Historic synagogue cited for unsafe conditions

PROVIDENCE, RI – The city of Providence is taking the owner of an historic synagogue to court over the failure to maintain the property.

The owners of Shaare Zedek Synagogue have been cited by the Providence Inspections and Standards Department for unsafe conditions. An inspector found a door unlocked and its roof leaking due to the theft of part of its copper roof.

The owners failed to make repairs within the requisite 30 days so the city is taking them to court.

Carrie Marsh of Community Works Rhode Island, whose office is across the street from the synagogue, has been complaining about the property for three years.

"Well I'm happy that the city is taking action on it," she says. "I'm concerned that it's two years too late on behalf of the owners that they've allowed their building to deteriorate to the point that it's perhaps not even salvageable."

The 100-year-old synagogue was closed in 2006. Last year the Providence Preservation Society named it one of the ten most endangered historic properties in the city.

Officials at Temple Beth Shalom, which according to the Providence Preservation Society owns the property, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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