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Edward
October 8th, 2002, 10:01 PM
St. Nicholas Hellenic Orthodox Church (http://www.wirednewyork.com/churches/st_nicholas/) was destroyed together with the World Trade Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/wtc/) on 11 September 2001.

The church was located across the Liberty Street from the WTC towers, between the Washington and West Streets.

The tiny church building was constructed around 1832. It originally was a residence and later housed a tavern before the founders of the parish purchased the structure. It measured 22 feet wide in front, 20 feet, 11 inches in the back, and about 56 feet long. It was 35 feet tall. On three sides it was bounded by a parking lot.

Greek immigrants established St. Nicholas Church in 1916 and purchased the structure for $25,000. It was one of two old calendar parishes under the Archdiocese until 1993 when it switched to the Gregorian calendar. Among the church's unique characteristics were its small size and its icons, which were a gift from the last czar of Russia, Nicholas II.



St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.wirednewyork.com/churches/st_nicholas/) on 20 May 2000.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/images/churches/saint-nicholas-greek-orthodox-church/st_nicholas_front.jpg



The cross of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.wirednewyork.com/churches/st_nicholas/) in front of World Trade Center towers.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/images/churches/saint-nicholas-greek-orthodox-church/st_nicholas_up.jpg

Kris
May 14th, 2004, 05:01 AM
May 14, 2004

Solace on the Site of Disaster

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/14/nyregion/nich.184.jpg
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was crushed by the fall of the south tower on Sept. 11.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/14/nyregion/nich.1841.jpg
Among the items that were salvaged from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church were, from top, a book and a bell from the altar, and a gong from the bell that was atop the church. The most precious of the old church's possessions were never recovered.

It is the smallest building planned at ground zero. But the architects who will compete to design the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church may face the biggest challenge.

They will be asked by Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, for a design at once unmistakably ecclesiastical yet in harmony with the bold secular architecture around it, one that captures unearthly mystery in tangible dimensions and conveys a sense of something outside human experience.

"Within this area, which experienced the horror of total catastrophe, which was the ultimate in human ugliness, you have this type of place which is not a house, not a business, not a museum, not a symphony hall," the archbishop said.

"It's a religious place, which opens the realm of holiness: this total other, the transcendent."

And all of this on a parcel of 5,200 square feet, set in a park across Liberty Street from the main World Trade Center site, roughly the spot where the little St. Nicholas Church stood until the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

The new St. Nicholas will not be a simple parish church, Archbishop Demetrios said, but a combination church and multiuse, interdenominational center "that offers itself to people of all faiths or even without faith." It would include an exhibition of the few remnants of the old church, which was crushed by the fall of the south tower.

These include icons of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos and the Zoodochos Pege, or life-giving fountain; a small bell that once hung next to the altar; a hand-embroidered velvet Bible covering; and wax candles fused into a serpentine tangle.

St. Nicholas Church was founded in 1916 and soon moved into a modest three-story structure at 155 Cedar Street, on a 22-by-55-foot lot, that had been built as a private dwelling in the 1830's and later turned into a tavern. The church added a fourth floor and a bell cote but still fell 106 stories shy of its giant neighbors to the north.

The congregation, about 70 people from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County and New Jersey, now worships at SS. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn. "It is the same faces, different building," said Peter Drakoulias, a board member of the church. "Same people. Same hearts. Same hopes."

Mr. Drakoulias said church members supported the idea of rebuilding St. Nicholas as a place of solace and remembrance in which anyone would feel comfortable. "It's an essential part of the mission, as far as the congregation is concerned," he said.

More than $2 million in contributions have been made to the rebuilding effort. In January, the mayor of Bari, Italy, site of the 11th-century San Nicola Basilica, donated 258,000 euros (about $307,000).

The lot on which St. Nicholas stood will most likely be condemned by the state; that is, taken under eminent domain. In return, the church will receive a larger parcel - 65 by 80 feet - on the same block but closer to Liberty Street.

The details are not yet set, said Kevin M. Rampe, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

"The historic nature of the church and the fact that it's been there so long has convinced everyone that trying to provide space for it would be important to the future, in terms of telling the story of what happened Sept. 11," Mr. Rampe said.

Daniel Libeskind, the master planner of the trade center project, said the church was "part of the spiritual legacy of the site."

"St. Nicholas, as small as it was, was an incredibly moving piece of Lower Manhattan," he said. "It glowed with diversity and the beauty of meditation."

Archbishop Demetrios envisions an international design contest, once the specifics of the site are fixed. Widely published renderings of the trade center memorial showed St. Nicholas with a gable roof and belfry, but this was a kind of visual space holder.

The question is whether the new St. Nicholas needs traditional features to assert its ecclesiastical identity. "You don't expect a pure Byzantine-style church," the archbishop said. "On the other hand, if you depart too radically as a totally modern structure, then that is not perhaps the best way."

Negotiating this line will be difficult, allowed Nicholas P. Koutsomitis, an architect on the board of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan who is developing the master plan for the new St. Nicholas.

"Traditionally, a Byzantine dome has been strongly identified with the Greek Orthodox church," Mr. Koutsomitis said. "The trick, in my opinion, will be to produce something that somehow has a visible element of that, yet is more of a modern architectural piece of sculpture."

One of the younger Greek Orthodox churches in Manhattan, St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, was built in the early 50's, when the glass-and-steel International style was on the rise.

Yet its interior is extravagantly, exuberantly traditional; every square inch is ornamented with Byzantine artwork under a high dome depicting Christ.

"The traditionalist in me says that the interior should follow a Byzantine motif," said Steve Hantzarides, president of the board of St. Spyridon.

But Constantine L. Tsomides, a Massachusetts architect who has followed the redevelopment of St. Nicholas, cautioned the archdiocese in 2002 that too literal a Byzantine plan "will result in a building resembling an artificial theme park."

The mixture of the historic and the contemporary at ground zero runs deeper than most New Yorkers know. The most precious of the old church's possessions - relics, or tiny bone fragments, of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine and St. Sava - were never recovered.

To Archbishop Demetrios, the notion that the saints' relics were intermingled in the dust with the remains of the attack victims only serves to sanctify the site further. "Imagine," he said, "a cemetery that somehow has been a burial place for many centuries."

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/14/nyregion/14nich_graph.gif

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

dtolman
May 14th, 2004, 04:07 PM
That first image in the New York Times article - juxtaposing the church with its impending doom, I find to be one of the most striking images of the whole disaster.

Its one of the few pictures that really gives a sense of scale - showing the entire huge structure as a backdrop for a building that could stand in for any building or house we interact with everyday.

James Kovata
May 14th, 2004, 09:55 PM
Interestingly, the article did not mention the most "famous" items contained in the church (other than the relics), i.e. the icons donated by Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra of Russia.

BPC
May 15th, 2004, 12:41 AM
As a former (infrequent) parishioner of that church, I only hope that the ultimate design will be something Herbert Muschaump will hate.

ZippyTheChimp
May 15th, 2004, 12:56 AM
When I read the article, this (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1912&highlight=jubilee+church+meie r) came to mind.

James Kovata
May 15th, 2004, 06:39 AM
When I read the article, this (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1912&highlight=jubilee+church+meie r) came to mind.

I would love to see an Orthodox church that looks like that. Unfortunately, the Orthodox church seems to be married to neo-byzantine architecture. Although byzantine architecture is beautiful and classic, it would not blend well in lower Manhattan.

BPC
May 15th, 2004, 11:34 AM
When I read the article, this (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1912&highlight=jubilee+church+meie r) came to mind.

Interesting, but there is only so much you can do with 65 by 80 feet.

BPC
May 15th, 2004, 11:44 AM
...Unfortunately, the Orthodox church seems to be married to neo-byzantine architecture. ...

You have a point, but the Church can loosen up architecturally on occassion. This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed GreekOrthodox Church in Milawukee:

http://www.roamersgreenpages.com/Wisconsin/Images/AnnunciationChurch.jpg

http://www.peterbeers.net/interests/flw_rt/Wisconsin/annunciation_greek_church/DSCN0690_Church_Spire_Down.JPG

Here, however, because of the tragedy of 9/11, I would prefer not to see too much of an out-there design. Something modest and conservative seems more appropriate.

Derek2k3
May 15th, 2004, 02:28 PM
As a former (infrequent) parishioner of that church, I only hope that the ultimate design will be something Herbert Muschaump will hate.

Some unispired post-modern garbage that would appear that the building was built 80 years ago huh...something like BPC.

James Kovata
May 15th, 2004, 02:52 PM
You have a point, but the Church can loosen up architecturally on occassion. This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed GreekOrthodox Church in Milawukee:



I love that building.

BPC
May 15th, 2004, 02:54 PM
As a former (infrequent) parishioner of that church, I only hope that the ultimate design will be something Herbert Muschaump will hate.

Some unispired post-modern garbage that would appear that the building was built 80 years ago huh...something like BPC.

I suppose you would prefer some Gehry-esque eyesore that will be out-of-date and out-of-fashion five years after it is built. That may be fine for an art museum, but churches should be more modest.

TLOZ Link5
May 15th, 2004, 04:48 PM
I don't think that it's fair to assume that all of Frank Gehry's work will be obsolete in five years. People said that about art deco, and it's proven to be timeless. But I digress.

Considering the site, I for one think it would be interesting and appropriate if the facade took on the same theme as Sagrada Familia: pristine at the top, but gradually seeming to dissolve and decay as you go further down—simply a reminder that nothing, whether material or natural, is eternal.

Kris
May 15th, 2004, 05:04 PM
Hopefully it will be something BPC and other reactionaries will hate.


That may be fine for an art museum, but churches should be more modest.
The way Baroque Rome is modest?

LuPeRcALiO
May 15th, 2004, 07:07 PM
Considering the site, I for one think it would be interesting and appropriate if the facade took on the same theme as Sagrada Familia: pristine at the top, but gradually seeming to dissolve and decay as you go further down—simply a reminder that nothing, whether material or natural, is eternal.

but is NYC ready for La Sagrada Familia?

http://www.driveline.co.uk/images/greatgetaways/cities/sagrada-familia-at-night.jpg

answer: claro que yes!

fioco
May 15th, 2004, 08:58 PM
pristine at the top, but gradually seeming to dissolve and decay as you go further down—simply a reminder that nothing, whether material or natural, is eternal.
TLOZlink5, you have the makings of a sensitive architect -- creative, thoughtful and curious. Too few architects think theology in their designs, and the spaces are either too austere (spiritual without the messiness of humanity) or they echo a predictable but conformist ecclesiology. I hold hopes that the new Saint Nicholas will wed religious ornamentation with a simplicity of design. La Sagrada Familia is fabulous and monumental. Can something as evocative be created in miniature? Let us pray. . .

BPC
May 15th, 2004, 10:17 PM
Hopefully it will be something BPC and other reactionaries will hate.


That may be fine for an art museum, but churches should be more modest.
The way Baroque Rome is modest?

What I intended, and should have said was, that a church at the site of a national tragedy and memorial to 3,000 dead should be relatively modest. In other settings something Koolhaas-ian might be appropriate, but not here.

UrbanSculptures
May 15th, 2004, 10:36 PM
Interesting story, I have seen the church's web site once last year showing photos of the ornate interior.

I have to wonder why bother with having an architect "design" something, just recreate the facade from the existing photos as a guide.

I find it odd where this quote said:

"The most precious of the old church's possessions - relics, or tiny bone fragments, of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine and St. Sava - were never recovered.

To Archbishop Demetrios, the notion that the saints' relics were intermingled in the dust with the remains of the attack victims only serves to sanctify the site further."

I guess what he failed to realize is that ALL of the debris and the dirt, rubble etc right down to the foundation was totally removed and as I remember- hauled over to what was it? "freshkills" landfill (and man if THAT isnt an ironic name for where the debris wound up...) to be sorted and looked over, so whatever relics and Saint bone fragments was there is now in NJ sanctifying the landfill there not the site where the church was.

James Kovata
May 15th, 2004, 11:06 PM
Perhaps I am being too sensitive, but I cannot understand why anyone would hope that a church would be built in a style hated by someone who is a member of the religion to which the church belongs.

Derek2k3
May 16th, 2004, 12:41 AM
As a former (infrequent) parishioner of that church, I only hope that the ultimate design will be something Herbert Muschaump will hate.

Some unispired post-modern garbage that would appear that the building was built 80 years ago huh...something like BPC.

I suppose you would prefer some Gehry-esque eyesore that will be out-of-date and out-of-fashion five years after it is built. That may be fine for an art museum, but churches should be more modest.

Actually I would prefer it but it's not necessary. The church can be modern and modest at the same time. It just seemed like you were implying that they should build a little church with a traditional bell tower, fake ornaments, etc., to act as if the church has been there way before 9/11.


I have to wonder why bother with having an architect "design" something, just recreate the facade from the existing photos as a guide.
Why stop there, screw the current plans and recreate the new wtc from existing photos as a guide. How nonsensical right? I don't understand why being a church makes it justifiable to build some copy of outdated architecture. Are churches not supposed to adapt and progress to modern times?

UrbanSculptures
May 16th, 2004, 03:32 AM
It just seemed like you were implying that they should build a little church with a traditional bell tower, fake ornaments, etc., to act as if the church has been there way before 9/11.



Fake ornaments? the facade actually was very plain except maybe the shape of the upper parts of the windows I think were pointed and the very top where the bell was reminded me of old Spanish missions. Beyond thatthe facade was devoid of gaudyness.



Why stop there, screw the current plans and recreate the new wtc from existing photos as a guide. How nonsensical right?



I've wondered that myself, WHY create an entirely whole new everything from scratch when all the original plans for the two towers could have been modified and maybe built them 50 floors or so high, or even the original 110- whatever, there was nothing wrong with the floor space layout.
They could have put the two towers back in pretty much as they were with modifications/updates etc as needed and it would have gone a long way towards visually putting back what is missing there instead of making the entire site a constant daily reminder.



I don't understand why being a church makes it justifiable to build some copy of outdated architecture.

"Outdated" by whose definitions though?

that really has become a nonsensical catch term and seems to be used more and more by big corporations brainwashing people into the mindset that they have to replace their "outdated" 2 year old $15,000 cars, their "outdated" hair styles every month, "outdated" clothing styles from gasp!!! LAST year!!! and so on. If you stop and think about that you can see how brainwashed the American public has become into replacing almost everything on an almost annual basis (if it doesnt fall apart first) and certainly by 5 years- from major appliances to houses and everything in between.

That's why the landfills are so damned stuffed full of the updated but now outdated in a year junk people keep throwing out!

The DesMoines paper ran an article a couple of weeks ago on that with a photo of what people threw out on the annual big item garbage days- perfectly good furniture, sofas, beds, cribs, you name it.
People don't bother keeping or repairing anything any more they just toss it and buy new in an endless cycle, and then wonder why their credit cards are $30,000 in the hole.

ZippyTheChimp
May 16th, 2004, 08:12 AM
If people always felt that way, there would be no gothic cathedrals, no art deco - well, you get the idea.

Shouldn't we have an architectural legacy to pass to the 22nd century?

fioco
May 17th, 2004, 01:44 AM
If, at its noblest, architecture is able to elevate the mundane and necessary into that which lifts the human spirit as it serves the public need, then art that is beyond the predictable and expedient should guide the design of St. Nicholas.

