At Former Synagogue Near South Street, Development Plans Include Preservation

 

Former Antiquarian's Delight and B’Nai Reuben synagogue at 6th and Kater | Photo: Bradley Maule

Former Antiquarian’s Delight and B’Nai Reuben synagogue at 6th and Kater | Photo: Bradley Maule

The new owner of the Antiquarian’s Delight building in Queen Village is still mum about his plans, but has indicated that his goal is to preserve the former synagogue for future development.

The flea market and antiques shop had its operations in the former B’Nai Reuben synagogue at 6th and Kater Streets for 28 years before announcing that it was closing this month.

The property was sold to the Fetfatzes family–who also own the Bainbridge Street Barrel House down the block, and the Bella Vista Beer Distributor at 11th and Catharine–for $1.1 million in November. Sources close to the antiques shop claimed that the synagogue is to be converted into condominiums.

Jordan Fetfatzes declined to confirm this, but told Hidden City in an email that “the idea is to keep the building intact regardless of the development.” He also commented, however, that sections of the mezzanine were crumbling and not readily accessible.

Former B’Nai Reuben synagogue | Photo: Bradley Maule

Former B’Nai Reuben synagogue | Photo: Bradley Maule

The synagogue was erected in 1905 and became home to Chevra B’Nai Reuben, Philadelphia’s first Hasidic congregation. With South Philly’s Eastern European Jewish population in decline after the Second World War, the congregation left the premises in 1956.

Antiquarian’s Delight operated on the ground floor and basement of the synagogue beginning in 1985, while the upper sanctuary (and main site of worship) remained vacant. The once charming destination just off of South Street had acquired a poor reputation in the last two years, with online reviewers deriding the shop owner’s one-dollar entry fee and hermetic antipathy to customers. The rotting second-floor windows had become a visible sign of the building’s neglect.

According to the City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, there are, however, no outstanding structural violations on the property. No permits for construction have yet been pulled by the owners.

About the author

Christopher Mote covers stories of preservation, planning, zoning and development. He lives in South Philadelphia and has a special fondness for brownstone churches and mansard roofs.

Send him a message at: motecw[at]hotmail[dot]com



2 Comments


  1. Jordan , THANK YOU ! For not demolishing this structure.

  2. Great picture. What a rich past that Philadelphia may claim. The melting pot, truly and indeed.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Docomomo PHL To Host

Docomomo PHL To Host “Wake” For Modernist Store

June 18, 2018  |  News

Modernist architecture advocacy group will hold a demonstration to protest Philadelphia's historic preservation crisis. Michael Bixler has the details > more

The Rise, Fall, & Revival Of North Broad's Opera Palace

The Rise, Fall, & Revival Of North Broad’s Opera Palace

June 14, 2018  |  Vantage

Rob McClung takes us on a journey through the turbulent history and present reawakening of the mighty Metropolitan Opera House at Broad and Poplar > more

A Brief History Of Race & Contested Space In West Philly

A Brief History Of Race & Contested Space In West Philly

June 11, 2018  |  Vantage

Mariam Williams dives deep into the social evolution of Malcolm X Park to unearth the history of race and economics within a neighborhood space > more

Italian Market Project Puts Fresh Eyes On A Philly Staple

Italian Market Project Puts Fresh Eyes On A Philly Staple

June 8, 2018  |  Vantage

The Italian Market Project mixes a walking tour with Philly-accented theater in a fun, immersive experience. Mickey Herr has the details > more

Taking History To The Streets With Preservation Activism

Taking History To The Streets With Preservation Activism

June 6, 2018  |  Soapbox

Ali Roseberry-Polier discusses civil rights history, selective public memory, and why she created an historical marker for a Black female activist who challenged segregation in 19th century Philadelphia > more

A Buzzy New Beginning For Poth Brewing Company

A Buzzy New Beginning For Poth Brewing Company

June 4, 2018  |  Last Light

Before renovations begin, Michael Bixler takes us inside the remains of Poth Brewing Company with this photo essay > more