Save the B'nai Zion Temple

Sanctuary Arts School, a 501 C 3 non profit organization is spearheading a statewide initiative to save the B'nai Zion Temple building in downtown Shreveport. This building is one of the most important architecturally significant historic buildings in the city.

The Beaux-art building was designed by local architects Edward F. Neild and Clarence Olschner, the Reform temple B'Nai Zion was built starting in 1914 and dedicated on October 22, 1915.

The Cotton Street temple is typical of the increasingly public nature of synagogue architecture in the early 20th century. The trend was to favored the Classical style. Located on a heavily trafficked street, the B'Nai Zion architectural style is consistent with that of a courthouse, post office, or other public buildings. The Classical style is mirrored by Shreveport's Scottish Rite Cathedral, also designed by Neild and built between 1915 and 1917; the exteriors of the two edifices are nearly identical.

There are not many outward signs of the Jewish identity exhibited on the exterior of the building. When the congregation relocated in 1955 to a new building that could accommodate a growing membership the Temple was sold to the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus and the words B'nai Zion Temple were covered up with "Knights of Columbus 1108." The Star of David on the fac╠žade, however, remained untouched.

Today Sanctuary Arts School is in the process of saving the building after years of neglect.

There is a great deal of community support for the building, and we hope people and businesses will support this effort. You can click to donate button or contact us if you can volunteer.

Click below for an exciting article talking about the B'nai Zion Temple.

Please note: We are not taking donations for the Bnai Zion Temple through this website, Please call us for more information!

Supported by a grant from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, with funds from the City of Shreveport and the Beaird Family Foundation.

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