It’s been more than two years since reconstruction work on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center stopped due to lack of funding, but the project is finally set to resume. On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to form a new non-profit organization with an independent 13-member board—the Friends of St. Nicholas—who will oversee the remaining construction. The expected opening is slated for 2022.
Image via Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Flickr
Governor Cuomo announced the plans during a meeting with Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who was elected to succeed Archbishop Demetrios in May.
“The rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church that was destroyed on September 11 is a moment of coming together and healing not only for the Greek Orthodox community but for all New Yorkers who lived through that horrific day,” Governor Cuomo said. “This house of worship will serve as a reminder that our collective faith is something we can always count on to move past our painful memories and build a better tomorrow.”
As 6sqft previously reported, St. Nicholas Shrine was located at 155 Cedar Street prior to 9/11, when debris from the second World Trade Center tower destroyed the four-story tower structure. The new design by Santiago Calatrava—the architect of the nearby Oculus at the WTC transit hub—is a Byzantine-inspired structure that topped out in November 2016 with a six-foot-three-inch Justinian cross. When its 50-foot dome was completed in 2016, the construction costs began skyrocketing, increasing to an estimated $78 million from a 2013 estimate of $20 million.
Last time we got an update on the project in December 2018, the church had determined it needed an additional $38 million to finish the shrine.
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