Romainische Shul Synagogue, Goodfellow at Romaine Place

Ahavas Achim Anshei Romania was one of many synagogues that popped up in western St. Louis, where there had long been a large Jewish population. But unlike other waves of Jewish emigration from Western Europe, now many arrived from the eastern portion of the continent. I would assume that Romanian Jews founded this location. Or did the name come from the cross street, Romaine? These were definitely Eastern European Jews, though.

While many huge, elaborate synagogues sit along the major thoroughfares of Central St. Louis, there were these more humble, architecturally difficult to quantify synagogues through the West End. I like this building in its simplicity; rusticated limestone with simple Roman arched windows. But the Star of David window is always the dead giveaway, even as these transitioned into churches.

Thanks to Jeff Vines for helping to identify this building.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. CfR says:

    Do you think that the lower half of those windows were blocked-over as a crime deterrent?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I would suspect, having not being able to see the interior, that at some point some sort of structure, whether it was a balcony or altarpiece, was added, requiring the partial closure of the windows. I vote for balcony.

      Though, I wonder if it was to block the noise of traffic from Goodfellow?

  2. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

    It’s interesting that the end of the building has what appear (to me) as faux buttresses. True?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      That’s a shadow cast by the drain pipe; this was fairly early in the morning when the shadows are long!

      1. Chris Naffziger says:

        Wait, do you mean the small buttresses at the basement level? I assume those are really providing structural support.

        1. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

          Yup! They looked too shallow in the pix to be anything but decorative (says the architectural wizard…).
          And – I just NOW noticed how different the side and rear wall surfaces are from the front wall!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.