Overlooking downtown Los Angeles, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, also known as the ‘Temple to the Stars,’ will be receiving a $150 million reboot. The city’s oldest synagogue will reopen just in time for the summer.
Situated 100 feet above the edge of downtown Los Angeles, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple debuted in 1929 and, according to The Huffington Post, has since been “the cornerstone of the largest Jewish congregation west of Chicago.” It became commonly known as the ‘Temple to the Stars’ due to the large number of celebrities who wed there and it being used as a set for many Hollywood movies and TV shows, including an episode of Entourage.
The renovation, which will be complete in a few weeks, has been underway for the past two years and will include “newly repaired giant chandeliers and refurbished murals depicting the history of Judaism of the great film arts Hugo Ballin,” the Huffington Post reports. The Ballin murals were reportedly commissioned by Warner Bros. studio. The mid-June preview of the changes will be followed by religious services resuming in September.
Additional work is planed already for down the line, including an overhaul of an entire block of Wilshire Boulevard, and the inclusion of a public exhibition space and center with a food pantry, medical services and more.
The temple features a copper dome, which, according to Howard Kaplan, the temple’s executive director, was originally made out of tile and it had to be almost immediately replaced about 70 years ago. Kaplan also noted that some wood detailing in the temple is actually concrete molded with rubber to look like wood.
The temple recently received a $30 million pledge from Erike Glazer, a congregant and daughter of shopping mall developer Guilford Glazer. So far, $100 million of the $150 million goal has been collected, and the Huffington Post reports that all renovations are on schedule for a mid-June reveal.
The temple is located in what is known as Koreatown, one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles.