Brunner, Arnold

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BRUNNER, ARNOLD

BRUNNER, ARNOLD (1857–1925), U.S. architect. Brunner was born in New York and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most of his buildings were of a public character and included bridges, hospitals, university buildings, and synagogues as well as the Lewisohn Stadium for the College of the City of New York, which is used as an open-air concert hall. Brunner was a pioneer of civic planning and did valuable work in this field in Baltimore, Rochester, Albany, and Denver. Of his synagogues, Beth El (1891) and Shaaray Tefila (1894) in New York, and Mishkan Israel (1897) in New Haven, were designed in a Romanesque style with Islamic and Byzantine elements. This concept of synagogues had originated in Germany and spread to America through the German Jewish congregations. Brunner's later synagogues were built exclusively in a classical style. This change was due, he maintained, to the investigation of ancient synagogues in Galilee, built in a Greco-Roman tradition. An example of this style was the new place of worship Shearith Israel (1897) built for the Sephardi community of New York. He also employed this classical style for the small Henry S. Frank Memorial Synagogue (1901) on the grounds of the Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia. In this case the design was inspired by *Kefar Baram, a second-century synagogue in Galilee.

bibliography:

R. Wischnitzer, Synagogue Architecture in the U.S. (1955), 49–60; Roth, Art, 739–40.