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Historic Angel Orensanz Center On LES Evacuated Due To Unstable Beams

Angel Orensanz Center

The Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk St. on the Lower East Side was evacuated on the night of Monday, March 31, due to loose beams. (Credit: FDNY)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The historic Angel Orensanz Center on the Lower East Side was evacuated Monday night, after beams inside the building were found to be unstable.

Around 7:30 p.m. Monday, the FDNY responded to the event space at 172 Norfolk St., after reports of smoke from cooking going on during a public assembly.

It was learned that that the mezzanine floors in the building were shaking, and firefighters investigated and found some beams that were unstable.

Firefighters evacuated the building, which had about 500 people inside.

The Angel Orensanz Center is an art gallery and performance space, housed in a historic building dating from 1849 that originally housed the Anshe Chesed Synagogue. The center is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New York City.

Sculptor Angel Orensanz bought the building in the 1980s, and the space has since hosted everyone from Elie Wiesel and Maya Angelou to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

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