History victory! Library and synagogue win big in contest

Brooklyn Daily
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Two ailing historic buildings will get hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovations after placing at the top of a citywide preservation contest.

The Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch won first prize, besting big name rivals across the river such as the Guggenheim Museum to snag $250,000 to repair its broken-but-beautiful front doors.

“It’s important not only for the library — but for Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Public Library spokeswoman Sacha Thompson, whose employer will use the cash to fix revolving doors that have been out of commission for several months.

Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim synagogue got the second-most votes in the Partners in Preservation contest, snagging $250,000 to fix its boarded-up stain glass windows as part of a bigger restoration project that includes repairing its aging roof and weathered facade.

“We’re thrilled,” said Cindy Greenberg, the director of the house of worship on Garfield Place at Eighth Avenue. “It’s amazing we beat some of New York’s finest institutio­ns.”

Both buildings received about eight percent of total votes in the competition, which is sponsored by the credit card company American Express.

Brooklynites cast online ballots for their favorite preservation projects, which included a proposal to bring the B&B Carousell back to its original home in Coney Island and a pitch to construct a bulkhead at the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center.

Other prize winners in the competition include a botanical garden and a museum in the Bronx.

Some additional cash will go to projects that will be chosen by preservation experts and contest organizers in June.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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