© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hartford's Deborah Chapel added to national list of endangered historic places

The Deborah Chapel, a building the city of Hartford is trying to save from demolition in court, has been added to a national list of endangered historic places.

The Hartford chapel being added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2022 comes as a win for local preservationists who have been working to save the building since 2018.

In a statement, Congregation Beth Israel, which owns the chapel and wants it demolished, said the building "has not been in use and has deteriorated and become a hazard."

Sara C. Bronin, a preservation expert, said the congregation willfully disinvested its resources in maintaining the chapel.

"Many cases of willful disinvestment occur in communities of color and low-income communities, just like the one that we're sitting in right now here in Frog Hollow," Bronin said. "Demolishing this chapel would be a blow to one of the very few manifestations of this particular moment in religious leadership."

Seri Worden, senior field director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said this list in particular highlights a wide range of cultures, histories and geographies across the U.S.

"The Deborah Chapel here behind me is threatened with demolition, and it is a rare and early American example of an intact Jewish funerary structure which embodies the strong leadership of women within the 19th century Jewish, religious and communal organizations," Worden said.

The city of Hartford is appealing a civil court decision that gives Congregation Beth Israel the ability to demolish the chapel. The city has until May 19 to submit its court response to the congregation.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content