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Obj. ID: 8963
Jewish Architecture
  Tailors’ Beit Midrash in Telšiai, Lithuania

© “Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue” Archives, Photographer: Galkus, Mindaugas, 2007

The former Tailors’ Beit Midrash is a wooden building located between Telšės and Elektrinės Streets, facing the former with its main, southwestern façade. The date of the construction of the beit midrash is unknown. After WW II the building was reconstructed, and in the 1990s it was used as a club. In 1993 it was restituted to the Jewish Community of Lithuania, and sold the same year. In 2003 the building was converted into a furniture and electric appliances store after a design prepared by the Arka Projektavimo Įmonė.

According to the inventory documentation from 1975, the building comprised a northeastern prayer hall, divided by that time into a lobby and two large rooms, and a southwestern part, including the central vestibule and two side rooms on the ground floor; the first floor was divided into two rooms. A new staircase was installed in the northwestern corner of the prayer hall. According to the photographs included in the reconstruction design from 2003, the southwestern, main façade was divided into five equal bays by vertical posts. It was pierced by four rectangular windows and the central door on the ground floor, and five rectangular windows on the first floor. This façade was topped with a blind triangular gable. Vertical posts divided the southeastern façade into four bays. The bay, corresponding to the vestibule and women’s section, had no fenestration at that time. The three eastern bays of that façade, matching the prayer hall, were pierced by large rectangular windows. The northeastern facade was pierced with four such windows, two on either side of a broader central segment of the wall, reinforced with a vertical post and matching the interior site of the Torah ark. The gable of the northeastern façade had a central rectangular window. The northwestern façade was pierced only with two windows of the prayer hall. The walls of the synagogue were boarded with horizontal planks; the gable roof was covered with asbestos sheets.

The reconstruction of 2003 preserved the massing and elevations of the beit midrash in general; however, an overwhelming use of new materials and rearrangement of interior space has left very little of the original structure.

In 2007 the building was a rectangular wooden log structure on a masonry foundation, on a northeast-southwest axis, 14.50 m long, 10.80 m wide, and 8.22 m high above the foundation. Its exterior shows the original division of space into a prayer hall and a two-storey southwestern part including vestibule and the first-floor women’s area. It is boarded with new horizontal planks, painted yellow. During the recent reconstruction, a layer of insulation was added on the exterior of the log construction, increasing the total thickness of the walls. As a result, the original vertical posts that reinforce the log structure and had been visible from the exterior, were covered up; their location is marked on the exterior with white vertical planks. These elements look alien to the local wooden architecture. The southwestern part of the building, which once contained the vestibule and the women’s section, today includes an office, a staircase and a sales area. The former prayer hall has been split into two floors, now used for merchandise. Additional pillars were added to support the upper floor. There is a new emergency exit, cut though the northeastern wall to serve the upper floor. The interior surfaces are faced with modern materials. The former prayer hall is lit by three large rectangular windows in the southeast. The four windows of the northeastern façade were blocked, and two new horizontal strip windows were cut through its upper part to light the new upper floor. The original windows of the northwestern façade were also blocked up. The southwestern part of the building is lit by rectangular windows, arranged in two tiers. All the window and door frames are of new materials. The building is topped with a gable roof, covered with new tin. All the cornices, which follow the original moldings, are wooden and new.

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sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Tailors’ Beit Midrash in Telšiai | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
190?
Synagogue active dates
Until WWII
Reconstruction dates
2000?
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Lithuania | Telšiai County | Telšiai
| 15 Telšės St.
Site
Unknown
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Timber
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Shop
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
A (Good)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
2 (Regional)
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
2007
Bibliography

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (eds.), Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, 2 vols. (Vilnius, 2010-12)
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
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Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.