Sixth & I Historic Synagogue was built as the second home of the Adas Israel Congregation, which occupied the building from 1908-1951. Designed by Baltimore architect Louis Levi and built by local builder Arthur Cowsill, it was one of the first buildings in the District of Columbia to substitute reinforced concrete columns and poured-in-place concrete floors for traditional iron columns and wood floors.
When Adas Israel moved to Connecticut Avenue and Quebec Street in 1951, the building was sold to Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church, whose congregation worshipped here for half a century before moving to Hyattsville, Maryland. Three local Jewish developers purchased the building in late 2002 and undertook its restoration and renovation.
Although the building was in remarkably good condition, it showed some signs of age. Shalom Baranes Associates of Washington, DC generously drew up restoration plans at no charge. EHT Traceries, Inc. and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington provided historical research assistance and valuable documentation. A hunt for artifacts formerly associated with the building yielded some notable results.
In 2004, once renovations were complete, the building was rededicated as Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. This virtual tour details the historic restoration of Sixth & I, its journey from a synagogue to an A.M.E. Church and back to a synagogue, and the stories that were uncovered in the process.