Los Angeles’ Temple B’nai B’rith, the city’s largest Jewish congregation since its founding in the 1860s, laid the cornerstone for its second synagogue in 1896, at the northeast corner of Ninth and Hope Streets. The red brick temple, designed by prominent member A. M. Edelman, joined several other religious buildings clustered along Hope Street, including the Simpson Auditorium, visible in the distance of the top photograph. The white mast seen towering over the intersection is one of the city’s early carbon arc street lamps, erected in 1888. Hope Street remained unpaved south of Sixth Street until 1907.
The Temple B’nai B’rith moved to its present home on Wilshire Boulevard in 1929, rechristened as the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. The Hope Street temple, sold to a private developer in 1927, was immediately demolished. Despite relatively intensive development in the surrounding blocks, its footprint has remained as a parking lot for over eight decades.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple [Big Orange Landmarks]
1. “B’nai B’rith.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Sep. 1896. 8.
2. “City Council.” Los Angeles Times. 12 Sep. 1888. 2.
3. “Millions in street work.” Los Angeles Times. 15 Sep. 1907. II13.
4. “Sale terms ratified by B’nai B’rith.” Los Angeles Times. 18 Feb. 1927. A1.
5. “Temple B’nai B’rith.” Los Angeles Times. 16 Mar. 1896. 12.
Original photo: “Exterior view of the B’nai B’rith Temple on Hope Street and Ninth Street in Los Angeles, ca.1902 – chs-m3751.” 1902. Title Insurance and Trust/C. C. Pierce Photography Collection. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/assetserver/controller/view/CHS-881.