Statement on the Demolition of Deborah Chapel

August 23, 2023

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is saddened to learn that the Deborah Chapel in Hartford, Connecticut, is being demolished today. Community members and leaders in Hartford and Connecticut have been working to save the Deborah Chapel for several years. In 2022, the National Trust included this significant place on our annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and we have continued to advocate on its behalf.

The Deborah Chapel was not only a rare and early American example of an intact Jewish funerary structure, it also told the story of women’s leadership within 19th century Jewish religious and communal organizations. The loss of this building represents a missed opportunity to honor that history while reactivating the space for a new use.

The National Trust was proud to work alongside the Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery, the Hartford Preservation Alliance, Preservation Connecticut, Mayor Luke Bronin, Attorney General William Tong, and many others who advocated on behalf of the Deborah Chapel, and we share their sadness at the loss of this important place.

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