West Suburban Temple Har Zion
1040 N. Harlem Ave. (River Forest)
Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett, 1953
Completed in 1953 to designs by the prominent Chicago architecture firm of Loebl Schlossman and Bennett, this Modernist temple is home to truly unique works of art. Most prominent of these are a set of five two-story stained glass windows in the Gottlieb Community Hall designed in 1967 by artist, cartoonist, and illustrator William Gropper. The windows render scenes from Genesis in boldly colorful faceted glass. The very unusual moving bima, or altar, enables the facility to shift from intimate services to a giant hall capable of holding hundreds. The exterior features a remarkable sculpture created by Milton Horn in 1951--possibly the first figurative sculpture installed on a synagogue in over 2,000 years.