Ecclesiastical architecture once played a critical role both in how a city projected its importance (temporal power) and its inherent values (spirituality and the social contract). Temples, churches and mosques were gathering places, often surrounded by markets and commerce, and serving as sentinels to remind the community of a power greater than civic authority or tremendous wealth. Such monolithic metaphors no longer speak so convincingly in a diverse, pluralistic society of many creeds, but the need remains for a community to be inspired, to reach for its ideals, and to see life (temporal and eternal) beyond greedy self-interest or cynical hard-heartedness.

Even if the new design of St. Nicholas church echoes the shape and simplicity of the former building, the faith community has been forever changed by 9-11 and its aftermath. The architecture must somehow embody not only the evolving physical requirements of the community but also its spiritual aspirations. Because of its location, the new church will be a provocative witness to endurance and a sentinel for hope. If the architect has chosen suitable and effective metaphors, then believers and non-believers alike would be able to find solace in its design.

So far, every structure considered for the WTC site has elicited much debate and discussion. It will be no different for this small church. The challenge will be to effect great art in miniature form. Perhaps it will be a modernist Faberge egg to bask in the elegance of Calatrava's transit center, or instead, a Koolhaus orgami. And if perchance the Freedom Tower is inelegant, may the views from it be elevated and inspired by the great architecture that surrounds it.

SunsetWorks
May 18th, 2004, 11:24 PM
The bone fragments may be among the thousands of unidentified human remains stored in the refrigerated trailers at the NYC Medical Examiners Office. Due to their age the DNA is probably degraded and would be hard to identify, even if other samples from those long-dead saints could be located elsewhere and DNA profiled.

There would have been no way the recovery teams at the site or Fresh Kills could have separately identified the saints' bone relics from victim bone fragments, if the container holding the relics was destroyed, which was very likely.


I find it odd where this quote said:

"The most precious of the old church's possessions - relics, or tiny bone fragments, of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine and St. Sava - were never recovered.

To Archbishop Demetrios, the notion that the saints' relics were intermingled in the dust with the remains of the attack victims only serves to sanctify the site further."

I guess what he failed to realize is that ALL of the debris and the dirt, rubble etc right down to the foundation was totally removed and as I remember- hauled over to what was it? "freshkills" landfill (and man if THAT isnt an ironic name for where the debris wound up...) to be sorted and looked over, so whatever relics and Saint bone fragments was there is now in NJ sanctifying the landfill there not the site where the church was.

BPC
April 22nd, 2006, 10:33 AM
April 22, 2006

On Greek Orthodox Easter, a Displaced Parish Contemplates Its Future

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

At midnight tonight, the parishioners of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan will celebrate Easter where they have worshiped for five years.

In Brooklyn. At SS. Constantine and Helen Cathedral.

With all the talk of unkept promises at ground zero, it is sometimes easy to overlook St. Nicholas Church, structurally the smallest victim of 9/11, crushed by the collapse of the south tower.

But its own journey through the redevelopment wilderness has been no less protracted than better known projects. And it is not over yet.

The new site for the church is being dictated in large measure by something entirely unrelated to liturgical or parochial needs: the layout of an underground screening center that would serve as the security conduit for all vehicles entering the ramps, roadways, loading docks and parking areas serving the new trade center buildings.

The church must be undergirded by a hardened slab to protect it from an explosion in the ramps below, just as the ramps must be protected from an explosion set off in the church above.

"We cannot really proceed, even with planning, I mean architectural planning, because we have to know what's going on," said Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. "How strong would be this undergirding? And therefore what type of building do you have on top? How high? What's the material? The weight? There are a number of factors here.

"We would like to conclude the issue as soon as possible."

There is no way to say exactly when the end will come, though it appears to be on the horizon.

"What we're attempting to do is balance the church's spiritual needs with design, construction and safety issues," said Steven Plate, the director of priority capital programs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which will build the screening center at a cost of $478 million.

An irregular, 4,500-square-foot site on Liberty Street, facing the World Trade Center memorial, has tentatively been assigned to St. Nicholas, though the exact dimensions are not yet set. It would have a forecourt, which Archbishop Demetrios imagines as a possible permanent home for the steel-beam cross salvaged from 6 World Trade Center.

The new St. Nicholas will have a sanctuary and a separate contemplation hall where people of any faith — or none — can come for a spiritual retreat from ground zero.

Wrapped around the new church and forecourt, following the curving geometry of the ramps below, would be an elevated park and overlook.

The site is almost four times larger than the church's original lot at 155 Cedar Street, which it still owns but will exchange for the new site. Planners for the archdiocese want the new building close to Greenwich Street, rather than behind or on top of the hill that will be formed by the entryway to the ramps.

"The church has to be accessible," said Nicholas P. Koutsomitis, an architect who is preparing the master plan for St. Nicholas. "It can't be perched on top of a hill."

Stefan Pryor, the president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said the church would be placed "as close to its desired location on the east as possible," pending approval by the Port Authority and the multi-agency Lower Manhattan Counter-Terrorism Advisory Team, which includes the New York Police Department.

The government's interest in accommodating the church, he said, is based not only on the historical presence of St. Nicholas in the neighborhood — once a vital Greek and Syrian quarter — but in its greater symbolic role.

"This is the site of an attack that was based on religious extremism," Mr. Pryor said. "By creating an interdenominational center that welcomes people of all faiths we think that the church is making a marvelous statement."

St. Nicholas was founded in 1916. Before moving to Cedar Street, its parishioners worshiped in the dining room of a hotel on Morris Street run by Stamatis Kalamarides.

His grandson, John E. Pitsikalis, is now president of the parish council. Growing up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, Mr. Pitsikalis remembers traveling with his family into Manhattan for the midnight service at St. Nicholas on Easter Sundays.

"There's a lot of loyalty to your first church," he said.

Since the destruction of St. Nicholas, its members have scattered to churches in New York and New Jersey. The largest group wound up at SS. Constantine and Helen in downtown Brooklyn, where their priest, the Rev. John Romas was assigned.

"The community of St. Constantine has really embraced us," Mr. Pitsikalis said. "It was like we were refugees."

Grateful as they are, however, the people of St. Nicholas long to return home.

"I was walking on the street and ran into a parishioner in her 70's," Mr. Pitsikalis said. "She's scared that she might die and not be buried from St. Nicholas."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/nyregion/22nicholas.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

LeCom
August 2nd, 2006, 11:38 PM
You have a point, but the Church can loosen up architecturally on occassion. This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed GreekOrthodox Church in Milawukee:

http://www.roamersgreenpages.com/Wisconsin/Images/AnnunciationChurch.jpg

http://www.peterbeers.net/interests/flw_rt/Wisconsin/annunciation_greek_church/DSCN0690_Church_Spire_Down.JPG

Here, however, because of the tragedy of 9/11, I would prefer not to see too much of an out-there design. Something modest and conservative seems more appropriate.
I am Eastern Orthodox Christian, and I consider myself open to abstract and objective thought concerning religion, and I also like many futuristic structures. However, I don't know just how comfortable I would be attending this building as a church.

Gotham
August 3rd, 2006, 01:30 PM
Here's the recently built Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumtion in Port Jefferson, Long Island.... 2005 I think. I'm Roman Catholic, but the rebuilt St. Nick's will be something special for everyone.... I hope.
http://www.kimisis.org/Gallery/Church%20Album/images/Scan03-02-22-051_jpg.jpg (http://www.kimisis.org/Gallery/Church%20Album/images/Scan03-02-22-051_jpg.jpg)

LeCom
August 3rd, 2006, 01:43 PM
That looks like an Armenian branch of the church.

Gotham
August 3rd, 2006, 03:06 PM
Nope.... Greek. Nice Architecture either way.
2154

LeCom
August 4th, 2006, 12:48 AM
Nope.... Greek. Nice Architecture either way.
2154
Alright, thanks for the clearup. They/we are the same branch anyway, basically. To all who don't know, here's how it happened: Emperor Constantine broke the Roman Empire into two, the West with the capital at Rome and the East Empire with the capital at Byzantium, current Istanbul. Rome gave rise to the Vatican, Catolicism and Protestant branch-offs, while Byzantium gave rise to Eastern christian churches, such as Greek, Armenian, Russian and others.

Gotham
August 4th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Istanbul = formally Constantinople..... always admired the Orthadox Christian Church's architecture.

James Kovata
August 5th, 2006, 05:32 AM
I am Eastern Orthodox Christian, and I consider myself open to abstract and objective thought concerning religion, and I also like many futuristic structures. However, I don't know just how comfortable I would be attending this building as a church.


I've always loved that Milwaukee church. The rotunda style was one of the earliest styles used in church architecture (after the classic three aisle basilica). By the way LeCom, I'm also Eastern Orthodox.

ablarc
August 8th, 2006, 08:40 AM
I would love to see an Orthodox church that looks like that. Unfortunately, the Orthodox church seems to be married to neo-byzantine architecture. Although byzantine architecture is beautiful and classic, it would not blend well in lower Manhattan.
No need for a church to blend. A church should stand out. Old St. Nicholas contrasted very nicely with the World Trade Center.

BigMac
December 6th, 2006, 03:45 PM
AM New York
December 6, 2006

Church at ground zero marks 90th year

Associated Press

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was set to mark its 90th year Wednesday with its structure gone but its spirit intact.

The landmark church in Manhattan's financial district was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The congregation and city authorities are still cementing a plan to rebuild.

Members plan to mark the anniversary -- and the day devoted to the church's namesake saint -- by creating a "temporary church" at one of ground zero's gates.

Given the church's history, it also will be an occasion to remember the terrorist attacks. Some victims' relatives were expected at the service, and visitors were invited to view artifacts recovered from ground zero.

Built in 1916, the tiny church stood at the southern edge of what is now ground zero. It was traditionally a refuge for Greek sailors who believed that St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, would keep their ships from sinking.

St. Nicholas -- commonly known as Santa Claus -- was born in the third century to a wealthy family in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey. He became a bishop and lavished his inheritance on the needy, especially children.

The church has served generations of Greek-American families and some of the world's rich and famous, including shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and actor Telly Savalas.

The Orthodox community worldwide has pledged millions of dollars to rebuild the church, which New York Gov. George Pataki promised would rise on or close to the same spot.

The congregation's 80 families have worshipped elsewhere while awaiting the rebuilding.

Copyright 2006 AM New York

Jboulin94
December 6th, 2006, 08:51 PM
I was upset to hear that the church was crushed because im Greek. It never stood a chance when the towers fell.

BPC
December 7th, 2006, 02:18 PM
AP Top News`Tent' Church at Ground Zero
By VERENA DOBNIK

Associated Press Writer

December 7, 2006, 10:50 AM EST

NEW YORK -- A church rose up for a day inside a white tent at ground zero.

Hundreds of faithful from the tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed along with the World Trade Center, gathered in a makeshift canvas sanctuary on Wednesday, where they marked St. Nicholas Day and the 90th anniversary of their parish.

"We have constructed a church for a day," said Peter Drakoulias, a church board member, before the afternoon service that drew worshippers from Boston, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

As part of the ceremony, Archbishop Demetrios, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, read the names of some Greek-Americans who died in the 2001 terror attacks.

Among them was John K. Katsimatides, an employee of the Cantor Fitzgerald bond brokerage.

"Once a week, my brother used to stop by this church, light a candle and pray," said his sister, Anthoula Katsimatides.

The Sept. 11 attack decimated the landmark church that was once a refuge for everyone from Wall Street traders on their lunch break to Greek sailors who believed St. Nicholas, their patron saint, would keep their ships from sinking.

The church, with barely enough seating for 100 people, also drew some of the world's rich and famous, including shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and "Kojak" actor Telly Savalas.

Parishioners have raised more than $4 million to rebuild the house of worship at or near its original site, an area just south of the one-time trade center location.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, has yet to approve a final plan for rebuilding St. Nicholas.

"We're just a little church, a small piece of the reconstruction, and we're being patient," said Drakoulias.

* __

On the Net:

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church: http://www.stnicholasnyc.com

lofter1
December 4th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Not new news, but on-topic for this thread:

Port Authority, St. Nicholas Church Reach Ground Zero Deal

NY OBSERVER
by Eliot Brown
July 28, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/stnicholas_0.jpg
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
St. Nicholas Church before September 11.

As expected (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.observer.com%2F2008%2Freal-estate%2Fdeal-near-ground-zero-church-and-port-authority&ei=Z-WNSMOQAZGo8ASasKCDBQ&usg=AFQjCNE5zOLOjcO0QmaWEdVGrYGA_BjcCQ&sig2=QPN7ZWIKu-xAee4egSWfIA), the Port Authority last week approved the land deal with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to allow the Port to use the church's Ground Zero land and build a vehicle security center below.

The bi-state agency agreed to give the church $20 million ($10 million is supposed to come from JPMorgan Chase for its planned adjacent building, though we'll see if that tower ever happens), along with up to $40 million for infrastructure. The church will get a significantly larger lot than it had prior to September 11, 2001, at 8,100 square feet.

Release below.



PORT AUTHORITY AND St. NICHOLAS CHURCH REACH AGREEMENT

ON REBUILDING CHURCH AT WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE


Agreement Allows WTC Vehicle Security Center to Move Forward

The Port Authority and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have reached an agreement that will allow the 92-year-old church to be rebuilt near its former location at the World Trade Center site. The agreement also resolves a key issue - one of the 15 fundamental issues identified in last month's Port Authority World Trade Center Assessment -- that will allow construction to proceed on the Vehicle Security Center - a vital artery that will serve nearly every facility on the site and is a key driver of schedules and costs of the other projects.

At its monthly meeting today, the bistate agency's Board of Commissioners authorized an agreement between the Port Authority, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City of New York and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that will move the site of the Greek Church to allow for access and construction needed for the construction of the Vehicle Security Center.

Under the agreement, St. Nicholas Church agreed to convey property at 155 Cedar Street - where the church was located before it was destroyed on 9/11 - to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. LMDC, in turn, will transfer the parcel at 130 Liberty Street to the church for its new building. LMDC will then transfer property at 155 Cedar Street, 140 Liberty Street and a portion of 130 Liberty Street to the Port Authority for construction of the South Bathtub, which will house the Vehicle Security Center.

St. Nicholas will receive up to $20 million in direct costs for the rebuilt church, including $10 million from the Port Authority to mitigate the impact on the cost of building the church over the Vehicle Security Center, and $10 million from a third party as part of a future development agreement for the Tower 5 site. The Port Authority will provide an additional $20 million, up to a maximum of $40 million, to build the infrastructure needed to support the church on top of the Vehicle Security Center.

As a result of this agreement, the Board approved an $88.6 million contract with the joint venture of E.E. Cruz & Co. and Nicholson, LLC for construction of the walls of the South Bathtub south of the existing World Trade Center site, which will be used ultimately to house the vehicle screening facility and parking for approximately 28 tour buses. The new South Bathtub will be bounded by Liberty, Greenwich, Cedar and West streets.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "This agreement with the Greek Church brings to a successful close months of negotiations on an issue that, left unresolved, would have affected the successful construction progress we've made in the past two years and the future work we need to do at the World Trade Center site. It represents the Port Authority's firm resolve to do what is necessary to advance the rebuilding process as quickly as possible."

