Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.
Address: 582 Ocean Avenue
City: New London
Zip Code: 06320
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 41.32745, -72.10137
Site Area: 273,557 s.f.
Floor Area: 36,203 s.f.
Floors (Above Ground): 2
Client: Congregation Beth El
Architect: Paul Rudolph
Contractor: United Construction Company (1968-1971)
Subcontractor(s): Duct & Vent Cleaning of America, Inc. (2018)
Addition to Beth El Synagogue
Paul Rudolph’s presentation model was set up in the foyer of the original building for the congregation to become familiar with the concept of the new addition.
The addition was dedicated on November 26, 1971.
Citing a decline in membership dues and budget deficits, Congregation Beth El sold the building to a local educational organization in mid-September 2017, and moved out in October 2017.
The building was listed (MLS# E10061127) for $2.5 million on July 12, 2017.
LEARN purchased the former synagogue for $1.9 million on October 20, 2017.
The building is now known as the Ocean Avenue LEARNing Academy, a school for special education students.
Ribbon cutting for the school was June 06, 2019.
The following excerpt was written by Myron Hendel, Chairman of the Building Committee, and appeared in the addition’s dedication journal:
The original building was completed in May, 1951. It soon was apparent that the building had to be enlarged.
In the summer of 1964 the then President of the Congregation Mr. Benjamin Levinson asked Mr. Sigmund Strochlitz to be chairman of the Future Plans Committee and to study the future of the congregation and its physical needs.
This committee met and worked for an entire year studying the needs of the congregation, and finally at the annual meeting in June, 1965 recommended to the Congregation that a new committee be set up to be known as the Building Expansion Committee.
The new requirements determined for the addition were:
1. A sanctuary with permanent seats for 400 people
2. A chapel for 75 people
3. A new Rabbi’s study
4. New administrative offices
5. Expanded youth facilities
6. An enlarged modern kitchen
7. Air conditioning in main places of gathering
The Architect Selection Committee chaired by Mr. Walter Baker was interviewing architects. The Committee commissioned Mr. Paul Rudolph of New York, N.Y. after a long study, to design the new building, and gave him a list of requirements as determined by the Requirements Committee. After many months of working the architect presented a design concept, a model, and the design concept was approved at a special congregational meeting.
The Building Committee authorized Mr. Rudolph to proceed with working drawings.
The construction plans were completed and put out to bid, and the bids were opened on March 04, 1968. The bids came in far in excess of the budget due to the rapid rise of construction costs. The committee met with Mr. Rudolph and accepted the suggested economies of Mr. Rudolph during the Spring of 1968, which brought the building within our proposed budget without affecting the design concept.
The Building Expansion Committee and the Board of Directors voted to recommend at the annual congregation meeting on June 28, 1968 to proceed with the building at an estimated cost of $700,000. Mr. Rudolph explained the building and the congregation authorized the committee to proceed with the new building.
On October 04, 1968 the United Construction Company of New London, Connecticut was awarded the contract for building the new facilities. The building was under construction since November, 1968. Mr. Adrian Goldman worked with the builder and architect during the early stages of construction and Mr. Arnold Lawall during the later stages of construction.
DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings
DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings
DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings
PHOTOS - Project Model
PHOTOS - During Construction
PHOTOS - Completed Project
PHOTOS - Current Conditions
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION
Rudolph, Paul. Paul Rudolph, Dessins D’Architecture. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1974. pp. 186-187.
“Chronological list of works by Paul Rudolph, 1946-1974.” il., sec. Architecture and Urbanism 49 (January 1975): 161.
“Addition to Beth el Synagogue.” il., sec. Architecture and Urbanism 80 (July 1977): 176-177.
Futagawa, Yukio. Paul Rudolph: Dessins d'Architecture: Architekturzeichnunge: Architectural Drawings, New York, pp. 186-187 (1981)
Smith, Greg. “New London’s Beth El prepares to sell Ocean Avenue synagogue.” The Day, June 01, 2017.
Dresner, Stacey. “End of an Era – New London Congregation Prepares to Pack up and Leave Its Longtime Home.” CT Jewish Ledger, June 07, 2017.
Smith, Greg. “Former New London synagogue has new life as school.” The Day, June 06, 2019.