By leaving the deceptive permanence of our homes, we let go of the first and most damaging illusion that blocks our inner eye from seeing God's presence. This is the illusion that material security protects our vulnerability. But nothing material is eternal; the feeling of security and stability that comes from possessions is transient. The only enduring possession that any of us have is our essence.— Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, "The Sukkah Experience"
I was surprised to find this sukkah-like structure being erected by non-Hasidic laborers outside a Hasidic synagogue so far in advance of the High Holidays. One man I spoke with said it is going to house overflow seating for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and then be fully sukkah-fied for Sukkot. I was not aware of this, but apparently it is not uncommon for people to build their sukkot (that's the plural of "sukkah") before Yom Kippur, saving only the s'chach to add afterward.
Synagogues often build (or have others build for them) large sukkot for their congregations (I wonder what the Garfield Temple will do this year), but many individual families will construct their own modest sukkah at home as well. Interestingly, you can often identify an apartment building constructed for observant Jews by the layout of its balconies, which, as we've seen, will be staggered to provide each family's sukkah a clear view of the sky.