The first synagogue built on Wilshire Boulevard, Temple Emanuel housed the city's second Reform congregation, which had been established in 1919.
When originally built, the temple seated over 1,100 people in the main sanctuary. Although the congregation grew rapidly for several years, with the opening of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple nearby and the economic difficulties of the Depression, the synagogue was soon closed and sold to Christ Church.
In 1939, the congregation was revived and a new synagogue built at 8844 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.
With its well-proportioned, symmetrical facade and repeating arched windows, the building on Manhattan Place remains a striking example of a Beaux Arts Renaissance Revival style uncommon to Los Angeles.