Rodeph Shalom to Unveil North Broad Expansion

The KieranTimberlake-designed addition will house offices, classrooms and community space, and an expanded gallery for the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art.

The expansion at Rodeph Shalom in April | Photo: James Jennings

The expansion at Rodeph Shalom in April | Photo: James Jennings

The revival on North Broad Street continues to charge ahead as the expansion to Congregation Rodeph Shalom will officially open on Sunday, May 17. Set squarely on the southeast corner of Broad and Green Street, the synagogue is one of the most recognizable buildings on the busy corridor due to its limestone exterior, intricate tile work and large columns.

The expansion has been in the works for some time and Tom Perloff of Congregation Rodeph Shalom said the synagogue is “really changing from a fortress mentality to a more open, but secure, facility.” As such, leaders of the synagogue will be having a special preview of the new Common Ground Marketplace, a “gathering space that empowers neighbors to celebrate the diverse and culturally rich community of North-Central Philadelphia.” The marketplace is in partnership with The Food Trust and will include a farmers’ market, Indego Philly bike share test rides, guest food trucks, health check ups and more.

Broad Street_Evening

Congregation Rodeph Shalom at night | Rendering via KieranTimberlake/Studio amd.

The 17,500-square-foot addition was designed by KieranTimberlake and  “has created a 21st century building offering accessibility improvements and increased security, additional meeting and classroom spaces while retaining the grandeur of its original 1927 building,” according to a recent press release. There will also be more room for the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, a gallery space that is housed on site.

As you can see, the expansion is stepped down from four stories in the east to just two stories to the west, thus preserving the view of the south-facing stained glass windows and the light access into the sanctuary. The translucent glass will not only provide light to the new community center, but it will act as a “beacon” at night for the North Broad corridor. “An entry loggia will include columns clad in bronze and mosaic tile, references to the rich detailing on the Broad Street face of the original building,” according to KieranTimberlake’s website.

This picture of the side of the project was taken from the roof of the nearby Mural Lofts building during the tour of North Broad Street in April:

Photo: James Jennings

Photo: James Jennings

This angle gives you a better idea at the size project and how the new building compliments the limestone facade of its Byzantine revival-styled predecessor, which also contains a more subdued back portion outfitted in a sand-colored brick. You get to see the beacon element fronting North Broad, but the scale of the building is much larger than it suggests from the street. It also gives you a peek at the courtyard, which will eventually contain weeping willow trees.

The event kicks off at 12 p.m. on Sunday. The Common Ground Marketplace will officially debut on July 12 and run every Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Thanksgiving.

With Impending Expansion, Rodeph Shalom Reaffirms Commitment to North Broad [Property]