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Santiago Calatrava's Greek Orthodox Church restarts construction at World Trade Center site

United States Architecture News - Jan 16, 2020 - 15:45   3718 views

Santiago Calatrava's Greek Orthodox Church restarts construction at World Trade Center site

Santiago Calatrava's Greek Orthodox church is set to restart construction at the World Trade Center site in New York, over two years after it was shut down for construction since the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) failed to pay construction fees. 

On January 2, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo officially welcomed Archbishop Elpidophoros of America to New York and announced  that reconstruction plans are on the way the rebuild of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center, announced by the GOA

Calatrava unveiled his plans in 2013 and work was commenced in 2014 and the structure topped out in 2016. But site contractor Skanska USA halted the construction in 2017 because "the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America defaulted on payments, according to a letter sent by the company to its subcontractors working at the site," as reported by Pappas Post

In a new announcement by Cuomo, the Greek Orthodox Church is set to open 1 September 2021. The original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was completely destroyed in the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 2 during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The structure will be built on a 4 foot thick concrete 'mat' that Port Authority will provide, and must conform to the loading assumptions of the 'mat'. According to Calatrava's project description, utilities will be provided to the footprint and cannot be relocated. The design shall incorporate a planned vent shaft within the building footprint.

Santiago Calatrava's Greek Orthodox Church restarts construction at World Trade Center site

Image © Jim Henderson

As the GOA explains, the project will be driven by a new non-profit organization with an independent, 13-member board - the Friends of St. Nicholas. The new entity has been formed to ensure that the sacred space is completed as expeditiously as possible and can begin welcoming visitors from around the world. The Friends of St. Nicholas will aim to resume construction with a two-year target to complete the church.

"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."

Santiago Calatrava's Greek Orthodox Church restarts construction at World Trade Center site

Image by Epicgenius – own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Archbishop Elpidophoros said: "On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Faithful, we have made a commitment to open the doors of this National Shrine by September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of that fateful day. I pledge to you, Governor Cuomo, and to all the people of New York, that we will be ready; we will be on time; and we will be open to all women and men of good will who wish to honor the memory of all who perished on September Eleventh."

Since 9/11 attack, the project at the WTC include the Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava, 3 WTC by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which all were opened in 2018. REX-designed the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center is also underway at the site. 

Top image courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

> via GOA