The oldest Jewish congregation in the State of Florida, Temple Beth El was founded in Pensacola in 1876. The North Palafox Street location is the third site for the Temple, the Sanctuary building designed by Emil Weill built in 1931 and the Education building built in the 1950’s, designed by Sam Marshall. The two buildings were separated by a courtyard and the floor levels of each were miss-matched. The building style would be considered a hybrid Art Deco and Art Modern, actually an early form of modern architecture for Pensacola.
The project completed in 2015 included a new connecting gathering lobby that addressed the social need of the congregation while solving the accessibility challenge. A new elevator was placed in a tower designed to reflect the south facing bell tower. The remainder of the lobby was enclosed in glass and metal frame forming a two story entry accented by a floating cast in place concrete stair connecting the lower level Social Hall and administrative spaces with the upper level Sanctuary and classroom spaces. The Social Hall and Sanctuary were both renovated with new mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations and the interiors of each maintained the clean line early modern interior parti in a soft grey palette.