 185th Street.[5] It is Art Deco, with a bold and chalky limestone facade, with stainless steel and brass.[5][6]


It was built as Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, founded in 1896 as West Side Church of Christ, Scientist, to replace its Solon Spencer Beman designed Neoclassical building at West 178th Street and Fort Washington Avenue, which it had sold to provide land for the George Washington Bridge. Fourth Church is no longer in existence.[7]


The Hebrew Tabernacle Congregation purchased the building in 1973, as the church faced a dwindling congregation and increasing costs, and the building became a synagogue. The Hebrew Tabernacle Congregation, founded in 1905 in Harlem by German-Jewish founders, had outgrown its 1920s building on West 161st Street between Broadway and Fort Washington Avenue, and its Jewish congregants there were becoming increasingly isolated.[8][9][10]

As of 1982, many of the synagogue's members had come to New York in the 1930s as Jewish refugees from central Europe (in fact, so many German Jews were in the neighborhood, that it was jokingly referred to as "Frankfurt on the Hudson"), and the synagogue had 500 families as members.[11][12] It is a Reform synagogue, and a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.[2]

On August 31, 2011, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[13][14]

Notable members of the Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Hebrew Tabernacle Bulletin, January–February 2019
  3. ^ Sibylle Quack (2002). Between Sorrow and Strength; Women Refugees of the Nazi Period, Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ Moses Rischin, Raphael Asher (1991). The Jewish Legacy and the German Conscience; Essays in Memory of Rabbi Joseph Asher
  5. ^ a b David W. Dunlap (2004). From Abyssinian to Zion; A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship, Columbia University Press.
  6. ^ Norval White, Elliot Willensky, Fran Leadon (2010). AIA Guide to New York City, Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ The Christian Science Journal, February, 2007, p. 110
  8. ^ Robert W. Snyder (2014).Crossing Broadway; Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, Cornell University Press.
  9. ^ Kerry M. Olitzky, Marc Lee Raphael (1996). The American Synagogue; A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook
  10. ^ Steven M. Lowenstein (1989). Frankfurt on the Hudson; The German-Jewish Community of Washington Heights, 1933-1983, Its Structure and Culture, Wayne State University Press.
  11. ^ "Hebrew Tabernacle Marking 75th Anniversary". The New York Times. May 2, 1982.
  12. ^ a b Crowns, Crosses, and Stars; My Youth in Prussia, Surviving Hitler, and a Life Beyond
  13. ^ Tony Robbins, New York Parks: Draft NRHP nomination form
  14. ^ "National Park Service: NRHP weekly listings dated September 9, 2011".
  15. ^ Matthew Kassel (April 13, 2021). "Mark Levine, NYC's pandemic darling, vies for Manhattan borough president". Jewish Insider.
  16. ^ Julia Gergely (November 2, 2021). "NYC mayoral and City Council elections: Here's what Jewish voters need to know". Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

External links[edit]