One of the pioneer Reform congregations in the Midwest, the temple had occupied a churchlike building constructed by David Sprague Hopkins in 1882 at the corner of Fountain and Ransom (now in a much-altered form). German-born Mendelsohn, one of the great figures of modern architecture, who built synagogues in Cleveland, St. Paul, and St. Louis, designed this low, wide, brick and glass building with butterfly-wing roofs and an unusual sanctuary/social hall plan. Twin rooms, side by side, are separated by an electronically retractable wall, thereby doubling the space for holiday worshipers. The focal wall features a mural by Lucienne Bloch Dimitroff reflecting the festivals of the Jewish year. An inviting foyer contains a beautiful Tiffany window depicting Ruth and Boaz that graced the earlier building, and there is a well-designed school wing and gymnasium in the east half of the building. In 1992 a major renovation of the sanctuary and public spaces was undertaken.
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