638 East 6th Street | Block : 387 | Lot #128
Description & Building Alterations
This three story, three bay, masonry structure has a symmetrical facade clad in gray brick with red brick at the top floor set at a 45 degree angle creating an interesting pattern. The parapet is peaked at the center and has a bracketed cornice. The windows are double hung with small square panes around a large center pane. There is a large rose window at the third floor flanked by horseshoe arch windows and decorative egg and dart molding around each. At the center of the second floor is a double hung window capped by a Gothic arched window and also surrounded by egg and dart molding. The round arched entry surround has a replacement door but still maintains the egg and dart molding at the top.
The 1853 map illustrates a brick dwelling at this location. By 1868 the structure is a two story store or warehouse and by 1893 it is a brick building with an iron front. The first record of this building comes from an alteration permit in 1869, indicating that the building was being used as an office. A decade later, the building was converted into a synagogue for the Congregation Ahawath Yeshurun Shara Torah. In 1900 in addition to other renovations, ritual baths were built in the basement. The building was used as a synagogue until the 1970’s when the 6th Street Block Association which would become the 6th Street Community Center began to use the building. Some architectural features pointing to its past have been retained, including a Hebrew Inscription over the entry door.
Block : 387 / Lot : 128 / Building Date : 1846 / Original Owner : William Shay / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Unknown