Mahanoy City was platted in 1859 and immediately boomed. Demolition and aluminum siding have clouded much of the physical presence of its early days, soaked in the turmoil of the Molly Maguires. Nevertheless, a few buildings stand out, among them the Elks building (1914, Edward Z. Scholl) at 131 E. Centre Street, an eclectic confection with a polychrome terra-cotta facade that, when new, must have been a startling contrast against a background of red brick and coal dust. At Mahanoy Avenue and Catawissa Street is Congregation Beth Israel (1923, Louis Reisman), a Moorish Revival design in tapestry brick, built to fit a row house lot. Inside, the simple, serene space is canopied by a gently vaulted metal ceiling.
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