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "Resolving this lynchpin issue in a matter of weeks is a concrete example of the new way of doing business at the World Trade Center site. Much more remains to be done, but this agreement represents an important step forward."

The St. Nicholas Church land rights claim was one of 15 key issues outlined in the World Trade Center Assessment report, which was commissioned by New York Governor David A. Paterson and released publicly on June 30.

http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/church-deal (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/church-deal)

© 2008 Observer Media Group,

NYatKNIGHT
December 4th, 2008, 12:29 PM
The site has been cleared and they have begun to mobilize.

Step One: begin construction of the new south slurry wall.

Step Two: construct a new Liberty St. pedestrian bridge extension where the stairs come down on the west side of 90 West. St. so they can dismantle the walkway that cuts through the site.

Daquan13
December 4th, 2008, 04:58 PM
It's amazing how THAT footbridge din't get destroyed on 09-11, but the other one did!

brianac
December 7th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Faith and Frustration at Ground Zero

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/07/nyregion/07GREEK.XLARGE1.jpg Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times
Archbishop Demetrios celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas, the patron of the Greek Orthodox church in Lower Manhattan.

By RAY RIVERA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/ray_rivera/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: December 6, 2008

In the Greek Orthodox tradition, St. Nicholas is the protector of merchants and sailors, children and travelers. But for the last seven years, members of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan have also looked to their parish’s namesake for something else: patience.

The members have been without a church since Sept. 11, 2001, when it was crushed in the collapse of the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Efforts to rebuild have been delayed by the same byzantine negotiations and bureaucratic complexities that have plagued the entire $16 billion reconstruction of the trade center site.

Many of the 100 families who make up the congregation have been worshiping at a parish in Brooklyn, except once a year when they return to the site of their old church — or as close to the site as they can get — to celebrate the day on the liturgical calendar that honors St. Nicholas.

This year, that day fell on Saturday. And once again the members gathered inside a heated white tent at the southern edge of the ground zero construction zone.

“We have a lot of patience here,” said Olga Pavlakos, a lawyer and fourth-generation member of the parish. “We’re a church, we’re not a business, and we have faith that our church will be rebuilt.”

After the 9/11 attacks, Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, vowed that the church would be rebuilt “on the same sacred spot, as a symbol of determined fate.”

“We were full of hope of a very quick rebuilding, so there is an amount of frustration,” the archbishop said on Saturday, addressing the congregation before leading a memorial service for Greek Orthodox families who had lost loved ones in the attacks. But, he added, “We seem to be very close now to the end of our waiting.”

That hint of hope stems from an announcement made in July by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/port_authority_of_new_york_and_new_jersey/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the owner of the trade center site, which said it had reached a tentative agreement with the church that would help it begin to rebuild.

The deal calls for the authority to give the church $20 million to build at the northwest corner of Greenwich and Liberty Streets a larger church and a nondenominational hall for visitors to ground zero.

But nearly six months later, the agreement has yet to be finalized.

“Nothing has been signed,” said Peter Drakoulias, an executive board member of the church.

Part of the delay stems from the complicated, interwoven nature of the deal. The new church is to be built atop an underground security screening center for vehicles entering the trade center. The Port Authority has promised to pay up to $40 million to build a blast-proof platform and foundation upon which the church will be built and that must be completed before the church can begin its own construction.

Demolition of the problem-plagued Deutsche Bank building (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/d/deutsche_bank_building_130_liberty_street_nyc/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) also has to be completed before work on the screening center begins. That was delayed when a fire broke out in the building in the summer of 2007, killing two firefighters.

Mr. Drakoulias said negotiations with the Port Authority had been congenial, but had taken longer than anyone expected. Chris Ward, the Port Authority’s executive director, agreed.

“I would say we’re down to the final strokes of the transaction,” said Mr. Ward, who attended Saturday’s service. “There are no sticking points, there are no disagreements, it’s just taking a little longer to finalize the documents. This is something the Port Authority and the church have never done before, and I think we all just want to do it right.”

Even when the deal is finalized, parish members know it could be several more years before they once again step into a church they can call their own. The church will also have to raise several more million dollars to pay for the estimated $30 million cost of construction.

But for many, the tentative deal was an important step in ensuring that the new church will be in nearly the same spot as the original.

“To keep the historical connection between the old church and the new church is very, very important,” said Stamatios P. Lykos, a board member and chairman of the church’s architecture committee. “The new church will be a beacon of our faith.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/nyregion/07greek.html?ref=nyregion

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

Alonzo-ny
December 7th, 2008, 07:33 AM
They should have gotten that article out sooner, the deal is signed now Im sure we heard recently.

brianac
December 7th, 2008, 08:12 AM
THe article was printed because of the meeting yesterday.

How quick do you want it.

“Nothing has been signed,” said Peter Drakoulias, an executive board member of the church.

I don't know if he made this statement yesterday or not.

infoshare
December 7th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Restoring Byzantium. (http://www.learn.columbia.edu/ha/related_sites/byzantium/index.html)

EXCERPT - http://www.learn.columbia.edu/ha/related_sites/byzantium/index.html

The discussion of the Late Byzantine monastic church of the Kariye Camii focuses on the period of rebuilding and expansion during the years from ca. 1316 to 1321. Theodore Metochites, minister and subsequently prime minister of the Byzantine Empire, during a short period of cultural revival, undertook the rebuilding and renovation of the Kariye Camii The greatest intellectual of his age, and thus knowledgeable and involved, he was wealthy and powerful and therefore in a position to assume the patronage of this church.

Metochites early fourteenth-century rebuilding included the reconstruction of the naos dome; the pastophoria; the addition of a two-storied annex to the north, an inner and outer narthex to the west; and the parekklesion to the south. The appearance of incongruity in the structure resulted from several factors including the use of the Middle Byzantine core of the building, the sloping site, as well as the varying functions of the ancillary chambers.

The monastery was dedicated to the Virgin, as Theodore Metochites indicated in a long poem he wrote to the Virgin: "To thee I have dedicated this noble monastery, which is called by thy precious name of Chora." The naos of the church, however, was dedicated to Christ, as is suggested by the mosaic of Metochites presenting the church to Christ.

Located at the edge of Constantinople near the Land Wall of Emperor Theodosius, the Kariye Camii gained in importance due to its proximity to the main imperial residence at the Blachernae Palace (mostly ruined).

In addition to its architectural significance, the Kariye Camii also preserves one of the finest and most extensive cycles of Later Byzantine mosaic and fresco decoration recounting the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ.

Alonzo-ny
December 7th, 2008, 09:23 AM
I was mistaken, the article I thought was new in post 37 was actually from July. If the article had been new then yeah I would have wanted it released before that announcement.

antinimby
January 10th, 2009, 06:52 PM
It just dawned on me while looking over the stale KPF rendering for 5WTC, that the new design of the church was there all along.

We just never noticed it before but there it is all right...gold dome and all (below 5WTC's "belly") :

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3110/3184339332_076cc9a410_o.jpg

NoyokA
January 11th, 2009, 03:15 AM
I think thats a placeholder, the church hasn't been designed yet.

infoshare
January 11th, 2009, 12:26 PM
(below 5WTC's "belly") :



Great photo: thanks. Given 'the (modern) belly' next door. If that building - or something similarly modern is going to be right on top of the Church - a 'contemporary' architectural style would be far more contextual (http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/89/entry). I have been looking for some more graphics/news on the the Church design; being that the 'Architectural Design' has not been finalized there is a least the possibility of seeing a 'modern greek orthodox (http://www.stdionysios.org/ourchurch.html)' church built on that site.

brianac
March 19th, 2009, 07:27 AM
Church Destroyed at Ground Zero Is Still at Square One

By CHARLES V. BAGLI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/charles_v_bagli/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: March 18, 2009

The tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is once again at the forefront of the myriad disputes that plague the rebuilding effort at ground zero.

The fate of the church (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/nyregion/03trade.html?scp=8&sq=St.%20Nicholas%20Greek%20Orthodox%20Church&st=cse), a narrow whitewashed building that was crushed in the attack on the World Trade Center, was supposed to have been settled eight months ago, with a tentative agreement in which the church would swap its land for a grander church building on a larger parcel nearby, with a $20 million subsidy from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/port_authority_of_new_york_and_new_jersey/index.html?inline=nyt-org). This would have allowed work to begin at the south end of the site.

But the two sides never came to final terms. After months of negotiations, the Port Authority, which is overseeing reconstruction at ground zero, ended its talks with the church on Monday, saying that the church had sought increasingly costly concessions.

Complaints, of course, abound on both sides.

The authority now says that St. Nicholas is free to rebuild the church on its own parcel at 155 Cedar Street, just east of West Street. The authority will, in turn, use eminent domain to get control of the land beneath that parcel so it can move ahead with building foundation walls and a bomb-screening center for trucks, buses and cars entering the area.

“We made an extraordinarily generous offer to resolve this issue and spent eight months trying to finalize that offer, and the church wanted even more on top of that,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority. “They have now given us no choice but to move on to ensure the site is not delayed. The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building.”

Last July, the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Church announced a tentative plan to rebuild the church just east of its original site, at Liberty and Greenwich Streets. The authority agreed to provide the church with land for a 24,000-square-foot house of worship, far larger than the original, and $20 million. Since the church would be built in a park over the bomb-screening center, the authority also agreed to pay up to $40 million for a blast-proof platform and foundation.

In recent negotiations, the authority cut the size of the church slightly and told church officials that its dome could not rise higher than the trade center memorial. The church, in turn, wanted the right to review plans for both the garage with the bomb-screening center and the park, something the authority was unwilling to provide. More important, authority officials said, the church wanted the $20 million up front, rather than in stages. Officials said they feared that the church, which has raised about $2 million for its new building, would come back to the authority for more.

The termination of negotiations is a major setback for the little church, a parish of 70 families that is nearly 90 years old. St. Nicholas officials had hoped to build an impressive structure, with a traditional Greek Orthodox dome, and a nondenominational center for visitors to ground zero. That will not be possible on the church’s original 1,200-square-foot lot, although church officials say they hope for reconciliation.

“We consider the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church a sacred obligation to the victims of 9/11, to the city of New York, to the people of America and in fact to the international community,” said Stavros H. Papagermanos, a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. “We will continue to discuss in good faith and we believe that all parties involved are well-intended, and ultimately we will overcome any obstacles that have arisen.”

One person who was involved in the negotiations on behalf of the church, and who insisted on anonymity so as not to inflame the situation, criticized the Port Authority, saying it had made constantly shifting demands on St. Nicholas. Still, he said, the remaining issues were relatively small.

But it does not appear that the Port Authority is posturing. And while the Bloomberg administration expressed regrets about the impasse, officials said it was far more important to proceed apace with building a memorial, a transit center and other projects at ground zero.

St. Nicholas, a four-story church, became a symbol of resilience after it was destroyed, with George E. Pataki (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/george_e_pataki/index.html?inline=nyt-per), then the governor, and Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, vowing that it would rise again.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19church.html?ref=nyregion

Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2009, 08:59 AM
Look for a quick resolution.

lofter1
August 18th, 2010, 08:35 PM
The Cordoba House controversy is being picked up by the "Rebuild St. Nicholas Church" coalition.

The previous deal between the Port Authority and the Church fell apart last year (see Post 48, above) ...

George Demos Appears on Fox News –
Calls on Port Authority Director Chris Ward to
Stop Blocking the Rebuilding of
St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero

The Suffolk County Republican (http://suffolkcountyrepublican.com/2010/08/02/george-demos-appears-on-fox-news-calls-on-port-authority-director-chris-ward-to-stop-blocking-the-rebuilding-of-st-nicholas-church-at-ground-zero/)
August 2, 2010

George Demos, the Conservative Republican Candidate for Congress in the First District of New York, appeared on Fox News today and called on the Executive Director of the Port Authority Chris Ward to immediately stop his bureaucratic roadblocks and to make the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero a top priority.

Demos stated that it was disgraceful that the Port Authority of New York/ New Jersey reneged on a deal with Church officials and for over a year has refused to meet with the leaders of the only house of worship actually destroyed on September 11, 2001. Demos noted that our government is spending billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure of Ground Zero, yet no plan exists for rebuilding the Church. Demos reiterated that our Judeo-Christian values are under attack in our nation and that rebuilding the Church transcends any particular denomination.

Demos also renewed his call to investigate the sources of funding for the newly proposed Mosque near Ground Zero given the serious questions about the background of the Mosque proponents.

Demos concluded that we owe it to the memory of the 3,000 victims of September 11, 2001, including the 168 from Suffolk County, many of whom prayed at St. Nicholas, to rebuild the Church.

*

UrbanSculptures
August 20th, 2010, 10:17 PM
The authority will, in turn, use eminent domain to get control of the land beneath that parcel so it can move ahead with building foundation walls and a bomb-screening center for trucks, buses and cars entering the area.

the little church, a parish of 70 families

The Port Authority agreed to provide the church with land for a 24,000-square-foot house of worship, far larger than the original, and a $20 million subsidy

Since the church would be built in a park over the bomb-screening center, the authority also agreed to pay up to $40 million for a blast-proof platform and foundation.

$20 million subsidy for a church with only 70 families? that's $285,000 per family, plus I guess the up to $40 million they agreed to pay for a blast proof platform and foundation. Suddenly this little hole in the wall church with barely 70 families is somehow worth 24,000 sq ft plus $285,000 per family, plus up to $571,000 per family for the pro rated platform/foundation cost.

I'm wondering where the church's INSURANCE was, and why the Port Authority should be paying a dime of money let alone land and $20 to $60 million on top!
The Port Authority I don't see has eminant domain, that is for a court to decide.

As far as the design of the facade, what's wrong with replicating what was there before, it was a unique facade, and nothing about it would even be the slightest bit difficult or above normal masonry construction costs to build. It didn't have carvings, cornices or anything like that.

ZippyTheChimp
August 20th, 2010, 10:32 PM
Demos reiterated that our Judeo-Christian values are under attack in our nation and that rebuilding the Church transcends any particular denomination.At the least, the above should not be one sentence.

BPC
August 22nd, 2010, 03:47 PM
Somehow this issue got caught up with the whole GZ mosque thing. Whatever one thinks of that, the two issues are wholly unrelated. The church existed pre-9/11, was destroyed as a result of Port Authority incompetence, and the PA has since kept the parishioners from rebuilding for the past nine years, by seizing their land and using it to build an underground garage which did not exist pre-9/11. (There was an underground garage, but it was somewhere else.) The PA originally promised a land swap, so the Church could be rebuilt, but then quietly (so quietly, even the Church did not know about it) backed out of the deal when the Governor in favor of the deal left office. Now, the PA is saying, sorry, you will have to wait another decade or so until we finish the garage (as with everything else the PA does, it is in no particular hurry to finish), after which, if you have any parishioners left, and still want to rebuild on your original site (which will now abut a truck ramp), we will cut you a small check -- not for the value of the church our buildings fell upon and destroyed, nor for decades-long expropriation and use of your plot of land, but only for the "value" of the space underneath. In short, this is a story of state-sponsored malevolence.

lofter1
August 22nd, 2010, 06:28 PM
The church existed pre-9/11, was destroyed as a result of Port Authority incompetence ...


