207 East 7th Street | Block : 390 | Lot #52
Description & Building Alterations
A synagogue designed by the architecture firm Bernstein & Bernstein was constructed on this lot in 1910 for the Congregation B’nai Rappeport. When it was first constructed, the building was occupied by the congregation, which used it as a synagogue. It was a neo-Classical inspired tenement-style synagogue with a bold facade featuring lateral rusticated bands of limestone. The building was abandoned in the mid 1970s and was demolished in 1996. Today it is the Graffiti Church, which started out by serving the children of the drug controlled culture of Alphabet City in the early 1970s. The change in types of ownership reflects the different demographics that occupied the neighborhood throughout the years.
The red brick façade has a geometric style, which is found in the frieze and surrounding the windows. The entrance is enhanced by long rounded arches and a round window. The brick facade retains some remnants retrieved from the demolished synagogue. In 1853, this lot was occupied by the New York Dispensary for Poor Women and Children started by Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive her medical degree.
Block : 390 / Lot : 052 / Building Date : c. 2000 / Original Owner : East 7 Street Baptist Ministry / Original Use : Religious Institution / Original Architect : Simon Fouladian