The kloyz was built probably at the turn of the 20th century in the so-called “brick style.” As appears from an early 20th century photograph, it was a bare brick structure under a gable roof, with corner pilasters and rectangular windows under straight pediments. A photograph from 1946 depicts a half-destroyed kloyz; fragments of two façades can be seen. It had a southeastern part with the prayer hall, a two-storey northern part with the vestibule and women’s section, and a projecting platform with retaining wall. The walls were of brick, unplastered, with rectangular openings. The central bay of the southern façade and the corners were emphasized by pilasters. In all likelihood, the division into prayer hall and two-storey part was along north-south axis, based on the 1946 photograph as well as on the arrangement inside the building today.
In the autumn of 1941 the building of the kloyz was used as a gym of the Merkinė Gymnasium,23 but later it was destroyed. The building that has been constructed on the ruins belongs to the Merkinė Vincas Krėvė–Mickevičius High School. Importantly, the building’s division into two parts has been preserved housing offices and a gym respectively.
In 2000s, the structure has been greatly transformed. It has a rectangular ground plan and is built of plastered brick, and covered with a gable roof of metal imitation of ceramic tiles. The southern façade facing the street is symmetrical, with the original preceding platform of rough granite ashlars. The corners of the façade are emphasized by pilasters. The semicircular window in the northern gable may have survived from before WWII.
(Text from Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (eds.), Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, 2 vols. (Vilnius, 2010-12)).
Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (eds.), Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, 2 vols. (Vilnius, 2010-12)