Facade Improvement Program puts new face on several places along Connective Corridor
On Dec. 14, this year’s festivities surrounding Temple Concord’s Annual Chanukah Dinner and Service will glow a little brighter. That evening, the congregation will dedicate its new energy efficient LED lighting and walkway, recently installed as part of the Connective Corridor’s Façade Improvement Program.
Temple Concord is among the 40 facades along the Connective Corridor being improved with $625,000 in funds from the Empire State Development Corp. Projects were approved by a community-based Façade Improvement Committee that included city planners, experts in landscape architecture and historic preservation, architects, local business owners and the Downtown Committee.
The committee also worked closely with New York State’s Historic Preservation Office to assure that projects were consistent with established standards for buildings that are part of historical districts or that have important historical significance.
“Business owners developed imaginative projects that included everything from canopies and awnings to outdoor seating, benches and bike racks, painting, signage, window and door replacements, lighting displays and banners, planting and landscaping, decorative fencing and restoration of historic buildings features and amenities,” says Linda Dickerson Hartsock, SU director of community engagement and economic development. “It’s been a great collaboration and we have enjoyed working with the building owners on these exciting projects.”
With $20,000 in funding, improvements made at Temple Concord include a landscaped walkway and terrace that connect to the University Avenue entrance; exterior lighting to highlight the iconic façade; and a Connective Corridor-themed banner. Temple Concord, located at the corner of University Avenue and Madison Street, has important historical significance. It is the oldest continuous Jewish congregation in Syracuse, dating back to 1839. It has been in its current location for the past 100 years.
The improvements help the congregation fulfill its commitment to build connections with the Syracuse University community.
“As a center of learning, we value our connections to the Syracuse University community, and our place on the Connective Corridor,” says the temple’s executive director, Jonathan Adler. “Whether Jewish or not, we encourage everyone to check out the rich variety of activities at Temple Concord.”
Among the other improvements are new signage and façade upgrades at the Community Folk Art Center and Delevan Arts Center; new awning, tables and chairs, interior window lighting and window treatments and façade painting at Heritage Daniel/PJ’s Pub; historic window repair and replacement and backlighting of the rose window at Grace Episcopal Church; restoration, refinishing and repainting the deteriorating wall facing the Creekwalk at the Millpond Building; signage, decorative fence, awnings, outdoor tables and chair seating at Hutchings Psychiatric Center and painting of the façade, new signage and a new entry awning at Syracuse Stage.
Hartsock says that approximately 30 projects are completed or are actively under way; the remainder are set for spring 2013. Several, particularly along East Genesee Street, will launch in the spring after streetscape construction is complete.
Along with the new façade improvements, three pieces of public art have been completed and installed through the Corridor’s Syracuse Public Artist in Residence program. Artist Brendan Rose worked with the Corridor, Public Art Commission and private property owners to complete “Bells of Surrender,” now installed at Grace Episcopal Church and Temple Concord, and “Kissing Bench,” installed at St Paul’s Church.