5. The Main Chandelier is Upside Down

Eldridge Street Synagogue-Museum at Eldridge Street-Tour-Lower East Side-Chinatown-NYC_13

When the Eldridge Street Synagogue first opened, the lighting was powered by gas, and of course natural light from the stained glass windows. But in 1907, the fixtures were converted over to electricity. If you look at the stunning chandelier in the main sanctuary today, you’ll see that the glass bulbs face downwards. This makes sense for electrical lighting but not for gas lighting. The original configuration of this chandelier was the other way around.

You’ll also notice bare Edison-style lightbulbs throughout the sanctuary, a sign that the congregation were excited by the new technology and didn’t believe the bulbs needed any adornment, states the Museum.