What :confused: :confused: :confused:

BPC
August 22nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
Nothing new under the Sun here. The WTC was a well-known terrorist target since at least 1993. Even before the terrorist era, there were appreciable concerns that the towers could be felled by an accidental airline collision. The PA promised everyone that the towers would hold up. Turns out, they screwed up the tests, they inadequately fireproofed the steel beams, etc. While foremost blame for 9/11 goes to the terrorists, and secondary blame belongs to that band of idiots known as the federal government's intelligence, law enforcement and immigration authorities, much if not most of the tragedy (principally loss of life, the Church being, at the end of the day, only a building) could have been prevented had the PA taken proper precautions. Anyway, this is a little off point here, and will properly be the subject of numerous lawsuits heading for trial in the years ahead. My only point being, if you don't properly fire-proof your building, and then it falls over and crushes the building next door, you at least should properly compensate the next door building owner, even if you are a huge government agency.

ZippyTheChimp
August 23rd, 2010, 01:20 PM
$20 million subsidy for a church with only 70 families? that's $285,000 per family, plus I guess the up to $40 million they agreed to pay for a blast proof platform and foundation.


Somehow this issue got caught up with the whole GZ mosque thing. Whatever one thinks of that, the two issues are wholly unrelated.

I think the issue of the mosque and that of the church are exactly the same - NYC real estate.

The church owned the land that was located in the parking lot; the rest of the parking lot [West, Liberty, Washington, Cedar Sts] was owned by the Millstein family. An office or mixed-use tower was planned for the site. That's why the South Pedestrian Bridge from the WFC was built with a stub end; it was to connect to the second floor of a building.

I don't remember the dollar amount, but the church was offered several times the value of its land by Millstein; they refused to sell.

For their part of the land swap with the LMDC/PA, Millstein did quite well. They got the rights to build at 2 sites in BPC (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9749&page=5).

lofter1
August 23rd, 2010, 01:31 PM
Maybe Governor Paterson can work out a deal to allow St. Nick's and Cordoba House together to construct a joint building on the site.

In theory, how great would that would be: Christians and Muslims come together on Liberty Street!

On the other hand: The site is directly above the Vehicle Security Center. That might cause some supposedly reasonable folks to bust a gut.

stache
August 23rd, 2010, 01:37 PM
Seems like the church should be getting rental on anything built below the surface of their land.

lofter1
August 23rd, 2010, 01:55 PM
No doubt giving up that "rental" income was part of the proposed deal whereby they could re-build larger than what was there before, plus gain the additional cash.

HoveringCheesecake
August 23rd, 2010, 03:18 PM
I think the issue of the mosque and that of the church are exactly the same - NYC real estate.

The church owned the land that was located in the parking lot; the rest of the parking lot [West, Liberty, Washington, Cedar Sts] was owned by the Millstein family. An office or mixed-use tower was planned for the site. That's why the South Pedestrian Bridge from the WFC was built with a stub end; it was to connect to the second floor of a building.

I don't remember the dollar amount, but the church was offered several times the value of its land by Millstein; they refused to sell.

For their part of the land swap with the LMDC/PA, Millstein did quite well. They got the rights to build at 2 sites in BPC (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9749&page=5).

Whoa. Interesting info about the surviving pedestrian bridge. And I thought I knew all there was to know about the site.

ZippyTheChimp
August 23rd, 2010, 05:11 PM
The Lower Manhattan Plan 1966 (http://books.google.com/books?id=uPqugdItr-AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22the+lower+manhattan+plan%221966+pedestrian+b ridges&source=bl&ots=s1UkysO1zk&sig=3rLd2DJylyRIkC7DVThbR2QP5bA&hl=en&ei=Qc9yTK3xCsGB8gblupGPBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Not sure if pedestrian bridges were specifically mentioned in the above study, but they were integral to Lower Manhattan redevelopment at the time. Something like the 15 foot plan, referring to the height of a network of bridges.

Besides the south bridge over West St, the bridges over Liberty St from the WTC and over Greenwich from the firehouse (never opened) to the 130 Liberty plaza were part of the plan. If a building had gone up at that parking lot, there probably would have been another bridge over Washington St.

lofter1
August 23rd, 2010, 06:31 PM
There is mention in the LM Plan of pedestrian overpasses, with discussion of possible future overpasses (http://books.google.com/books?id=uPqugdItr-AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22the+lower+manhattan+plan%221966+pedestrian+b ridges&source=bl&ots=s1UkysO1zk&sig=3rLd2DJylyRIkC7DVThbR2QP5bA&hl=en&ei=Qc9yTK3xCsGB8gblupGPBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=pedestrian%20overpass&f=false) to the east (Page 39), specifically across Church Street (P. 40).

On Page 42 there is discussion of a pedestrian overpass (or underpass) across Whitehall, from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to what is now 1 NY Plaza.

Elsewhere in the Plan the tern "grade separated pedestrian crossings" is also used in regard to Fulton, Dey & Liberty Streets.

Music Man
August 23rd, 2010, 10:02 PM
Hmmm, we would have lost 90 west in the 1966 plan. And the WTC would have had a "wedge of light" plaza to the west. :P

UrbanSculptures
August 23rd, 2010, 10:25 PM
Even before the terrorist era, there were appreciable concerns that the towers could be felled by an accidental airline collision. The PA promised everyone that the towers would hold up. Turns out, they screwed up the tests, they inadequately fireproofed the steel beams, etc. .


Well there's first of all, no precedent for such an act of hijacking commercial airliners and doing this, the architect designed the towers in such a way as to withstand an aircraft collision. NO ONE can guarantee a building will withstand such an onslaught, the building was built at a time when the largest plane was quite a bit smaller/lighter/slower than today's. It's like designing a building 40 years ago to withstand a truck full of TNT, and 40 years later someone detonates a nuke bomb in the basement, and everyone screaming the architect didn't design the building well enough to stand up!
All the fireproofing in the world isn't going to stop a fireball from a 600 MPH jetplane slamming into structural steel supports, taking them clear out and exploding.

Office buildings are not designed to be war bunkers!


If there's any blame to go around the should start with;

The shitty airline security, the crappy airline policies that dictated everyone cooperate with hijackers, the fact that cockpit doors were and still I think arent re-inforced against forced intrusion, the airlines resisted doing it because it adds weight and fuel cost, but then they have INSURANCE, so if the plane crashes, the insurance, not the airlines pay the claims out. As a bonus the airline gets a brand new plane for free.
Next, maybe some blame goes to the contractors building the WTC, the designers and fabricators of the "clips" that held the floor supports in place which failed, cutting corners? poor workmanship? not up to full standards?

Then, the rest of the blame goes to a band of renegade religious NUTS, spurred on in part by things we have done and continue to do overseas.our foreign policies, embargos and all the rest of it all factors into taking part of the overall BLAME.

There was no one, single thing, no one single blame, it was a package deal, with a LOT of blame to go around, and everyone involved must accept a portion of their share of the blame.

ZippyTheChimp
August 23rd, 2010, 11:21 PM
^
Many people must have been grateful that the buildings lasted as long as they did.

News article from Dec 2001 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/12/19/usatcov-wtcsurvival.htm)

BPC
August 24th, 2010, 12:29 AM
... the building was built at a time when the largest plane was quite a bit smaller/lighter/slower than today's.

Boeing 767s crashed into both towers. The 767 is a narrower version of the 747, which has been flying since 1970.


If there's any blame to go around the should start with;

The shitty airline security, the crappy airline policies that dictated everyone cooperate with hijackers, the fact that cockpit doors were and still I think arent re-inforced against forced intrusion, the airlines resisted doing it because it adds weight and fuel cost, but then they have INSURANCE, so if the plane crashes, the insurance, not the airlines pay the claims out. As a bonus the airline gets a brand new plane for free.

Do you have any idea how much a jumbo jet weighs? Cockpit doors were not reinforced pre-9/11 because the thinking was passengers should be able to get in the cockpit if the pilots became incapacitated. Adding a few metal bars on a door has no material effect on weight and fuel cost. It's like saying the mosquito on your windshield is hurting your car's fuel efficiency.


... Then, the rest of the blame goes to a band of renegade religious NUTS, spurred on in part by things we have done and continue to do overseas.our foreign policies, embargos and all the rest of it all factors into taking part of the overall BLAME."

I have an Imam I think you would like to meet.

BPC
August 24th, 2010, 12:31 AM
August 23, 2010

Amid Furor on Islamic Center, Pleas for Orthodox Church Nearby

By PAUL VITELLO

The furor over plans to build an Islamic center two blocks from ground zero had already been joined by several politicians. On Monday, two politicians were joined in turn by officials of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who sought to use the controversy to focus attention on their long-stymied effort to rebuild a church destroyed on 9/11 at the foot of the World Trade Center.

At a news conference near the trade center site, church officials appeared with former Gov. George E. Pataki and a Greek-American Congressional candidate from Long Island — both opponents of the Islamic center — to make their case: Government officials who appear to be clearing the way for the center, which includes a mosque, are blocking the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church, the only house of worship destroyed in the terrorist attacks.

And though church officials did not go quite as far, Mr. Pataki and the candidate, George Demos, drew a sharp line between the rightness of the Greek Orthodox project and the wrongness of the Muslim one.

Mr. Pataki cast doubt on the wisdom of city officials’ allowing a community center and mosque near ground zero when “we don’t know the funding, we don’t know the view of the people behind it.” By contrast, he said, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the trade center reconstruction site, had failed to “reach out and engage in a dialogue” about rebuilding the church with Greek Orthodox officials, who, he suggested, were a known quantity.

Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, stood beside Mr. Pataki and Mr. Demos, who is seeking the Republican nomination in New York’s First Congressional District. Mr. Demos said, without offering evidence, that the Islamic center would be built with money from Saudi Arabia, “a nation that prohibits people from even wearing a cross or the Star of David.”

But the bishop said he did not intend to fan the bitter dispute over the Islamic center with his presence at the news conference. “It’s unfortunate that it took a controversy over a mosque to bring attention to the church,” he said. He described that attention as “a silver lining” of the increasingly bitter clash.

Opponents of the proposed Islamic community center, planned as a 13-story building at 51 Park Place, have voiced an array of arguments against it. Some say it is insensitive to the families of those who died at ground zero; others see it as a symbol of triumph for the terrorists behind the attacks.

Organizers of the project, led by a Sufi imam and a group he founded, the Cordoba Initiative, say the center would help foster understanding among people of all faiths, and stand as a symbol of pluralism and tolerance. Calls to the organizers seeking comment were not returned.

Unlike some religious leaders who have spoken in favor of the Muslim center, including the pastor of Trinity Wall Street, the historic Episcopal church near ground zero, Bishop Andonios said he and other Greek Orthodox leaders remained neutral.

“We didn’t want to say anything that might jeopardize the plans for rebuilding our church,” he said in a telephone interview. “That is our No. 1 concern: building our church.”

Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said there was never any doubt that the church would be rebuilt. In 2008, the authority agreed to accommodate a 24,000-square-foot church building just east of St. Nicholas’s original location on Cedar Street, and promised $20 million to subsidize construction. But the following year, he said, final negotiations broke down over the precise siting and size of the building.

Bishop Andonios said the issues were more complex than that, and he criticized the Port Authority as having “cut off all communications” with church officials. He expressed discomfort at stepping into the dispute on the side of those who adamantly oppose the Cordoba project.

“To us, this is an opportunity for everyone — to see some progress in our negotiations with the Port Authority,” Bishop Andonios said. “But also, for the people involved in the mosque, this controversy is their opportunity to dialogue with the community; to reach a better understanding of people’s sensitivities, perhaps.”

It was the news media, and then a number of political candidates, who first brought attention to the purported disparity in the official treatment of the developers of the Islamic center and of the Orthodox church, the bishop said.

“Some Greek-American newspaper reporters called me first,” Bishop Andonios said. “Then I heard from the candidates. Then it was Fox News.”

Mr. Sigmund, the Port Authority spokesman, said the authority has no oversight of any building outside the ground zero reconstruction zone, including the Islamic center.

Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/nyregion/24greek.html

ZippyTheChimp
August 24th, 2010, 12:39 AM
Boeing 767s crashed into both towers. The 767 is a narrower version of the 747, which has been flying since 1970.Yamasaki completed the design in 1964.

lofter1
August 24th, 2010, 12:47 AM
... On Monday, two politicians were joined in turn by officials of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who sought to use the controversy to focus attention on their long-stymied effort to rebuild a church destroyed on 9/11 at the foot of the World Trade Center.

... church officials appeared with former Gov. George E. Pataki and a Greek-American Congressional candidate from Long Island — both opponents of the Islamic center — to make their case: Government officials who appear to be clearing the way for the center, which includes a mosque, are blocking the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church, the only house of worship destroyed in the terrorist attacks ...

Mr. Sigmund, the Port Authority spokesman, said the authority has no oversight of any building outside the ground zero reconstruction zone, including the Islamic center.


No doubt some opportunistic potato heads will still try to claim collusion between the current Governors of NY / NJ and the Imam.

Pataki is a fine one to be complaining about any delays or mess-ups having to do with the WTC.

ZippyTheChimp
August 24th, 2010, 12:48 AM
At a news conference near the trade center site, church officials appeared with former Gov. George E. Pataki and a Greek-American Congressional candidate from Long Island — both opponents of the Islamic center — to make their case: Government officials who appear to be clearing the way for the center, which includes a mosque, are blocking the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church, the only house of worship destroyed in the terrorist attacks.So they went to the farm and dug up Mr Potato Head, who predictably, has his name attached to an inaccurate statement.

A bad move.

ZippyTheChimp
August 24th, 2010, 12:49 AM
A minute apart. That was creepy, Lofter.

lofter1
August 24th, 2010, 12:49 AM
Looks like we both were itching to fry the former potato :cool:

lofter1
August 24th, 2010, 12:51 AM
Not as creepy as potato head ...

I would have posted this quicker but got this first:


This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds between posts. Please try again in 6 seconds.

ZippyTheChimp
August 24th, 2010, 01:02 AM
http://a.imageshack.us/img45/6746/potatohead01jy9.jpg

BPC
August 24th, 2010, 02:14 PM
Yamasaki completed the design in 1964.

So what?

ZippyTheChimp
August 24th, 2010, 02:18 PM
The 767 is a narrower version of the 747, which has been flying since 1970.So what?

HoveringCheesecake
August 24th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Boeing 767s crashed into both towers. The 767 is a narrower version of the 747, which has been flying since 1970.


No, it isn't. And regardless,the Twins were designed to withstand a 707 flying low and slow going to and from the airport.

707 stats (707-320B):

Length: 46.6 m
Wingspan: 44.42 m
Height: 12.93 m
Weight: 66,406 kg empty
Fuel capacity: 90,160 liters

767 stats (767-200ER):

Length: 48.5 m
Wingspan: 47.6 m
Height: 15.8 m
Weight: 82,380 kg empty
Fuel capacity: 90,770 liters

The stats may seem very close, but the speed and weight are completely different. Let's say 250 kph for a 707 that is landing, and an average of 800 kph for the 767s on 9/11.

KE = .5mv^2

707 KE = .5 (66,406 kg) (~250 kilometers per hour)^2
707 KE = 2,075,187.5 kJ

767 KE on 9/11 = .5 (82,380 kg) (~800 kilometers per hour)^2
767 KE on 9/11 = 26,361,600 kJ

More than a 10 fold increase in the kinetic energy of the impacting aircraft. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I'd think that even IF they could have withstood the 707, the design tolerances would never have accepted the 767 impact.

