The oldest Synagogue in Los Angeles, this iteration of a community founded in 1865 was dedicated in 1928 in the 'Miracle Mile' section of Wilshire Boulevard.
Selective removal of the cast stone components of the south-facing Rose Window were achieved using specialty crane and removal techniques.
The interior spaces of the synagogue were decorated with numerous painted surfaces created by Hollywood set decorators of the 1920s, drafted by their employers, the producers of the entertainment industry of that period. Great care was taken in protecting and later restoring these decorative surfaces.
Specialized rigging and hoisting techniques were utilized to remove the historic elements of the Rose Window for storage and later reinstallation.
Each of over 125 individual cast stone elements were logged and stored, to facilitate later reengineering and reinstallation.
Crating of each original cast stone element was carefully planned and executed to impart the maximum protection for each component of the Window.
Storage of the selectively salvaged components was carried out in a manner to guarantee later successful use of the cast stone elements.
A long and exhaustive design and engineering process with multiple iterations finally generated a complex but comprehensive program for structurally enhancing the original cast stone window assembly.
The first phase involved the preparation of the salvaged units, including removing the original setting mortar from headjoints.
Each section of the window was laid out on the ground to guarantee placement during the later installation phase.
The Engineer's installation plan called for placement of new stainless steel connecting anchors in each component. This required the coring of each individual cast stone unit to allow for new stainless steel connectors.
Hand-held coring tools were utilized when stationary coring equipment was not practical.
Final layout on the ground for each section of the window completed installation planning for this phase of preparation.
Placement of the salvaged cast stone units was carefully staged to allow for corroborating placement of vertical and horizontal string lines to keep the process in close coordination.
As cast stone units were installed with attendant stainless steel anchoring rod, the reference markers were moved to make sure that overall placement would be consistent with the existing opening.
New 3/4" dia. stainless steel anchors were place within the previously cored access holes to tie the entire assemblage together.
As each 200 lb+ cast stone unit was placed, the stainless steel anchor connector was placed using epoxy-resin adhesive.
Careful placement of hoisting and shoring components was required for the upper components of the window assembly.
Strapping and bracing was a required step in the further assembly during this phase.
Grout joints were left for later pointing to accelerate the installation process.
Setting the components of this giant wheel called for flexibility in the hoisting and shoring procedures until setting mortars and structural epoxy could set and / or cure.
Removal and re-installation of a complex installation like this requires precision and knowledge of materials.
As the installation rose higher in the circular framework, the stainless steel anchor system was consistently tied to the center anchor point of the window.
This central anchor of the installation was based upon two semi-circular stainless steel pre-fabbricated elements.
We had previously cut and shaped the circular cast stone ring elements in half, along the central axis, to allow for placement of these two steel reinforcing rings.
The inner and outer halves of the central ring perimeter portion were assembled around the steel anchor ring halves.
After placement of these supporting halves, the central cast stone ring could be lifted into place for final re-installation.
Once the central ring was in place, the upper surrounding components could be installed with the same stainless steel anchor system.
Final installation of the outer voussoirs completed the first half of window installation.
Now the upper portion of the window could be installed without further hindrance.
Using the same stainless steel structural support system, the upper components could be stacked in a progressive and linear fashion.
Some creative and adaptive hoisting and shoring was required for this last phase of installation.
Final assembly of the last units was achieved without major problems, due to the careful planning of pre-project design.
Once all cast stone was finally installed, the previously remove leaded glass inserts were returned to the site and installed.
The interior view of the leaded glass inserts displayed the full colors and detail of the original design.
The fully restored glass and cast stone Rose Window from the interior balcony.
This architectural icon of Los Angeles in the 1920s will stand as a testament to the longevity and stability of the Jewish community for years to come.