Project to Preserve Park Synagogue Gains Momentum, Focus, and Nearly $3m in Grants


The future of Park Synagogue’s Conservative Jewish congregation lies in Pepper Pike, where it is expanding a new religious and educational campus established in 2007 at Shaker Boulevard and Brainard Road – writes Steven Litt in the Plain Dealer.

But an effort to plan a new, long-term future for the congregation’s old main building in Cleveland Heights, a globally-admired, mid-century modern masterpiece by architect Eric Mendelsohn, is gaining traction and focus, thanks in part to nearly $3 million in new grants from the state of Ohio.

In June, the state announced that the synagogue had received $1 million from its capital budget to repair and upgrade electrical and mechanical systems in the Mendelsohn building. Last week, the effort received another $1.8 million for the removal of lead and asbestos.

The latter grant came through the state’s Department of Development through its new Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program. It was one of 25 grants totaling more than $50 million awarded to Cuyahoga County projects, which accounted for 26% of the statewide total of $192 million in brownfield grants.

“I’m encouraged by the support from the state and it gives me hope that funding a very large, complicated project is possible,’’ said Naomi Sabel, a partner of Cleveland-based Sustainable Community Associates, the real estate development firm engaged by the congregation in 2021 to explore new options for the building and the parklike 28-acre property surrounding it.

Read Litt's full article in The Plain Dealer.


This article was originally published on June 8 2022 in The Plain Dealer.