BPC
August 24th, 2010, 06:27 PM
So what?

So, given that opponents were running ads in the NY Times with photos of a jumbo jet about to collide into one of the towers, maybe the PA would have wanted to get that possibility checked out. Not sure why (per the above poster) they would have only tested it against 707s, when 747s were already in the air. In any event, the fireproofing issue could have been fixed at any time up until 2001. The buildings certainly were not doomed by virtue of the drawings on Yamasaki's sketchpad.

uakoops
August 24th, 2010, 06:48 PM
If the original Twins were designed in 1964, then they could not have even contemplated the 747, which was first designed in 1966 and rolled out in 1968. The 707 was the largest plane flying in the early 60s.

infoshare
August 24th, 2010, 07:00 PM
excerpt - http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&p=335339&viewfull=1#post335339
"The furor over plans to build an Islamic center two blocks from ground zero had already been joined by several politicians. On Monday, two politicians were joined in turn by officials of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who sought to use the controversy to focus attention on their long-stymied effort to rebuild a church destroyed on 9/11 at the foot of the World Trade Center."

Not to change the subject: but more on topic and what I think is a very interesting question giving the cordoba/park51 project. Why have we not yet (after 9 years) make any significant progress in the rebuilding of the 'Church' ; there are probably some simple answers, but is a subject I have not heard about in awhile and glad BPC has posted the article.

http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&p=335339&viewfull=1#post335339

lofter1
August 24th, 2010, 10:24 PM
That "But what about the unbuilt Greek church?" kool aid isn't too refreshing.

Anyone who knows the WTC site knows that there's no place available to rebuild as of yet.

The "Why" is self evident.

BPC
August 24th, 2010, 11:43 PM
And there's no place available to rebuild yet because the PA seized the church's land to put in a truck ramp, and then reneged on its promise to swap them another parcel, and nobody cared until the President and Mayor felt the need to wax poetic about the Imam's freedom to build a mega-mosque, something that was never questioned, while staying silent about the expropriation of the Church's land, which is actually something our elected officials could and should do something about but aren't, because it scores them no points in the liberal press. (Except, of course, for ex-Governor Pataki, who was far from a perfect governor, but was a hell of a lot better than his two Democratic successors, and is honorably standing behind his commitment to the church even though he is out of politics.) I guess all that is self-evident, but it's nice to have the Times finally take notice.

lofter1
August 24th, 2010, 11:53 PM
They would have taken the church property by eminent domain if the church had said "NO" -- the land swap will be worked out.

This statement from the article is disingenuous:


... blocking the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church ...

Is there any indication that the church wants to build anywhere else but on Liberty Street near their old site?

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 12:01 AM
... reneged on its promise to swap them another parcel...


The other parcel that was offered was on the same side of Liberty Street as the original parcel, but now closer to Greenwich.

No matter which parcel, it's all a construction zone and nothing can be built there now.

Neither side is being totally up front about the details.

ZippyTheChimp
August 25th, 2010, 12:30 AM
Full circle.

The protest against the mosque is supposedly in regard to the feelings of 09/11 families. So the liberal politicians, by "waxing poetic" [this sounds like a Cow Geller sound bite] about First Amendment rights, have reminded us that the mean PA has taken property from the church in order to build a "truck ramp."

But the truck ramp is is only a part of the underground Vehicle Security Center. The original vehicle entry to the WTC was to be on the north side of the WTC site, with vehicle storage underground.

The 09/11 families protested, stating that the twin tower footprints were sacred ground from bedrock to beyond infinity. Governor Potato Head agreed and had the PA look for alternatives, and the only workable solution was for the Deutsche Bank, Millstein, and St Nicholas properties to be transferred to the PA, and the VSC built underneath.

I remember lots of neighborhood people were "waxing poetic" about the self-centered 09/11 families and Governor Potato Head.

So here we are. If the VSC wasn't moved, the church could have already been rebuilt on the original property, without the need for a $40 million bomb-proof slab underneath.

BPC
August 25th, 2010, 02:10 AM
That is largely how it happened (except that I generate my own soundbites, your misogynist comment notwithstanding). But none of that is the Church's doing or fault. It has always wanted to rebuild at or near its site as quickly as possible. The demands of the families, the neighbors, the PA, the Islamic Fundamentalists and their sympathizers and apologists, are all beside the point.

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 02:34 AM
And they will still build "at or near its site."

And everyone wanted the Deutsche Bank down "as quickly as possible." Until that happens and the VSC is close to completion nothing is going up here.

The church group are the ones who, whether willingly or as puppets, are now trying to leverage the mosque mania to their advantage.

But in NYC real estate wars it seems all is fair.

ZippyTheChimp
August 25th, 2010, 09:35 AM
But none of that is the Church's doing or fault. It has always wanted to rebuild at or near its site as quickly as possible. The demands of the families, the neighbors, the PA, the Islamic Fundamentalists and their sympathizers and apologists, are all beside the point.I guess you can add the Greek Orthodox sympathizers to the pile.

No, it isn't the church's fault.

You said the issues of the mosque and church are "wholly unrelated," and then proceeded to tie them together in a Democrat-Republican feud.


Somehow this issue got caught up with the whole GZ mosque thing.Not somehow. It was George Demos the candidate appearing on Fox. What did he think, "I'm Greek-American, maybe I can get some political capital out of this." His comments added fuel to the Judeo-Christian v. Islam debate. He even managed to get in a connection to Suffolk County voters who may have prayed at the church.

So what appeared to be a money disagreement that could be laid out and quantitatively reviewed, is now linked to people on Park Pl screaming at each other.

infoshare
August 25th, 2010, 05:30 PM
And they will still build "at or near its site."

And everyone wanted the Deutsche Bank down "as quickly as possible." Until that happens and the VSC is close to completion nothing is going up here.




Well, that's good news. I need to start following this project; and should make for an 'entertaining' thread as well. (LOL)

P.S. This is an issue that seems to be (like the Mosque) something that will divide mostly along political party lines. News here (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/ground-zero-church-archdiocese-says-officials-forgot/) from the 'conservative' party press. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/ground-zero-church-archdiocese-says-officials-forgot/ This story will serve as a good 'angle' for attacking the Mosque project: and some valid issues are raised as well.

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 06:05 PM
From that ^

The good Father doesn't seem to want to explain, but rather ride piggy back with the folks across the square ...



"We have people that are saying, why isn't our church being rebuilt and why is there ... such concern for people of the mosque?" Father Alex Karloutsos, assistant to the archbishop, told FoxNews.com. He said "religious freedom" would allow a place of worship for any denomination to be built, but accused officials with the Port Authority of making no effort to help move the congregation's project along.

As the PA explains:



The Port Authority and the church announced a deal in July 2008 under which the Port Authority would grant land and up to $20 million to help rebuild it in a new location -- in addition, the authority was willing to pay up to $40 million to construct a bomb-proof platform underneath.

Within a year, the deal fell through and talks ended. Port Authority officials told Fox News that the deal is dead.

The archdiocese and Port Authority offer sharply conflicting accounts of where things went wrong. The Port Authority has previously claimed the church was making additional demands -- like wanting the $20 million up front and wanting to review plans for the surrounding area. They say the church can still proceed on its own if it wishes.

"The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building," a spokesperson with the Port Authority told Fox News.

But Karloutsos called the Port Authority's claims "propaganda" and said the church has complied with all conditions. He said the government should honor agreements that date back to 2004 ...

Both sides agree they had the beginnings of the final agreement in 2008. Now the Church is demanding that they both go back to some preliminary unfinished "agreement" from 2004?

"Valid issues" indeed.

When two parties are at the point of finalizing a deal and one side tries to tack on new stuff at the end, thinking they can leverage the game, deals often fall apart.

No doubt this will force the parties back to the table, which is good. Then the Church will know where they will build and can get on with the designing stage for their $20 - $40 - $60 Million project to replace their little 3-story building.

Don't be surprised if the Christians try to up the deal to $100 M in order to match the Muslim competition a few blocks to the north.

Go Religion!

Nice to see our tax dollars at work. Funny how that doesn't seem to be working both ways.

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 06:23 PM
No doubt the collapse of financial industry (less than two months after this deal was announced), and the now-moribund plan for JP Morgan to build at 5WTC (and kick in $10M for the church infrastructure) is one reason that no deal was completed.

Here's the JULY 2008 deal as announced by the PA:

Port Authority, St. Nicholas Church Reach Ground Zero Deal

NY OBSERVER (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/church-deal)
By Eliot Brown
July 28, 2008

As expected (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/deal-near-ground-zero-church-and-port-authority), the Port Authority last week approved the land deal with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to allow the Port to use the church's Ground Zero land and build a vehicle security center below.

The bi-state agency agreed to give the church $20 million ($10 million is supposed to come from JPMorgan Chase for its planned adjacent building, though we'll see if that tower ever happens), along with up to $40 million for infrastructure. The church will get a significantly larger lot than it had prior to September 11, 2001, at 8,100 square feet.

Release below.

PORT AUTHORITY AND St. NICHOLAS CHURCH REACH AGREEMENT
ON REBUILDING CHURCH AT WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE

Agreement Allows WTC Vehicle Security Center to Move Forward

The Port Authority and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have reached an agreement that will allow the 92-year-old church to be rebuilt near its former location at the World Trade Center site. The agreement also resolves a key issue - one of the 15 fundamental issues identified in last month's Port Authority World Trade Center Assessment — that will allow construction to proceed on the Vehicle Security Center - a vital artery that will serve nearly every facility on the site and is a key driver of schedules and costs of the other projects.

At its monthly meeting today, the bistate agency's Board of Commissioners authorized an agreement between the Port Authority, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City of New York and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that will move the site of the Greek Church to allow for access and construction needed for the construction of the Vehicle Security Center.

Under the agreement, St. Nicholas Church agreed to convey property at 155 Cedar Street - where the church was located before it was destroyed on 9/11 - to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. LMDC, in turn, will transfer the parcel at 130 Liberty Street to the church for its new building. LMDC will then transfer property at 155 Cedar Street, 140 Liberty Street and a portion of 130 Liberty Street to the Port Authority for construction of the South Bathtub, which will house the Vehicle Security Center.

St. Nicholas will receive up to $20 million in direct costs for the rebuilt church, including $10 million from the Port Authority to mitigate the impact on the cost of building the church over the Vehicle Security Center, and $10 million from a third party as part of a future development agreement for the Tower 5 site. The Port Authority will provide an additional $20 million, up to a maximum of $40 million, to build the infrastructure needed to support the church on top of the Vehicle Security Center.

As a result of this agreement, the Board approved an $88.6 million contract with the joint venture of E.E. Cruz & Co. and Nicholson, LLC for construction of the walls of the South Bathtub south of the existing World Trade Center site, which will be used ultimately to house the vehicle screening facility and parking for approximately 28 tour buses. The new South Bathtub will be bounded by Liberty, Greenwich, Cedar and West streets.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "This agreement with the Greek Church brings to a successful close months of negotiations on an issue that, left unresolved, would have affected the successful construction progress we've made in the past two years and the future work we need to do at the World Trade Center site. It represents the Port Authority's firm resolve to do what is necessary to advance the rebuilding process as quickly as possible."

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "Resolving this lynchpin issue in a matter of weeks is a concrete example of the new way of doing business at the World Trade Center site. Much more remains to be done, but this agreement represents an important step forward."

The St. Nicholas Church land rights claim was one of 15 key issues outlined in the World Trade Center Assessment report, which was commissioned by New York Governor David A. Paterson and released publicly on June 30.

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 06:36 PM
From the NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19church.html) March 18, 2009:

... the two sides never came to final terms. After months of negotiations, the Port Authority, which is overseeing reconstruction at ground zero, ended its talks with the church on Monday, saying that the church had sought increasingly costly concessions.

Complaints, of course, abound on both sides.

The authority now says that St. Nicholas is free to rebuild the church on its own parcel at 155 Cedar Street, just east of West Street. The authority will, in turn, use eminent domain to get control of the land beneath that parcel so it can move ahead with building foundation walls and a bomb-screening center for trucks, buses and cars entering the area.

“We made an extraordinarily generous offer to resolve this issue and spent eight months trying to finalize that offer, and the church wanted even more on top of that,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority. “They have now given us no choice but to move on to ensure the site is not delayed. The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building.”

Last July, the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Church announced a tentative plan to rebuild the church just east of its original site, at Liberty and Greenwich Streets. The authority agreed to provide the church with land for a 24,000-square-foot house of worship, far larger than the original, and $20 million. Since the church would be built in a park over the bomb-screening center, the authority also agreed to pay up to $40 million for a blast-proof platform and foundation.

>>[NOTE: the 4-story original church, on a 1,200 SF lot, was less than 5,000 sf]

In recent negotiations, the authority cut the size of the church slightly and told church officials that its dome could not rise higher than the trade center memorial. The church, in turn, wanted the right to review plans for both the garage with the bomb-screening center and the park, something the authority was unwilling to provide. More important, authority officials said, the church wanted the $20 million up front, rather than in stages. Officials said they feared that the church, which has raised about $2 million for its new building, would come back to the authority for more.

The termination of negotiations is a major setback for the little church, a parish of 70 families that is nearly 90 years old. St. Nicholas officials had hoped to build an impressive structure, with a traditional Greek Orthodox dome, and a nondenominational center for visitors to ground zero. That will not be possible on the church’s original 1,200-square-foot lot, although church officials say they hope for reconciliation.

“We consider the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church a sacred obligation to the victims of 9/11, to the city of New York, to the people of America and in fact to the international community,” said Stavros H. Papagermanos, a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. “We will continue to discuss in good faith and we believe that all parties involved are well-intended, and ultimately we will overcome any obstacles that have arisen.”

One person who was involved in the negotiations on behalf of the church, and who insisted on anonymity so as not to inflame the situation, criticized the Port Authority, saying it had made constantly shifting demands on St. Nicholas. Still, he said, the remaining issues were relatively small.

But it does not appear that the Port Authority is posturing ...

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 06:37 PM
I wonder if the Greek Orthodox Church has raised any more than that $2 Million in the last year?

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 06:57 PM
From the NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/nyregion/03trade.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/B/Bagli,%20Charles%20V) July 3, 2008 ...

Church’s Troubles Typify Ground Zero Delays

... The Greek Orthodox Church offers one example, but there are others. For instance, the design of the $2.5 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub is being substantially revised, even though construction is under way, making it impossible to accurately predict its completion date or costs. That in turn has made it difficult to predict the timetable and budget for a half-dozen other projects that depend on the hub.

The church has for several years wanted to build the new St. Nicholas a block northeast of its original home on Cedar Street. But doing so would require trading land with the Port Authority, and an agreement has proven elusive. In the meantime, the church designed a domed marble complex that would be six times the size of its original home, and far more expensive.

Both St. Nicholas and the Port Authority are eager to resolve the issues quickly, especially since the authority plans to pick a contractor to build the southern perimeter wall for the entire site this summer, and it needs title to the church’s property to proceed. But officials involved in the talks say there remain substantial differences over the size of the church complex and the amount of money the Port Authority will contribute to building it.

“We understand the church’s mission,” said Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority. “It is part of the history of the site and we want to maintain that. We just need to put the project in the right context.”

