8. 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 natural light from the stained glass windows. But in 1907, the fixtures were converted to accept 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. According to the museum, this is proof that the congregation was excited by the new technology and did not believe the bulbs needed any adornment.