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Beth-El Zedeck Temple
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Beth-El Zedeck Temple
Location 3359 Ruckle St., Indianapolis, Indiana
Area 0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
Built 1924
Architect Vonnegut, Bohn & Mueller
Architectural style Neoclassical Revival
NRHP reference No. 100004362
Added to NRHP August 28, 2019

Beth-El Zedeck Temple, originally known as Beth-El Temple, is a historic synagogue located in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana. The building was completed in 1924, and was originally home to Congregation Beth-El before merging with the Ohev Zedeck congregation in 1928. It is the oldest remaining synagogue structure in Indianapolis.

The building is a two-story, neoclassical structure with a brick exterior and flat roof. It has a terra cotta cornice and ornamental pedestals throughout the roof line. Its entrance features a decorative canopy over the front doors, which is suspended to the building by two steel tension cables. The interior features a large sanctuary space on the second floor and classrooms on the first floor.

The temple was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.

History

Congregation Beth-El was formed in 1915 when a small group of Jewish congregants began meeting in a rented house at 16th and Illinois Streets in Indianapolis. The following year, attendance had grown and the group rented a larger home at 21st and Talbott Streets. The congregation incorporated in 1921.

The congregation chose a property at the southeast corner of 34th and Ruckle Streets for its new synagogue, as the area had a growing Jewish population. The building was dedicated on December 12, 1925, the first night of Hanukah. Governor Edward L. Jackson attended the dedication ceremony.

Congregation Beth-El Zedeck occupied the building until 1958 when it moved north to a new location in the Indianapolis enclave suburb of Meridian Hills, Indiana. Congregation B'nai Torah then occupied the building until 1967. Most recently, the building housed a Christian church.

Restoration

Indiana Landmarks, a private historic preservation organization, purchased the building in 2014. Indiana Landmarks raised funds to replace the structure's roof, which had a large hole exposing the interior to water damage. In 2016, a brick addition to the north side of the building was removed to assist with redevelopment.

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