One prominent landmark of lower Beacon Street marks the transition of Brookline from a predominantly Christian community to one with a large Jewish population. Ohabei Shalom is the oldest Hebrew congregation in the Boston area and one of two congregations building temples along the North Brookline streetcar lines in the 1920s. The present Hebrew school to the right of the synagogue was erected first, in 1925, with the temple completed in 1927. With its lively use of polychromatic masonry and Byzantine ornament, all surmounted by a great copper dome, the congregation boasts the most architecturally outstanding synagogue in the area. Interestingly, Clarence Blackall also designed many of Boston's palatial theaters (TD6, TD9, TD15, and TD16) and the Tremont Temple (BD5.1), another religious building with a large auditorium. For all its imposing visual presence, however, Temple Ohabei Shalom fits comfortably in a streetscape consisting largely of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century row houses and apartment blocks.
- Keith N. Morgan
Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, p. 496.
SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012. Online. http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-BR5. Accessed 2014-04-19.