8. Former Synagogues
The Grand Concourse was once known as the Boulevard of Dreams. It was the Bronx’s Parisian Boulevard and according to the WPA Guide to New York it was, “the Park Avenue of middle-class Bronx residents, and the lease to an apartment in one of its many large buildings is considered evidence of at least moderate business success.” From the 1920s through the 1960s one of the main groups living on the Concourse were Jews who had left the slums of Manhattan. As a result, there are a number of former synagogues that can still be stopped along Grand Concourse.
The former Tremont Temple Gates of Mercy’s Synagogue (above) is located at 2064 Grand Concourse. It was dedicated in 1910 and completed by 1920. The congregation moved to Westchester in the 1970s and the First Union Baptist Church took over the building.
The former Temple Adath Israel located at 1275 Grand Concourse appears out of place with its neoclassical style, which predates the usual Art Deco style along the Grand Concourse. It was constructed in 1927 and it too became a church when its congregation left the area. Richard Tucker served as its Cantor. It is currently home to the Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Temple.
Young Israel of the Concourse began as a small synagogue on Walton Avenue, which after years of raising money was able to move to a new home at 1040 Grand Concourse. Constructed in 1961, the modern building is now home to the Bronx Museum of Arts, which began its life in the Bronx County Courthouse.