A couple of years ago, we first brought you the news that Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 N. Broad St. would be expanding to the south with a new building, designed by KieranTimberlake. It's amazing to look back at that post, and realize that it came on the heels of the completion of the renovation at 600 on Broad, home to Route 6, Vie, Alla Spina, and a bunch of apartments. Like that adaptive reuse project, the synagogue's expansion should add some additional energy to North Broad Street. Sure, most of that energy will be of the spiritual variety, but still.

Facade on Broad Street

The gorgeous Moorish synagogue was built in 1928, designed by Simon & Simon. Back in October, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new building. The addition will eventually contain additional classrooms, a new community room on the corner of Broad & Green, an enclosed courtyard, new office space, and an expanded gallery space for the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art. Improved accessibility and a couple of green features are also included. Thankfully, the architects designed a new structure that doesn't attempt to replicate the historic building next door. Instead, we see a new structure that will complement the striking older building, and allow its congregation to step squarely into the 21st century, architecturally.

Under construction

Project rendering

We look forward to seeing this project completed in the next couple of years. When we wrote our original post, the fundraising for the project only totaled $12M out of an $18M goal. Since then, the synagogue has raised another $4.5M, bringing their fundraising total that much closer. Hopefully, they'll reach their goal in the year to come, and will be able to enjoy their new building for decades to come and more.