New design, mission for Tree of Life

Organizers said they don’t have a cost estimate or a timetable yet for the construction project. And many of the details for the interior, including the design of a memorial, are still being determined. The organizers are raising funds locally and nationally.

But they see Tuesday’s announcements as a big stride.

“We’re eager to be back in our spiritual home,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, a survivor of the attack and rabbi of Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Congregation, as it is formally known.

The plans call for retaining the synagogue’s large, main sanctuary, which was unused on the day of the attack.

Other parts of the complex would be razed, including a separate chapel where most of the killings occurred, though its historic stained-glass windows would be preserved. A new addition — framed by dramatically angled exterior walls, a hallmark of previous Libeskind projects — would incorporate the museum, a memorial to the victims and space for education and other programs.

Unifying the complex — at about 45,000 square feet in all — would be a skylight that spans the entire length of the roof, according to Libeskind’s design. The “Path of Light,” as Libeskind titles it, would begin in the historic sanctuary and widen, ray-like, across the programming area toward a new, more secure entrance.