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Temple Sinai

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1904, attributed to Ira C. Carter. 713 Hodges St.
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

Organized in 1894, the Jewish congregation of Temple Sinai met for worship in a nearby Masonic Temple until this synagogue was completed in 1904. Towers with onion domes originally stood over each end of the facade but were destroyed in a 1918 hurricane. In the building's present state, the curves of the large central window and its three surrounding arches dominate the facade. In contrast with the dark red brick walls, architectural details, all boldly three-dimensional, are of white stone. These include the paired columns with oversized capitals and rusticated impost blocks that flank the central entrance and the correspondingly oversized keystone that punctuates the voussoirs of the elliptical-arched entrance. A rusticated stone stringcourse across the facade counters its strong vertical emphasis. The interior, a single space with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and wood wainscoting, is decorated quite simply and illuminated by round-arched windows. The building's designer is believed to be Lake Charles architect Ira C. Carter. Despite the loss of the towers, the synagogue has an eye-catching presence.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley



  • 1904


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Karen Kingsley, "Temple Sinai", [Lake Charles, Louisiana], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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