John E. Pitsikalis, president of the St. Nicholas parish council, said his congregation of 70 families wanted both a new home and a place where visitors and tourists, regardless of their religion, could commemorate the lives lost on Sept. 11. Most of the families currently worship at SS. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Downtown Brooklyn, where their priest, the Rev. John Romas, was assigned.

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Wow, a congregation of 70 families and a new church building that would cost a minimum of $20 M of taxpayer money!

That's > $285 K per family.

Then add the full estimated cost of the new church + the needed bomb proof base @ ~ $60,000,000.

Now we're up to nearly $860,000 / family.

But considering the $2 M raised by the congregation (~ $25 K / family) who should complain?

(Although the link for Donations (http://www.stnicholasnyc.com/index.php/donate/) at their website could use some work)

And the dome and marble do sound like nice touches -- definitely a far cry from their former tenement-ish + humble home. No doubt Jesus would be impressed and say, "Build it!"

lofter1
August 25th, 2010, 07:31 PM
In 2006 the LMDC paid the Milstein Properties group $59,000,000 for their lots, which had no structures on them (aside from a little parking lot shack) and covered the entire rest of the block where the church stood (Block 56, Lot 20).

NYC DOF DEED (http://a836-acris.nyc.gov/Scripts/DocSearch.dll/Detail?Doc_ID=2006020200853001) 2.01.2006 (Manhattan Block 56, Lots 15 & 21).

The Milstein lots covered ~ !9,000 sf.

The church lot is ~ 1,200 sf.

The Tax Lot Map for Block 56:

10536

lofter1
August 30th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Greek Church Gets Backing

Mayor Optimistic About Rebuilding At Ground Zero

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704147804575455983678038778.html?m od=rss_newyork_real_estate)
By CHRIS HERRING
AUGUST 28, 2010

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday he was confident that St. Nicholas Church, the only place of worship destroyed in the 9-11 attacks, would be rebuilt.

In his weekly conversation with radio host John Gambling, the mayor suggested a deal for the church's rebuilding was imminent.

"Oh, there's no question about that," Mr. Bloomberg said on the radio program. "The archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church lives across the street from me, and if you think I want him coming across with his staff and beating on my door and saying, 'Come on, Mike!' I'm not going to let that happen."

Mr. Bloomberg said the church and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the construction site, have simply had differences concerning the exact location and size of the new church.

Indeed, the parties appeared to be close to terms for the rebuilding back in 2008, but the deal was never finalized, as the size and location of the church remained the sticking points.

The mayor's comments come as officials from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are using the furor over a proposed mosque and community center near Ground Zero to draw attention to their own effort to rebuild. The potential rebuilding of St. Nicholas has taken a distant back seat in terms of both political and media attention to the national uproar over plans for the proposed mosque.

The disparity has led some to say that the city is green-lighting the space for the mosque, but shutting out the church that was in the area beforehand.

Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said the church "has and will always have the right" to rebuild the church. He said the two sides have begun negotiating on the terms again.

Messages left for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America weren't immediately returned Friday.

Copyright ©2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

lofter1
September 4th, 2010, 06:58 PM
As BPC has pointed out: It seems that, based on this 2008 report, the PA jumped the gun (at least to one degree or another).

Or they were being really really really optimistic ...




World Trade Center Report: A Roadmap Forward (http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/pdf/wtc_report_oct_08.pdf) [pdf]

INTRO (P. 4-5)

The efforts of the past three months have produced the following results, which are critical to getting this rebuilding program on track:

4. A series of agreements that will give the Port Authority greater control over delivery of the Vehicle Security Center, which will serve as a key access point to all of the commercial development on the WTC site.



These agreements include: settling a seven-year old land claim that delayed the VSC’s construction :rolleyes: ; acquiring full control over the VSC’s design ...

[...]

ISSUES RESOLVED (P. 19)

Vehicle Security Center



• Construction Sequencing and Funding of the Vehicular Security Center
• St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church – Land Rights Claim :rolleyes: :confused:
• 130 Liberty Street Abatement and Demolition
• World Trade Center Police and Security Plans


http://www.pensitoreview.com/Wordpress/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/photo-st-nicholas-church-wtc.jpg

HoveringCheesecake
September 4th, 2010, 07:10 PM
Layout w/r/t the VSC. Probably outdated.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v423/meh_cd/wtc/NEW%20wtc/VSC.jpg

Merry
October 6th, 2010, 08:29 AM
Port Authority Wants to Restart Talks with Greek Orthodox Church Destroyed on 9/11

By Julie Shapiro

The Port Authority could meet with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church as soon as next week.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2010_10_R8583_PORT_RESTARTS_CHURCH_N EGOTIATIONS10052010.jpg
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church stood just south of the World Trade Center and was destroyed on 9/11
(Flickr/darkfoxprime)

LOWER MANHATTAN — The Port Authority hopes to end a 19-month stalemate with the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed on 9/11, by returning to the negotiating table as soon as next week.

The Port and the church have been arguing for years over where and how to rebuild the house of worship, which was located just south of the World Trade Center site. The talks hit a snag last year, and the two sides haven’t spoken since.

But as soon as next week, the Port Authority plans to meet with the church and representatives of the mayor’s office "to start the process" of hammering out a deal, said Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority, at a Community Board 1 meeting Monday night.

Father Mark Arey, spokesman for the church, said Tuesday that the Port had not contacted him about a meeting, but he would be happy to participate in any "genuine dialogue with results."

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_lrgimage_2010_10_R1706_PORT_RESTARTS_CHURCH_ NEGOTIATIONS10052010.jpg
A rendering of Liberty Park.
A new church for St. Nicholas could be
incorporated into the plan.

The disagreement started because the Port Authority needs the church’s land at 155 Cedar St. to build a vehicle security center for the World Trade Center, encompassing a belowground parking garage and loading dock. In 2008, the PA offered the church a site farther east, which is 50 percent larger, along with $20 million to rebuild there.

But the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was concerned about the and money transfers, said Arey, the archdiocese’s ecumenical officer.

As the talks dragged on last year, Ward said he worried that the vehicle security center would fall behind schedule, so he broke off the negotiations and moved forward with the security center construction.

The church’s plight attracted widespread attention over the summer, as politicians and pundits pointed out that the mosque at the nearby Park51 Islamic community center might be built before St. Nicholas had a new home.

Now, Ward hopes to finally settle the issue. He envisions the church rising out of the new Liberty Park, a sloping swath of green space that will sit on top of the Vehicle Security Center.

"Our hope is that we can successfully negotiate appropriate compensation," Ward said Monday. "If the church fails to negotiate in good faith…we would have to invoke some form of eminent domain."

Arey said in a phone interview Tuesday that he, too, hopes to reach an agreement that would allow the church to rise at the World Trade Center site.

"That act of hatred cannot be allowed to stand," he said, referring to the destruction of the church on 9/11. "We’re not just rebuilding a church. It’s a statement of faith, a statement of hope."

A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg said the city also wants the church rebuilt at the World Trade Center site.

http://www.dnainfo.com/20101005/downtown/port-authority-wants-restart-negotiations-with-greek-orthodox-church-destroyed-on-911#ixzz11ZqaDUBq

BigMac
December 7th, 2010, 10:47 AM
USA Today
December 6, 2010

Church left out of 9/11 renewal

By Martha T. Moore

Video (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-12-06-stnick06_ST_N.htm?csp=34news): Members of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the archdiocese gathered at Ground Zero for a special vespers service. The church was destroyed on Sept. 11 and has not yet been approved for reconstruction by the Port Authority.

http://i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2010/12/05/stnicholasx-large.jpg
A prayer service is held at the World Trade Center site by priests and congregation of St. Nicholas Church.

http://images.usatoday.com/news/_photos/2010/12/06/areyx-large.jpg
Priest Mark Arey stands among items rescued from St. Nicholas Church when it was destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center.

NEW YORK — Towers are rising again at the site of the World Trade Center, a place of devastation turned into a construction hub. But the cross-topped belfry of St. Nicholas Church isn't among them.

Nine years after it was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the little Greek Orthodox church that stood across the street from the twin towers is farther away than ever from being rebuilt.

Slow progress toward a new home halted last year when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the Ground Zero site, broke off discussions with the church over where and how a new church would be built.

On Sunday, the eve of St. Nicholas Day, 70 families of the congregation gathered near the site to light candles and pray for a way to rebuild their spiritual home amid the office towers and memorial plaza taking shape. "It's not a political statement. This is our place, and we belong there," says Mark Arey, a priest and director of interfaith relations for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Before the Port Authority pulled the plug in March 2009, the agency and the church had spent several years working on a plan for the church to be rebuilt a block from its original location. Each side says the other refused to come to terms. The Port Authority says the church wanted too much say in the design of a vehicle screening center underneath the new building. The church says the agency wouldn't finalize the swap of its original property for the new site.

"After nine months of negotiations in which the demands of the Orthodox Church continued to increase over and above what we originally agreed to, we had to make a practical decision," says John Kelly, a Port Authority spokesman.

To work on the vehicle screening center, the Port Authority has begun ripping up the 1,200-square-foot plot where the old church stood, though the agency has not bought the rights from the church to do so.

'Back to the table'

The stalemate is emblematic of the complexity of plans for rebuilding Ground Zero and shows the intense pressure to move forward on a project that has taken years longer than anticipated.

The Port Authority says it sent a letter last month to the church, seeking to resume discussions to set a value on the church's land.

"We really want to go back to the table with the Port Authority ... because I just don't think it's reasonable that the only house of worship destroyed on 9/11 would not be rebuilt," Arey says.

When the twin towers were standing, they dwarfed little St. Nicholas. Founded in 1916, the church's home was a whitewashed 19th-century building that had once been a tavern. It sat across the street from the south tower of the Trade Center. It had a tiny congregation and was open only on Sundays and Wednesdays, when workers from the financial district sometimes stopped to light a candle or sit in peace.

In the years after it was destroyed, a plan emerged for St. Nicholas to be rebuilt a block east of its original site in a park the Port Authority is building on top of its underground vehicle screening center, through which all traffic into the Trade Center complex will have to pass.

In a preliminary deal announced in the summer of 2008, the Port Authority said it would cover the $40 million cost of the platform on which the church would be built and contribute $20 million to the cost of the church, in exchange for the church's original lot. In March 2009, the Port Authority cut off talks. The church will have to rebuild on its original site, the agency says, when the vehicle center is finished in 2013.

The church says that's impossible, partly because the construction of the underground center is raising the church's site by 30 feet. "They're saying, 'Go back to your old space,' knowing full well that without years of planning, it's not feasible," says John Couloucoundis, president of the St. Nicholas congregation.

In August, the church got a flurry of attention during the controversy over a proposal to build an Islamic center near the Trade Center site. When New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, offered to help the developer find a site farther away, elected officials such as state Sen. Dean Skelos, a Republican, asked why there was no equivalent effort to help St. Nicholas.

An odyssey

The church has raised "a couple million" for a new building, though Arey says it has not launched a fundraising campaign. "It's hard to fundraise for something you don't have a design for."

While worshiping at a Greek Orthodox cathedral in Brooklyn, the members continue to pay their dues, have meetings and gather annually at Ground Zero to celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day.

The travails of St. Nicholas are — fittingly for a Greek church — an "odyssey," Couloucoundis says. "I hope, just like the original Odyssey, we end up where we're supposed to."

Copyright 2010 USA TODAY

lofter1
December 27th, 2010, 11:33 AM
Fat chance the church will prevail on this, another leftover from the Potato Head Regime ...

St. Nick's vs. the PA

NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/st_nick_vs_the_pa_VDBmpDTEnkomLDC6JCzNRP?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=)
By STEVE CUOZZO
December 26, 2010

The ugly dispute between the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Archdio cese over rebuilding St. Nicholas' Church, destroyed on 9/11, threatens to throw progress at the entire World Trade Center site into chaos -- and the church has mainly itself to blame.

The archdiocese insists on having a new church at 130 Liberty St., where the old Deutsche Bank building is being demolished. The PA wants it at the original church site -- 155 Cedar St., 100 yards to the southwest. The church now plans a suit to force the PA to build at 130 Liberty and accuses the PA of "fraud" in breaking a "binding" agreement for the location.

In fact, no signed agreement was ever reached -- mainly because of the archdiocese's ever-escalating demands.

But a court ruling against the PA could force it to redesign an underground Vehicle Screening Center planned beneath 130 Liberty St. That's because steel the PA has ordered for the VSC couldn't support the church above it -- a structure three times larger than the original.

Re-tooling the VSC would push back by at least another year the already delayed openings of the first two office towers (now set for 2013) and possibly of the Memorial Museum (2011). Why? The VSC will be the security checkpoint for vehicles making deliveries to anywhere on the WTC site. Trucks -- and possibly cars and buses -- couldn't enter without it.

Moreover, the VSC will link to all of the site's notoriously interlocked infrastructure elements. Altering the current design of the steel "cage" would calamitously impact underground work now in progress by the PA and developer Larry Silverstein.

No one wants to deny St. Nicholas' parishioners a new place to worship, but it ought to have been at 155 Cedar St. But then-Gov. George Pataki instead foolishly persuaded the PA and the archdiocese to put it on Liberty Street, inside a new public park nearer to the WTC site.

The new St. Nicholas would also be bigger. The old, tiny church served fewer than 100 families. Its proposed replacement embraced the gigantism Pataki endorsed for other WTC-area features unrelated to the task of replenishing 14 million square feet of office space -- peripherals such as the new PATH terminal and the MTA's Fulton St. Transit Center.

The grandiose church planned at 130 Liberty St. was described by The New York Times in July 2008 as a "domed marble complex" six times larger than the original. The PA was able to have it reduced from a proposed footprint of 6,800 square feet to a "mere" 4,000 square feet, compared with the original's 1,200.

The PA and the church would have traded rights to the sites. The two sides spent four years trying and failing to nail down terms of the land swap and how much money the PA would put into church construction.

For all its infamously sluggish bureaucracy, the PA bent over backward to satisfy the archdiocese. So did JP Morgan Chase, which in 2007 wanted to build an office tower on Liberty Street. To accommodate the church, it devised a "beer-belly" tower, with trading floors cantilevered over the 130 Liberty site.

The archdiocese didn't complain about that plan, which was later dropped. But it did object to any future cantilever in March 2009, when it also upped the ante on other issues that the PA thought had been resolved. Among them, it wanted:



* The church to stand 20 feet taller than the Memorial Museum Pavilion -- a request the PA had previously rejected.

* Unconditional, all-at-once access to $20 million the PA had pledged for construction, rather than on a staged basis subject to completing the land-swap and awarding of job contracts.

* The right to review the VSC plans and to have "approval" over any future changes to the facility -- absurd, given that security is the business of the PA and the NYPD.

* Incredibly, rights to use the surrounding park for its own events and a say in how the park might be otherwise used.

The archdiocese now claims it was merely asking to protect its interests. Given the PA's prior record of delay, that sounds reasonable. But sources not affiliated with the PA said that once the sides began trying to draw up an actual contract in 2008, the archdiocese was "incredibly aggressive" and repeatedly added new conditions.

