8 Must-See Moorish Revival Buildings in the U.S.

Olana historic site Hudson valley new york
The Olana Historic Site in New York's Hudson Valley designed by Frederic Edwin Church. (Image Credit: Ɱ/Wikimedia Commons)

From the Olana estate in Hudson, NY to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Moorish Revival architectural sites are spread across the United States. They reflect various cultural tendencies, from the exoticism to fraternal organizations like The Shriners to the efforts of European Jews to find their place in the New World.

The prevalence of the Moorish Revival style is an indication that the divide between Islam and America and Muslim and Jew has not been perennial.

Here Are Eight Must-See Moorish Revival Buildings in the United States:

Central Synagogue (Manhattan, NY)

Manhattan’s Central Synagogue was constructed in 1872. The mid-Manhattan synagogue was declared a New York City landmark in 1966 and a national landmark in 1975.

central synagogue ny moorish

Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles, CA)

The Shrine Auditorium is a performance hall that also hosts Al Malaikah Temple, an affiliate of the Shriners fraternal organization. The present building was constructed in 1926, replacing a Shriners temple that was destroyed six years earlier.

shrine auditorium Los Angeles

The Olana Historic Site (Hudson, NY)

Built in 1872, the Olana estate was designed by Frederic Edwin Church, a landscape painter of the Hudson River School. Church was inspired by his travels in the Middle East and built this Moorish Revival estate along New York’s Hudson River.

olana moorish

Altria Theater (Richmond, VA)

The Altria Theater was constructed in 1927 as a headquarters for the local Shriners affiliate. It was known then as The Mosque. The building changed hands several times over the 20th century and is now home to a performance hall.

landmark altria theater

Eldridge Street Synagogue (Manhattan, NY)

The exterior of the Moorish Revival Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City.

moorish revival synagogue

Alhambra Theater (San Francisco, CA)

San Francisco’s Alhambra Theater featured two minaret-style towers. Originally constructed as a movie theater, the site is now home to a gym, though the integrity of the original building remains. The theater was declared a city landmark in 1996.

Alhambra Theatre North tower cropped

Fox Theater (Atlanta, GA)

Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theater was originally designed as a Shrine Temple, but opened in 1929 as a movie theater. The building features a dome and two minaret-style towers. It is now a performing arts venue.

fabulous fox theater

The New York City Center/Mecca Temple (New York, NY)

Formerly known as the Mecca Temple, the New York City Center was constructed in 1922. Like many other Moorish Revival buildings in the United States, the New York City Center was originally built as a Shriners hall. It features a massive terra-cotta dome. The building was converted into a performing arts venue in the 1940s.

New York City Mecca temple center

Mogulesque is a digital magazine celebrating the aesthetics, cultures, ideas, tastes, and sounds of the East in their classical, modern, and cosmopolitan forms.