In 1953, the ambitious Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen from Beth Shalom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania wrote a letter of induction to Frank Lloyd Wright, a letter which came to change the history of American architecture. His congregation was ready to embark on
building a new synagogue, and he wanted it to be designed by America’s best architect. The result came to represent the traditions of the past and the promise of Judaism in the future. The Rabbi perceived the building as a symbol of the fusion of American Judaism and American democracy, in the spirit of the promising postwar years. In 2007, the building was designated a National Historic Landmark for its significance in the history of American architecture.