Agudas Achim, Corsicana, TX

Robert P. Davis, Architect
revised 7 June 1996

The cornerstone of the former shul sits in the courtyard of Agudas Achim. The congregation first met in rented quarters, then purchased and remodeled a former Presbyterian church before moving to their present building in 1957. While Beth El was organized from the beginning as a Reform congregation, Agudas Achim was rigorously (and later not so rigorously) Orthodox. Although only a handfull of families remain, a full-time rabbi is still employed.

The covered and uncovered model shows the textbook simplicity of this Modernist design. Entry is through the enclosed courts and into a bridging element which connects the sanctuary/social hall block and the classroom/office block.

Irvin, Dean and his dog, Annie, superintend the gravedigging in Corsicana's large and well-kept Jewish cemetery. The grave of the person known only as the "rope walker" is the terminus of a famous local story of the turn of the century. An itinerant tightrope walker was performing a stunt on a rope stretched between two downtown buildings when he fell. As he lay near death on the street, a local minister kneeled down beside him to administer last rites only to hear his last words, "I'm Jewish."

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