While midcentury architect E. Stewart Williams is probably best known for his bank buildings in Palm Springs (as well as his design for Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate), he also undertook a commission to design a synagogue. The fledgling community of Temple Isaiah was founded in 1947, and its first home was completed in 1951.
The original building consisted of a sanctuary and community center, as well as offices, library, and a central patio. Materials were humble–poured concrete, cinderblock, wood ceilings, and brick. Williams’s signature inverted arches, seen in the Coachella Valley Savings and Loan building (now a Chase bank) are present here–only once again turned right side up. The original ark was designed by architect Donald Wexler while Williams designed the menorah as well as the woodwork.