Framework

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The Wilshire Boulevard Temple was taking shape in November 1928.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Thw Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles will close the day after Yom Kippur for a two-year restoration project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The congregation at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple gathers for services on the first night of Rosh Hashanah on September 28, 2011.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The choir loft can be seen from the balcony as the congregants worship at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple on the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The temple's mahogany seats will be refurbished during the two-year restoration. The work is to begin the day after Yom Kippur, 2011.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Water damage in a stairway ceiling is part of the reason the temple is about to undergo restoration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

A light fixture in the hallway casts a shadow of the Star of David on the ceiling of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Above a section of a Warner mural by Hugo Ballin, a cleaned section of the wall shows part of what the restoration is expected to accomplish.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The center of one of the twelve medallions that make up the newly restored rose window of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple is at Judson Studios in Highland Park, where it was restored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The dome of the temple's sanctuary, now hidden by a canopy will be restored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Dave Judson, president of Judson Studios in Highland Park, shows the newly restored rose window from the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. The twelve lobes represent the 12 tribes of Israel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

At Judson Studios, work continues on the rose window from the temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steve Leder opens the pipe organ in the temple's choir loft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

A plaster cornice is among sanctuary features that will be restored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

In the original construction, horsehair was mixed into plaster behind the walls of the temple's sanctuary.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steve Leder sits in the stairwell near windows that will be restored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Architect Brenda A. Levin will oversee the restoration of the temple.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Rabbi Steve Leder and architect Brenda A. Levin head into the temple's vestibule from the sanctuary as the opening day of the restoration draws near.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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The Wilshire Boulevard Temple | Restoring a Los Angeles landmark

As members of the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles gathered to observe the start of Yom Kippur, the holy day of atonement, they were invited one last time to admire the Hollywood-influenced murals and other appointments of the aging Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

Soon, workers will begin a two-year floor-to-dome restoration of the 1929 Byzantine auditorium. The work is part of an ambitious campaign by the Reform congregation to draw a new generation of worshipers to the Mid-Wilshire District synagogue.

In his Rosh Hashana sermon last month, Senior Rabbi Steven Z. Leder predicted that the resulting complex would represent “the most remarkable center of Jewish life in the country.” Leder envisions it as a magnet for young Jews who have migrated to the Wilshire Corridor, downtown, Silver Lake and Los Feliz, reversing an exodus from the eastern part of the city decades ago.

Los Angeles Times photographer Anne Cusack documented the historic structure ahead of the restoration.

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