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The Articles of Incorporation stated that the congregation's intent was "[t]o have a synagogue for the purposes of praying, to bury their dead, and to advance its members spiritually and intellectually." It was modeled after the synagogues built on Manhattan's Lower East Side, which had to be squeezed into narrow tenement lots. Varrone, was wood framed, and "combined Gothic and Moorish design with Judaic ornament: pointed-arched windows, a roundel with a Star of David in colored glass, and a gabled parapet".