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Greenwich Synagogue Files New Plans For Cos Cob Site

An artist's rendering of the proposed synagogue on Orchard Street in Cos Cob.
An artist's rendering of the proposed synagogue on Orchard Street in Cos Cob. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greenwich Reform Synagogue

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich Reform Synagogue has submitted its application to the town to build a proposed new synagogue at a site on Orchard Street in Cos Cob, according to a release.

As detailed in the filing, the synagogue, which would be constructed on a 1.75-acre site, is expected to be 2.5 stories and would house a sanctuary, classrooms and offices in less than 13,000 square feet. The site would include 48 parking spots.

Initial plans for the synagogue were drawn out over several months in Greenwich Planning and Zoning Committee meetings .

The synagogue is also facing a lawsuit from a group known as Cos Cob Families Fighting For Residential Rights who claim the construction would cause traffic, noise and flooding issues.

The design is by architecture firm Mark B. Thompson Associates LLC. The firm’s principal, Mark Thompson, is a former Greenwich resident who is personally overseeing the design process.

“Mark has designed something truly special,” synagogue Board President Robert Birnbaum said in a statement. “He has a keen and unique sensitivity to the land and neighborhood. He has figured out a way to marry those elements with the traditions of our religion and specifically of our congregation, and the result is a creation that looks like home.”

The synagogue would take on a curved form due to the landscape. It would be set toward the back of the property and situated at the foot of a dramatic rock ledge, which would be left largely untouched.

The entrance to the building would be on Orchard Street. Greenwich Reform Synagogue owns the property at 22 Osee Place, which was not included in the plan. There would be no entrance nor an exit for the congregation through Osee Place.

“We look forward to the Town’s review of our plans,” Birnbaum said in the statement. “We believe we have an outstanding application. We have solicited and considered opinions from numerous groups including, most importantly, our new neighbors, all of whom we’ve reached out to. We’ve wanted to make this process as open as possible, and to get as much input as to specific neighbor concerns as we could.  The conversations and meetings we’ve had with those who were willing to talk have been most helpful and generally positive.”

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