Update: The synagogue has been renovated by a new owner.
Don’t let anyone tell you that smaller cities in America are boring! After eating lunch at a great “farm to table” place downtown, I began wandering around the streets to the east of Bloomington’s center. I spotted this building, and was intrigued; what was it? Then I spotted the Star of David and Hebrew script, and I knew I had discovered an old synagogue.
And wow, what an amazing building! Originally the Moses Montefiore Synagogue, it is now for sale, having been converted to a residence.
It is a strange, and wonderful mix of Romanesque, Baroque and even Moorish decorative motifs and architecture. Designed by George H. Miller, and opened in 1889, it reflects its congregation’s German roots.
The stonework has held up well over the years.
The onion domes show the influence of central and eastern European Baroque architecture.
The interesting finials perhaps show the influence of Moorish architecture.
The windows are both Romanesque and Moorish in influence at the same time.
The cornerstones list the Jewish date and other dedications.