Constructed in 1929, the Wilshire Blvd. Temple is the oldest Jewish reform temple in Los Angeles. After constructing an interior tarp to protect from crumbling interior ceiling coffers, restoration of the storied building began in the fall of 2011.
The scope of work included a full-scale restoration of the interior and exterior. The iconic copper dome was refurbished with a new waterproofing system installed beneath and wrapping the gutter system. The exterior was stripped of its lead-based paint and restored to its original tan coloring with re-honed marble bands. The stained glass Rose Window and associated cast stone was removed, rehabilitated, and reinstalled overlooking Wilshire Blvd.
On the interior, new shotcrete shear walls and seismic bracing of the interior dome bring more stability to the structure. The interior dome ceiling coffers, consisting of acoustic Celotex Tiles and cast stuck gypsum plaster have been renovated and repointed. Nearly 2,000 seats were removed, re-upholstered, and reinstalled over new carpeting in the Sanctuary.
The famous Hugo Ballin Murals which consist of three “lunettes” at the base of the dome as well as a ring circling the walls at the seating area were carefully restored by a team of Mural’s conservators. Historic lighting consisting of eight prominent “spice box chandeliers” which are suspended from a new electrified winch system were cleaned, re-wired, and reinstalled along with historic fixtures throughout the ambulatories, stairways, and lobby.
All interior finishes including cast stone, paint, wood, marble, and tile have been given a face-lift and restored to their original condition. Zenitherm wall panels, which are designed to resemble stone, line the circumference of the ambulatories. Sections were removed to allow for the installation of the shear walls and recreated by artisans offsite and reinstalled to integrate seamlessly into the building.