That left PA executive director Christopher Ward, who had to sort out loose ends left by his predecessors, in a pickle. By 2009, he had to order steel for the VSC to break the rebuilding paralysis, as well as to protect the PA from further liability for not finishing the infrastructure. (It's had to pay Silverstein huge sums for missing deadlines.)

But no final agreement was in sight. Enough steel to support the church if a deal was ever struck would have cost the PA $20 million on top of the $20 million it had already committed -- a risk it couldn't afford. So Ward decided he had no choice but to get the ball rolling on the VSC immediately.

Now, the church, having overplayed its hand, has flashed the lawsuit threat as its supposed trump card. It's probably out of luck getting 130 Liberty St. back -- but no court outcome is certain. For the sake of seeing a new World Trade Center, let's pray that reason prevails.

Copyright 2010 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

antinimby
December 27th, 2010, 01:51 PM
Leave it up to Steve "pro-big establishment" Cuozzo to write that article with a clearly anti-church slant.

I am glad the church is standing up for itself. If it didn't, you know the PA would have totally neglected them.

$20 some million is just pocket change in the overall scheme of things at the site.

lofter1
December 27th, 2010, 02:23 PM
The church is going well beyond "standing up for itself" in this case. Why do they need a replacement facility, publicly funded, to hold 3 - 4 x the number of parishioners that ever visited the other St. Nicholas church? The Pataki-approved site brought us the potential travesty of the JP Morgan toilet in glass, something we're now spared.

But no matter where on the site south of Liberty Street that St. N's will eventually call home, anyone looking at progress at the WTC site will see that any new construction on that block above the VSC is still a few years away. In hindsight, St. Nick's would probably have been wiser to sell their old plot to the PA and grab up another site a couple of blocks to the south. With a bit of forethought, for under $5 million just a couple of years ago they could have bought a nice plot (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23759) a bit north that is 4 X the size of their original one.

antinimby
December 27th, 2010, 05:00 PM
Maybe they're looking to expand and grow. What is wrong with that?

Before their building was very small and probably couldn't accommodate as many churchgoers. Why should they be cramped like before when there's no need to?

Now with a clean slate and an opportunity to fix what was wrong before, they are perfectly correct to think of their future. With a bigger and better facility, they can have more breathing room and do more things.

lofter1
December 27th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Why should they do it with public money? If they can raise it on their own, then fine. But they seem to think they're entitled (thanks to Pataki) to at least $20 MM in taxpayer dollars to grow their congregation.

antinimby
December 27th, 2010, 05:43 PM
How is the PA's money "public?"

And why should they (or anyone else including you and me) care whether the money is public or not, if the loss of their property was caused by in large part by the PA?

If somehow you were hurt while in one of the PA's (or the city's) facilities, wouldn't you sue for the maximum amount you can get from them? I doubt you (or anyone else) would be as considerate of the taxpayer at that time.

lofter1
December 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM
PA is a quasi governmental agency. Plus clearly the PA understood there was liability involved and therefore negotiated with StN. But the church proved to be a lousy negotiator. No doubt the insurance money would have allowed them to rebuild just fine. But they wanted more. As if the PA outright caused the destruction of their building. Sheesh. There's another big piece to that disaster.

Why didn't StN sue when it became clear their gambit wasn't working? They wait nearly 10 years? And 3 + years after the supposed deal fell apart?

Will you still praise them if a court rules they can build atop the north end of the VSC (a site completely separate from the church's original location) and everything needs to be redesigned and work at the WTC is delayed yet again?

ZippyTheChimp
December 27th, 2010, 06:24 PM
The church was dealt a good hand when it was decided that the site would contain the VSC, but they saw stars or $$, and overplayed it. They should have accepted a cash and/or land swap. That's what Milstein did, and his two buildings in BPC are nearly complete.

Considering all the dubious places the city and state have used Eminent Domain, it should have been used here. The church would have gotten fair and timely compensation, and assistance in finding an alternate site.

Now they are in a tough spot. If what is said about the VSC is true, I think it's unlikely that a favorable court ruling would involve a redesign that would set back the project a year. So it comes down to money, what it should have been in the first place.

LeCom
December 27th, 2010, 07:08 PM
An office complex was destroyed in a terrorist attack. It gets hundreds of millions in state and federal aid.

A church was destroyed in the very same attack. Ten years later, not only did it not get absolutely nothing, they're not even 100% sure if they are allowed to return to the property that they legally own.

BStyles
December 27th, 2010, 08:15 PM
Let me rephrase that:

One of the world's largest and most commercial office complexes was destroyed in a matter of hours by terrorist attacks on american soil, and thousands of people lost their lives. It was awarded federal aid because of the significance of the disaster. The church had 10 years to fully negotiate a plan as to how they were going to rebuild their church even way before the Vehicle Security Center was planned, but instead they relied on the Port Authority to clear up the matter. Not to mention how long it took to deconstruct Deutsche Bank.

Technically the church was across the street from the Marriot Hotel. The new plan was for it to move over and under the cantilever of Tower 5. In New York you only own a lot, and i'm just pointing out the facts, but it isn't fair that they should expect the Port Authority to do everything for them. Silverstein played that card and lost.

lofter1
December 27th, 2010, 08:46 PM
... they're not even 100% sure if they are allowed to return to the property that they legally own.

The PA says they can return to their original site after the VSC work is substantially complete (it's now a 70' deep pit, being waterproofed by the construction of a new concrete bathtub so as not to allow the Hudson River to over take it).

But the church said -- and continues to say -- they'd prefer NOT to go back to the old homestead, and rather wants a more prominent site (so they can build bigger than before) where the Deutsche Bank is still being deconstructed.

Did St. Nicholas EVER say to the PA "You can't build the VSC on our site"? Or did they just play along in hopes of getting something more than they previously had, allowing the PA to believe they were negotiating in good faith and then upping the ante as time moved on?

Let the church try to demand that they should be allowed take back their property NOW, PA + WTC + VSC be damned, so they can start to rebuild what was destroyed.

What's the urgency? And 2010 is not 2007: the economics now are entirely different. Sure, the church can aim high if they want to be that way. But let's see what kind of PR disaster it would be for the St. Nick congregation if they played that card.

antinimby
December 27th, 2010, 08:57 PM
Huh?

The church was never going to be able to rebuild their church because the infrastructure underneath their land had to be built by the PA first.

The church never overplayed anything. It was supposed to be a negotiated agreement between two sides. If all the church did was to give into every demand of the PA, then it wouldn't be a negotiation now would it?

Just like anyone else at a negotiation table, the church rightfully asked for some concessions that they felt would affect them.

Fact is, the PA was the one who kept on changing the parameters of the deal.

antinimby
December 27th, 2010, 09:03 PM
My reply above was to BStyles.



Anyway, the only one coming out of this looking bad would be the PA. A big, powerful agency playing hard ball and penny pinching with a small church.

I would say it's the PA that overplayed its hands thinking the church was some pushover. Turns out the church is shrewder and tougher than the PA thought.


But let's see what kind of PR disaster it would be for the St. Nick congregation if they played that card.

LeCom
December 28th, 2010, 01:25 PM
Let me rephrase that:

One of the world's largest and most commercial office complexes was destroyed in a matter of hours by terrorist attacks on american soil, and thousands of people lost their lives. It was awarded federal aid because of the significance of the disaster. The church had 10 years to fully negotiate a plan as to how they were going to rebuild their church even way before the Vehicle Security Center was planned, but instead they relied on the Port Authority to clear up the matter. Not to mention how long it took to deconstruct Deutsche Bank.
Let's break that down into two components: loss of human life and loss of office space/material property. The loss of human life was incredibly tragic and got an appropriately large, expensive and subsidized memorial. Quite fair. However, the government is also shelling out hundreds of millions to help a private developer restore the property that he lost, so that he can fill it up with commercial leases and continue to make money. There is no reason why the government can't fund the church as well, so they can pursue their own agenda just like the PA and Silverstein are pursuing their own agendas as well.

Arguments like "they're helping the public realm" won't fly. Both the church and Silverstein provide public amenities, though on very different scales - Silverstein provides space for jobs, the church provides space for a congregation.


Technically the church was across the street from the Marriot Hotel. The new plan was for it to move over and under the cantilever of Tower 5. In New York you only own a lot, and i'm just pointing out the facts, but it isn't fair that they should expect the Port Authority to do everything for them. Silverstein played that card and lost.

Yes, it certainly isn't fair to expect a multibillion dollar corporation to restore a relatively tiny church that was physically crushed by the private developer's humongous buildings, right? They are building at least four 1000-footers, give or take, a transmission tower almost as tall as the CN Tower, and a 70 foot deep, 16-acre underground complex, and they're too stingy to provide space for a church that would be half as big as an office building's lobby.

The LEAST they can do is to provide sufficient support for an above-ground structure on the lot that they repossessed from the church, give it to the congregation regardless of their demands, then say, "We gave you back your rightful space, now build whatever you want on it." They didn't even do that.

lofter1
December 28th, 2010, 01:38 PM
What do you mean "They didn't do that" in regard to providing a buildable lot on the original site? That is exactly what the PA is doing now, digging out and preparing to construct the VSC in a way that will support the original church structure on a 1,200 sf plot south of Liberty and west of Washington. Re-building there was always an option, but one that the church apparently rejected in favor of their hoped-for much larger and more prominent (and ever expanding) new edifice a block to the north.

As an alternative: Do you seriously think that the PA should have carved out the 1,200 sf plot where StN stood, shored up the land and dug around it to build the VSC?

Finally, there was NO loss of life at St. Nicholas on 9/11. Nor did the "business" there generate much income if any. Their insurance claims would be limited only to property damage and liability for replacement.

ZippyTheChimp
December 28th, 2010, 02:57 PM
However, the government is also shelling out hundreds of millions to help a private developer restore the property that he lost, so that he can fill it up with commercial leases and continue to make money. There is no reason why the government can't fund the church as well, so they can pursue their own agenda just like the PA and Silverstein are pursuing their own agendas as well.Funding. Sometimes money is the only reasonable fix.

The church was offered $20 miilion, plus a larger site.

Does "pursuing their own agenda" necessarily mean it has to be done at the same site? In hindsight, do you think it was reasonable to expect any structure to be built here without significant roadblocks?

Besides the $20 million payout, the PA was to spend $40 million to build a support for the church. In my opinion, that's $40 million wasted. The money would have been better spent to secure a new site for the church. There were several in the neighborhood at the time.

The Fulton Transit Center came into existence as part of the overall WTC rebuilding. Property owners weren't accommodate with a retention of their businesses on the site. They were paid to relocate.

The church got swept up in the grandiose plans of the time. Does anyone believe that THINK would ever have been built? Who was going to shell out money to put culture in the sky?

http://whyfiles.org/170skyscraper/images/towers_of_culture_sm.gif

lofter1
December 29th, 2010, 11:48 AM
A little render from an article (http://www.cityrealty.com/new-york-city-real-estate/carters-view/dispute-between-greek-orthodox-archdiocese-pa-reportedly-threatens-progress/carter-b-horsley/37282) by Carter B. Horsley at City Realty (12.27, following up to the 12.26 Cuozzo article (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&p=348077&viewfull=1#post348077) in the NY Post):

11796

The location of the church (at the SW corner of Liberty / Greenwich, north of the Deutsche Bank) corresponds with this map of the site:


Layout w/r/t the VSC. Probably outdated.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v423/meh_cd/wtc/NEW%20wtc/VSC.jpg

lofter1
January 3rd, 2011, 06:39 PM
The original site of St. Nicholas Church (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&p=335605&viewfull=1#post335605):

11852

http://www.prisonplanet.com/images/april2008/100408wtc2.jpg

http://media.ny1.com/media/2010/10/8/images/StNicholas06c18b16-378d-4127-a7ce-e0810ed49129.jpg

The original church lot, overlaid on a recent photo of the site as it now exists ...

11851

And placed within the configuraton of the plans for the VSC & future street layout ...

11850

NYatKNIGHT
January 4th, 2011, 11:41 AM
That's pretty much where it's supposed to go according to the latest plan, on that side of the VSC but a little more centered. I guess we'll see.

bigchet
January 4th, 2011, 04:41 PM
Boy that was surely an ugly church the new one looks so much better.

lofter1
January 4th, 2011, 09:32 PM
The new one is not yet designed. What we're seeing is the church's proposal for the site between Greenwich & Washington -- but that is no longer in play.

St. Nicholas will have to return to their more humble roots.

James Kovata
January 4th, 2011, 11:28 PM
Boy that was surely an ugly church the new one looks so much better.

It may have been ugly on the outside, but it was beautiful on the inside. It also contained priceless works of iconography, including art donated by Nicolas and Alexandra, the last Emperor and Empress of Russia.

BPC
February 16th, 2011, 12:44 AM
Finally time for those NAZI's at the PA to stop unlawfully trespassing on Church property ... Will post the actual Complaint in the next couple of days.


Port Authority sued over still-unbuilt church near ground zero

By Chris Kokenes, CNN

A lawsuit claims that the owners of the World Trade Center reneged on an agreement for rebuilding a Greek Orthodox church destroyed in the collapse of the twin towers after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Manhattan, cites "...arrogance, bad faith, and fraudulent conduct" on the part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in an agreement that would have allowed St. Nicholas Church to rebuild at 130 Liberty St., adjacent to the church's original location.

The church claims that the Port Authority reneged on paying $20 million in due consideration for their property at 155 Cedar St., where the church building originally stood.

The Port Authority said in a written statement that it would not comment on the specifics of pending litigation, but added that the agency worked hard to reach what it described as a very generous agreement with Greek Orthodox Church representatives:

"Unfortunately, after eight months of negotiations in which the demands of the Orthodox Church continued to increase over and above what was originally agreed to in 2008, the Port Authority had to make a practical decision to move on or risk further delaying the entire World Trade Center project, which was a completely unacceptable alternative. The Orthodox Church continues to have the right to build a church on their original site, and, as we indicated last December, we remain open to meeting with Orthodox Church representatives, but they have thus far refused to meet, choosing to initiate litigation instead."

A spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a plaintiff in the suit along with St. Nicholas, denied that version of events.

"They have misappropriated the church," said Father Mark Arey. "The truth is that after our agreement in 2009, the Port Authority cut off negotiations and have not responded to any of our overtures. No one ever called us. Don't they have our phone number?"

The three-story St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, founded in 1916, had a congregation of about 70 families and until its destruction stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center's south tower.

The church negotiated with the Port Authority, which oversees construction at the site, and in 2008 both sides tentatively agreed that the church would be rebuilt nearby using tens of millions of dollars in public money. The plan also allowed the authority to move ahead with a vehicle security center as part of the World Trade Center redevelopment.

But the authority said the church made extra demands that threatened to delay the construction of the entire site. The authority said it made its final offer in 2009 of up to $60 million and told St. Nicholas that the World Trade Center could not be delayed by the issue. It says the church rejected the offer and walked away.

"It's not about money," Arey said. He said the church still retains the deed for the land where the house of worship stood and gave up the land to the Port Authority without any complaints in an effort to be part of the process.

"How do we exchange fairly the church property, which included the ground and air rights at ground zero, for another piece of property at 130 Liberty St., which has smaller land specifications and no air rights." said Arey. "We went from a silo to a pancake."

"We assumed we agreed that a deal was on the table" Arey said. "St. Nicholas no longer exists, and it needs to be rebuilt for ethical reasons. There are other things that are relevant than just money."

