This was the banquet/event hall of the synagogue in Saginaw, Michigan. It was located on the corner of E Holland and S Washington.
I’m not sure when it was last used, but it was in bad shape when I visited it in the spring/summer of 2012. The doors were wide open you could walk right in. Scrappers had stolen the radiators, the kitchen was a complete jumble, like someone tried to get the equipment out but couldn’t. It was mostly empty. Chairs in the basement, random stuff here and there but mostly nothing. It smelled damp.
The landscaping was very overgrown. You get a hint of that though the windows in this picture. That overgrowth made the light in this eerily vacant, huge room simply amazing. The wood beams above were still majestic, the windows themselves made an impressive impact.
This was the big room where wedding receptions would have been held, or bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, as well as other community functions. Klezmer bands would play the horas as newly weds would be lifted in their chairs, smiling and brimming with hope. Even at the room’s final days shown here, you can tell it was a fantastic space for people to come together in. It was built with a pride in craftsmanship and it shows.
The building was demolished in the fall of 2012.