National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program
Weekly Highlight: Temple B'Nai Israel
Cattaraugus County, New York

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


[photo] of highlighted property

Temple B’Nai Israel in Olean, stands as a highly intact example of an early 20th century synagogue in a small city in Western New York. Demonstrating its architect’s knowledge of national trends in synagogue architecture, its design combines a variety of motifs derived from historic southern and eastern European styles, as well as Middle Eastern architecture. The facade, dominated by a single, massive arch, is similar to other notable American synagogues of the period, specifically B’Nai Jeshurun in Manhattan and Temple Beth-El in Brooklyn. The building played an important role locally as the spiritual, cultural, and social center for the small but active Jewish community of Olean. Designed by architect J. Milton Hurd, Temple B’Nai Israel was dedicated on September 29, 1929 in an elaborate ceremony.

To read the full file on Temple B'Nai Israel.

To see more photographs of National Register properties go to our photostream on Flickr.

See our Weekly List (with previous highlights)