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Temple Mount Sinai
El Paso, Texas


Description: Temple Mount Sinai
Other Names: currently, El Paso Community College Business and Industry Center; earlier, League of Latin American Citizens (L. U. L. A. C.)
Address: 900 North Oregon Street and at Arizona Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: religious: synagogue
Original Client: Congregation Mount Sinai
Historic Inventory:
Date: Plans were completed in November 1914; church completed by March 1916
Condition: extant; in use as educational facility

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: Stanley Bevan
Dimensions and Orientation: 2 stories with elevated basement; 73 feet 7 inches wide x 120 feet deep
Budget/Cost: $75,000

Foundation: concrete
Wall Materials: El Paso dark red rug brick
Roofing Materials: composition
Other Materials Used: terra cotta trimmings
Remodeling and Additions: “U. S. O. Club at Temple Mt. Sinai,” 1944 [proposal? carried out?]

Present Owner: El Paso Community College
Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (M-12) 22 ink on linen drawings, including side, front and rear elevations, Commission number 2359, dated February 10, 1916; (WW-8) “renovation”, March 29, 1944, three sheets, one linen, one blueprint, one blue line [not found 3/89]
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 225a, 225b, postcards, general view; Ponsford 196, interior, entry; Ponsford 197, interior facing Ark; Ponsford 198, interior facing entry side; Aultman 512, 326, A5532

Bibliography: (1) El Paso Herald, November 14, 1914 page 2 “New Synagog of Temple Mt. Sinai, illustrations of drawing
(2) El Paso Herald, March 18, 1916, page 7, illustrations
(3) “New Temple Mt. Sinai,” El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916, Home Beautiful Section, page 7 (construction photograph)
(4) “El Paso Now Has 50 Churches and Is Building Fine Cathedral New Jewish Synagogue Being Built,” El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916, Home Beautiful Section, page 8, (description, budget given, architects and contractor named, report that cornerstone had been laid in May)
(5) El Paso Times, January 27, 1981, page 1-B (report on purchase by El Paso Community College)
(6) Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht, Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest (El Paso: El Public Library Association, 1981), pages 81-82, (essay and photograph of exterior; dust jacket, drawing of windows reproduced from a drawing cited above [El Paso Public Library M-12])
(7) Jay C. Henry, “Trost and Trost in El Paso,” Texas Architect, volume XXXVII, number 2, March April, 1987, front cover and pages 34-39 (pages 36-37, stylistic analysis of Temple Mt. Sinai, page 36, photograph of exterior by Jay C. Henry)
(8) El Paso Herald, November 18, 1916 page 14 ‘Three Dedication Days for New Temple Mount Sinai Are Decided On’
(9) El Paso Herald, April 17, 1914 page 3 ‘Imposing New Jewish Temple Will Be Built’
(10) El Paso Herald, June 3, 1916 page 9 construction progressing satisfactorily

Remarks: The community hall in the rear is part of the original plan. This was one of the most costly church buildings in the southwest at the time.

In April of 1914, the land was purchased for the price of $16,000 from W.J. Harris. The site included three lots. The church building was to face Oregon street, while the school building and other departmental room would face Montana.

The school building was to have classrooms, a kindergarten department, a dancing floor, a stage, sewing rooms and a kitchen. A gymnasium was to be located under the church building. (seating capacity 750 people)The main auditorium seating capacity was 75 people, with a gallery along the back and choir loft over the pulpit in the front.

The money raised for the temple was though membership subscriptions. The church had three days of dedication ceremonies (December 8-10)

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.