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Temple Beth Israel to be Saved From Demolition!

By Stan Schwartz

Temple Beth Israel

We are happy to report that Temple Beth Israel, 3rd and Laurel Streets, San Diego has been saved from the wrecker's ball. On September 7, 2000, during a special meeting of the congregation, a vote was approved to give the Board of Directors the authority to "enter into a contract for the sale of the Third & Laurel property..." As this is being written, final negotiations to sell the property to the J. Peter Block Companies are underway. This is the company that restored the El Cortez Hotel. It is hoped that the Temple will then be used by Congregation Ohr Shalom.

We have also been successful in getting the Temple declared eligible for the State and National Historic Registers.

The Temple was built in 1926 by architect William H. Wheeler in the Byzantine style, which was used in many synagogue buildings of the period. It is the only example of this architecture in a synagogue building in San Diego. It is also the only synagogue existing in San Diego from that period. William Wheeler's work includes the Balboa Theatre, Old Town's Immaculate Conception Church and the Benbough-Gonzalez Estate.

Temple Beth Israel has been the home of San Diego's largest Jewish congregation since 1926 and now the congregation is building a new synagogue in the University City area. Temple Beth Israel was the center of Jewish life in San Diego for several decades until other synagogues were built in the North Park area. Most notables of San Diego, who were Jewish, attended services at this site and held their life cycle events here.

2000 - Volume 31, Issue 2


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SOHO Assumes the Whaley House

President's Message

Ballpark Preservation Plans Continue Even As Construction Stops
Temple Beth Israel to be Saved From Demolition!!
Cabrillo Parkway-A Safe And Scenic 163

The Raising of the S.S. Catalina

The La Jolla Saga Continues
Preservation Action Subcommittee News
The California Preservation Foundation Chooses San Diego for Conference in 2001
Thank You For Your Support
SOHO Welcomes The New Board of Directors
Rest in Peace - Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant House

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