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Temple Beth Israel

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1924, Morris W. Scheibel. 3004 Union Ave.
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

This domed synagogue on a green lawn in a wooded suburb of Altoona brought Altoona's Jewish congregation away from the clamor of the railroad shops and into suburban tranquility. The temple's polished smooth surfaces were, perhaps, influenced by Henry Hornbostel's often published Rodef Shalom Temple in Pittsburgh ( AL118). Here, the Youngstown, Ohio, architect Scheibel chose a dome to distinguish his work.

The congregation's earlier temple, designed by Charles Morrison Robinson, is now Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (1898; 1433 13th Avenue). It is one of the few remaining nineteenth-century synagogues in western Pennsylvania designed in the Moorish Revival style, one of the most popular architectural styles for American synagogues in that period.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Temple Beth Israel", [Altoona, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 331-331.

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