Previously unforeseeable changes have come to the Bowery in recent years, and few things are better symbols of the transformation than the shiny new 7-Eleven located at the base of a glassy, Robert Scarano-designed condominium building at 52 East Fourth Street. But the New York Times noted that the convenience chain may not even be the strangest aspect of the building, let alone the Bowery.
Rather, it’s the Chabad Serving N.Y.U, a sanctuary and religious institution located in the commercial condo comprising the second and third floors of the 15-story building. The Times said the independent Chabad purchased the 7,800-square-foot space for $3.6 million in 2010 and spent an additional $1.5 million building out the first synagogue, and the second ever religious sanctuary, on the Bowery.
“We believe in a colorful Jewish experience,” Rabbi Dov Yonah Korn told the Times. “We honor the past so much, yet at the same time we want to be in the present — with flavor, with swagger, with the hip vibrations of today. That’s expressed in the building.”
The Chabad had previously operated out of a basement at 27 Washington Square North.
Opened in the late spring, the Chabad has a sanctuary on the second floor, an assembly hall and kitchen on the third floor, and a small library, offices, meeting rooms and an office designed specifically for the Rabbi’s use, which Korn has dubbed his “man cave.” Korn said he expects the center to take off come September, with the arrival of the new school year and the High Holidays. [NYT]