5. Meseritz Shul
Meseritz Shul at 415 E. 6th St. is one of the smallest and most narrow urban synagogues in New York. It’s also been embroiled in quite a bit of controversy. For a time, the interior of this 1888 building was in shambles. There were many development plans put forth for the building and the site, including plans that simply knocked down the structure. The building was saved however by a highly debated landmark ruling in 2012. The designation set up a historic district in the East Village/Lower East Side covering 330 buildings located along Second Avenue and its adjacent side streets.
The cash-strapped congregation did move forward with a deal to convert its upper floors into condos. The deal also included the restoration of the lower-level worship space. The building’s gorgeous facade, in line with the landmark designation, didn’t change significantly. The upper-floor condos were put up for sale in 2016. One of the condos that hit the market was a $4.3 million dollar penthouse! After a four-year hiatus, the synagogue restarted services in 2017. We’ll consider this one partially repurposed!