- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City’s Department of Buildings has issued a vacate order at a historic synagogue-turned-performance space after firefighters discovered structural instability.

The Buildings Department said Tuesday that it inspected the building at 172 Norfolk St. on the Lower East Side and found vertical cracks in the floor joist on both the first and second floors.

The 1849 synagogue houses the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts. It is used as an art gallery and performance space.

About 500 people were evacuated Monday after firefighters responding to a smoke alarm noticed floors were shaking and beams were cracked.

The Buildings Department says the property owner must obtain permits and make repairs before the vacate order can be lifted.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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