Hollywood's Jewish heavyweights--people like Dreamworks's Stacey Snider, Warner Bros.'s Jeff Robinov, and ICM's John Fogelman--are helping fund the $150 million renovation of the 83 year old Wilshire Boulevard Temple, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The WBT is the oldest continually operating synagogue in the city, constructed in the Byzantine Revival style in 1929 under the stewardship of rabbi Edgar Magnin, who was in thrall with Hollywood. When it was built, set designers and art directors added un-synagogue-like touches, like stained glass windows, bronze chandeliers, a 320-foot long mural, and a pew setup that resembles movie theater seating. Some of the grandeur was Hollywood artifice (e.g., chicken wire covered for fake stone) and by the twenty-first century the WBT, on the US Register of Historic Places, was in need of some TLC.
The temple's Hollywood elite helped contribute $90 million toward the ongoing $150 million renovation, which also includes a new K-6 school, parking garage with rooftop play area, administration building, and separate event space that will be partly utilized for neighborhood-serving purposes like the temple's food pantry. The hope is that the WBT continues to lure industry Westsiders, as well as caters to the new crowd moving to eastern environs. ICM's Fogelman tells THR: "When you think about the migration that's begun to happen in the past decade to places like Los Feliz, Silver Lake and downtown, with young people and young families, that's where the real growth is going to be."
· Hollywood's Hottest $150 Million Project Is an 83-Year-Old Synagogue [THR]
· Wilshire Temple ConstructionWatch [Curbed LA]