Peek Inside: The Wilshire Boulevard Temple Restoration - NBC Southern California

Peek Inside: The Wilshire Boulevard Temple Restoration

The two-year, 47.5-million refurb has wrapped; take a tour of the updates.



    Peek Inside: The Wilshire Boulevard Temple Restoration
    Tom Bonner
    Want to know more about the Wilshire Boulevard Temple's two-year restoration? Hop on a LA Conservancy walking tour of the dedicated-in-1929 landmark on Sunday, April 27.

    Los Angeles has a few thousand stand-out buildings, give or take, though the number can zoom up or drop depending on the way we personally rank an architectural addition to our city's colorful story. 

    Is a structure meaningful? Outlandish? Important? Storied? The factors, and their weights, can vary from beholder to beholder.

    But it would be nearly impossible not to include the Wilshire Boulevard Temple on any speculative local list. It's an amazing piece of walk-in art that was built for $1.4 million at the close of the 1920s -- so, right; that was major -- which recently underwent a two-year restoration that cost roughly 34 times that amount.

    Intrigued? Indeed. The LA Conservancy is leading a take-a-peek tour on Sunday, April 27.

    The walk-around will include stories of the temple's backers, construction, and early days, as well as its exception, influenced-by-Hollywood design. The gifts of the recent restoration will be the day's focus, with a closing treat of the stirringest sort: Temple organist William Beck will play the 4,000 pipe organ, which was seriously spiffied during the structure's updates.

    A ticket is $30 and the tour? Call it deep intel, given that it will last for four hours. Bet you'll know this building better than you know most by the time the final pipe plays.

    Dedicated in 1929, the mammoth, broad-of-spirit pile located at Wilshire and Hobart had big dreams from the get-go, starting with its sanctuary.

    It's Tinseltown ties were on display from the get-go. "(T)hen-leader Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin's wishes" included a sanctuary that had the look of a movie theatre, "with a grand entrance; spacious lobby; broad, carpeted stairways leading to the balcony; and a dramatically domed and acoustically perfect auditorium with no central aisle."

    And the Warner brothers commissioned the murals, artworks that depict Jewish history of the millenia.

    Call it a fine way to spend a Sunday, connecting with a revered piece of LA's architectural past and spiritual present.

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