Lescaze’s Brotherhood in Action building faces wrecking ball
February 17, 2014
On February 11, The New York Times reported that a developer, Sharif El-Gamal, has announced his intent to build a 20-plus-story hotel and commercial complex where William Lescaze’s 1963 Brotherhood in Action building stands. The announcement wasn’t a great surprise—the building’s seller, Parsons The New School of Design, recognized the value of the building’s location at 560 Seventh Avenue near tourist mecca Times Square.
Lescaze designed the building to serve as a synagogue and cultural center for a community improvement organization called Brotherhood in Action. Originally intended to be three stories, the group raised sufficient funds to expand their building to six stories midway in the design process. Lescaze, who was in his late career by the 1960s, created a simple steel-and-limestone volume with limited fenestration. The Garment Center Synagogue space is still in use by the congregation for which it was designed. The developer has agreed to provide worship space for the Synagogue in the new building.
“New plan of Islamic center developer: rebuild a synagogue,” The New York Times (February 11, 2014)