Arey also says the discussions have also been complicated by the fact that since 9/11, there have been three state governors and four directors of the Port Authority.

The authority previously had said that St. Nicholas has the right to build on its original location and that work could begin in 2013 when the vehicle security center is completed.

Arey said church leaders are determined to rebuild St. Nicholas on or near its original location. "What the Port Authority is doing is disingenuous and they should be ashamed of themselves," Arey said. "It does not look good to bully a church."

CNN's Mary Snow contributed to this report.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/15/port-authority-sued-over-still-unbuilt-church-near-ground-zero/

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 01:03 AM
The PA could try pointing towards THIS Recent Legal Publication (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2932&p=352299&viewfull=1#post352299) in their answer to the Court.

In particular:


IV. Inspections and Seizures of Property ............ 33

6. Eminent Domain; Public Health Law ............ 36

Although to make that claim now the PA would have to admit going ass-backwards.

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 01:06 AM
... the demands of the Orthodox Church continued to increase over and above what was originally agreed to in 2008 ... further delaying the entire World Trade Center project, which was a completely unacceptable alternative.




"It does not look good to bully a church."


What about a church looking greedy, self serving and ostentatious?

BPC
February 16th, 2011, 08:01 PM
By pointing out that the Port Authority has stolen their land and refused even discuss the matter with them over the last two years? That is "greedy, self-serving and ostentatious"???

I submit that, were this to have occurred in the context of any entity more influential than this small community church, or one that made for a more politically fashionable cause among the City's left-leaning elites, the PA's assertion that it could simply decide that a landowner's demands were too high and therefore take the land out from under them, without bothering to initiate lawful process such as an eminent domain proceeding, would shock the conscience. But here there seems to be a "blame the victim" mentality which has set in.

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 08:31 PM
Neither side was dealing in good faith by the time this "deal" fell apart three years ago.

Would everyone be happier if now the conflict was slowly working its way through some court, with the entire VSC and necessary components of the WTC on hold?

And if it didn't involve a religious organization would there be the same reaction?

I still don't understand why the St. Nicholas group didn't go to court as soon as the first shovel hit the ground.

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 08:35 PM
... a more politically fashionable cause among the City's left-leaning elites ...

sheesh.

ZippyTheChimp
February 16th, 2011, 08:42 PM
"It's not about money," Arey said.It is now.


"How do we exchange fairly the church property, which included the ground and air rights at ground zero, for another piece of property at 130 Liberty St., which has smaller land specifications and no air rights." said Arey. "We went from a silo to a pancake."Smaller land specifications?

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 08:48 PM
The lot outlined on the church's deed is 2,400 sf.




... the church still retains the deed for the land where the house of worship stood and gave up the land to the Port Authority without any complaints in an effort to be part of the process.


That's it in a nutshell, eh?

DMAG
February 16th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Why does a church need air rights?

(This coming from a Greek Orthodox mind you.)

ZippyTheChimp
February 16th, 2011, 08:53 PM
^
The air-rights determine the value of the property.

DMAG
February 16th, 2011, 08:55 PM
^
The air-rights determine the value of the property.

Gotcha. Thanks.

stache
February 16th, 2011, 08:59 PM
Plus the angels need direct access to Jesus. :p

lofter1
February 16th, 2011, 09:05 PM
If the church has air rights then they might as well put them to good use -- or sell them. Not sure what nearby lots they could sell those rights to. The developer of the new 5WTC would be the logical buyer.

That block (http://nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/map12b.pdf) is zoned C6-9 (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_c6.shtml):



C6-4 through C6-9 districts, mapped mostly within the city's major business districts,
permit a maximum FAR of 10.0 or 15.0 (exclusive of any applicable bonus).

12225

The original church building was 3 stories, 24' x 100'. Seems they'd have an additional 7 - 12 stories (16,800 sf - 28,800 sf) to play with.

BPC
February 17th, 2011, 10:21 PM
12236

lofter1
February 17th, 2011, 11:50 PM
That is a scathing Complaint (but aren't legal pleadings always that way?). Now we have to wait for the other shoe to drop and see what counter arguments the PA puts forth.

Interesting that the Complaint repeatedly makes mention of the "term sheet" that the PA submitted to the Church (and on which the Church made notations -- described here by the Church as "relatively minor points") and which both sides apparently "agreed" to, although neither side seems to have ever signed a final agreement. But actual specifics from that "term sheet" are never quoted in the Complaint -- no sizes of structures, no square footage, no height, nothing. This seems especially odd due to the Church's use of numerous quotes from Governor Pataki, PA Executive Director Chris Ward and various PA Reports about some vague points that had been agreed to by both parties, and which are repeated -- over and over -- in the 37 pages, the 13 "Causes of Action" and the 164 enumerated paragraphs.

The Complaint at it's core is a declaration of religious intolerance by a governmental agency (See P. 32 - 35, the Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Causes of Action), with specific blame aimed at the PA's Chris Ward -- who is here depicted as a fraudulent heathen, slippery as a snake (as found on P. 3 - 4, Par. 7):

12237

BPC
February 18th, 2011, 12:38 PM
The Port Authority might have a plausible argument that an agreement in principle was never reached, had they not moved in and seized Church property. If there were no agreement , what legal authority did they have to dig a ten story hole in Church property, redering it unuseable? This is not an eminent domain case. Eminent domain requires a Court order, and provides for due process. Here, the Port Authority just moved in with the bulldozers and stole Church property. Basically, it appeared that the Church was snookered into believing that the other side was actinfg in good faith, when clearly it was not. This is New York City real estate. They ought to have known better. Now it is up to the Courts to fashion a remedy. My guess is that Church is never getting rebuilt. The PA, somewhere down the line, will quietly cut a check, which will disappear into Church coffers, and that will be the end of it. A shame.

lofter1
February 18th, 2011, 01:35 PM
The church states in the Complaint that there was an "agreement" but offers no specific evidence as to what that "agreement' actually says.

The case will hinge on the wording of written agreements, term sheets, emails, etc.

As stated in the Complaint, all of that will be revealed only during the discovery phase, still to come.

However, I'd be willing to bet that neither side wants to go that route. You may be correct that the church will take the money and move elsewhere.

mariab
February 18th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Has St. Nicholas Church et al. brought up the fact - officially on paper - that if the attacks never happened, that church would still be standing there & there would be no dispute?

lofter1
February 18th, 2011, 02:07 PM
What would be the point of that?

mariab
February 18th, 2011, 02:16 PM
They're fighting over ground that the church used to stand on...before 9/11. Was there fighting over the property before the attacks? If not, why now? Because the land is empty?

ZippyTheChimp
February 18th, 2011, 02:54 PM
Question remains. What's the legal point?

THe PA is building the VSC. The church owns 155 Cedar St. That's what the fight is about.

BPC
February 18th, 2011, 03:38 PM
However, I'd be willing to bet that neither side wants to go that route. You may be correct that the church will take the money and move elsewhere.

Actually, my prediction is that the Church (i.e., the Church hierarchy) will take the money and move NOWHERE. Although nominally a member of that Church, I harbor no illusions as to its hierarchy. My concern is more for the parishioners, who have spent ten years in the wilderness, will never see their church building rebuilt again, and the community will be without this place of worship, which for decades provided a quiet place of contemplation and prayer for persons of all faiths. (Pre-9/11, it stayed open Wednesday afternoons for anyone to come in and pray or meditate, and was slated to do so again post-9/11.) I have no desire to see the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America enriched by this litigation, particularly with public funds. I would just like to see the church building rebuilt promptly and in a feasible location (not three stories off the ground on top of a parking garage), and PA officials called to account for their mendacity. But at this stage, that seems like the least likely outcome of all.

mariab
February 18th, 2011, 06:42 PM
According to lofter's post on 2/15, the recently drafted state legal manual gives the government the right to seize property under a state of emergency for various safety reasons. Since there is no current state of emergency, what the pa is doing now should be considered illegal under the law.

If our properties were leveled by an explosion, earthquake, or some other disaster, what right would the government have to jump in & try to seize the property for, say, open space use even though, if the disaster never happened, people would be going about their daily lives? This whole thing reeks of eminent domain under the guise of state of emergency.

BPC
February 18th, 2011, 06:55 PM
I don't think the PA ever claimed a "state of emergency." Excavation began seven years after 9/11, and related to building an underground garage for tour buses. Hardly the stuff of emergency. Rather, they claimed they had an agreement, then moved in with the bulldozers, then disavowed the agreement upon which they moved in. I can't imagine how they intend to reconcile their various positions now, but given that they are government bureaucrats, they really don't have to.

lofter1
February 18th, 2011, 08:38 PM
We don't know what the "agreement" states. The Church claims one set of facts and apparently the PA claims differently.

As I pointed out: The Church, while declaring that an "agreement" exists, chose NOT to quote that "agreement" in their legal Complaint. That isn't a good sign for them. It leads me to consider the distinct possibility that the Church signed away some property rights at some point along the way, whether they knew it or not.

BiggieSmalls
February 19th, 2011, 12:41 AM
they also seemed to not specify exactly what their comments on the agreement were.. just that they were insignificant/

also the req for a jury trial is a play for sympathy.

if they believed they had an agreement then they should ultimately just roll back to it..

BPC
February 19th, 2011, 12:57 AM
Under New York law, an enforceable contract arises when agreement is reached as to all the MATERIAL terms, not when every last provision is banged out. Here, the Church alleges that that the material terms were set forth in a term sheet. If that was not the agreement by which the Port Authority seized the Church's property without consideration, then it will be interested to see what exactly the PA claims was the agreement by which they did so, since they had no eminent domain order. Clearly it was not what the "agreement" that the PA announced to the public in 2008, so they will have to admit that they lied to us.

lofter1
February 19th, 2011, 01:23 AM
And what was the date that the "agreement" states the site (where ever it is) will be available for the Church to begin construction?

lofter1
February 19th, 2011, 10:59 AM
This recent ruling by the Appellate Division, First Department of State Supreme Court in Manhattan (now again under appeal) may have some effect in this case:

E-Mail May Be Binding, State Court Rules (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/realestate/20posting.html?ref=realestate)

BPC
February 20th, 2011, 12:01 PM
Under New York law, a party can acknowledge an agreement with any subsequent writing. Here is what the PA told the world in a 2008 status report (document attached below, courtesy of Lofter):

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church – Land Rights Claim

Context
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (Church) was destroyed during the attacks on September 11,
2001. The World Trade Center Master Plan, approved in 2005 after several years of public discussion,
calls for the land on which the structure once stood to be part of the VSC, which serves the entire
WTC site. The Church agreed to accept land a short distance to the east, on the same block, for the
construction of their new Church. However, the Church and the Port Authority needed to negotiate a
compensation package to effectuate this concept and allow the Church to rebuild. Otherwise, the
issue would have continued to delay the VSC. Negotiations had been ongoing on for some time, but
no resolution could be reached

Without this property, the Port Authority could not proceed with the construction of the VSC, which not
only increases the direct timeline and cost of the VSC, but affects those facilities like Towers 1, 2, 3
and 4 and the Memorial and Museum that depend on the VSC being open in time to service those
facilities.

Resolution
The Port Authority and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have reached an agreement that will allow
the 92-year-old church to be rebuilt near its former Cedar Street location – allowing for the VSC, a vital
artery that will serve nearly every facility on the site, to begin construction immediately. This agreement
on one of the linchpin issues for the site brings to a successful conclusion months of negotiations.
Under the agreement, the Church agreed to convey property at 155 Cedar Street – where the church
was located before it was destroyed on 9/11 – to the LMDC. LMDC, in turn, will transfer a portion of
the parcel at 130 Liberty Street to the Church for its new building. LMDC will then transfer property at
155 Cedar Street, 140 Liberty Street and a portion of 130 Liberty Street to the Port Authority for
construction of the South Bathtub, which will house the VSC.

The Church will receive up to $20 million to offset direct costs for the rebuilt church, including $10
million from the Port Authority to mitigate the impact on the cost of building the church over the VSC,
and $10 million from a third party as part of a future development agreement for the Tower 5 site.
The Port Authority will provide up to an additional $20 million to build the infrastructure needed to
support the church on top of the VSC and for interim access and temporary use of the Church’s
property until the transfers take place.

As a result of resolution of this property issue and the elimination of federal funding involvement, the Port Authority was able to move forward with the award of the construction contract for building the slurry wall and basement area for the entire VSC complex, a major milestone in the VSC’s construction.

lofter1
February 20th, 2011, 01:50 PM
It seems, based on various reports, it was sometime after that October 2, 2008 PA Report when the church added / requested changes to their proposed new structure that were deemed untenable by the PA.

On Page 7 of the Complaint (Par. 22) a 2010 letter from former Governor Pataki remarks on "the original agreement entered into in 2004." The Complaint notes that more than one "term sheet" traded hands between the parties over the years. The Complaint notes a "term sheet" dated July 16, 2008 (Page 10) and the Church's response to the "term sheet" with "comments" dated August 7, 2008 (a July 28, 2008 article in the NY Observer (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/church-deal) marks a "deal" between the parties: "Port Authority, St. Nicholas Church Reach Ground Zero Deal").

The Complaint also notes another "term sheet" dated October 7, 2008 and states the "Church responded with a memorandum, delivered to the Port Authority on October 14, 2008, reconfirming the principal terms of the agreement" (Page 13, par. 43). The Complaint notes another "term sheet" dated March 10, 2009 "Agreed to Construction, Payment and Access Terms for Church Site"; Page 13, par. 47). It also cites yet another "term sheet" dated March 16, 2009 (Page 3, the "final offer"), also referred to as a series of e-mails with attached memorandums dated March 15 & March 16, 2009 (Page 14 & 15).

In the Complaint the Church notes March 2009 as the time when the PA "summarily disavowed a long-standing agreement between the Agencies and the Church to rebuild St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street".

Other conflicting (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/nyregion/03trade.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/B/Bagli,%20Charles%20V) and varied reports (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&p=346151&viewfull=1#post346151) (including the NY Times from March 18, 2009: "Church Destroyed at Ground Zero Is Still at Square One (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19church.html)") claim that subsequent cost cutting by the PA in regards to the VSC structure made any construction of a church building at that site non-viable (apparently including a new church of the size as previously "agreed" to by both parties).

The log jam is noted in a NY City Council Resolution (http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=805618&GUID=D7EDF2A6-0645-47F9-83FB-E489570639FC&Options=&Search=) (dated November 30, 2010):



Whereas, According to an article in the New York Times dated March 18, 2009, the agreement between the Port Authority and St. Nicholas Church never came to a resolution; and

Whereas, The above-referenced article reported that the Port Authority stated that St. Nicholas Church wanted more money than what was offered by the Port Authority, further delaying construction of the Vehicle Security Center and leading the Port Authority to end negotiations with St. Nicholas Church; and Whereas, The above-referenced article also reported that the Port Authority limited the size of the new St. Nicholas Church and would not provide the plans for the Vehicle Security Center for St. Nicholas Church’s review, and in addition, St. Nicholas Church wanted the full $20 million provided by the Port Authority in one payment rather than in stages; and

Whereas, St. Nicholas Church still holds the right to rebuild on its original location; and Whereas, Although the Port Authority and St. Nicholas Church have not reached a final agreement, and have not even discussed the matter in over a year, both entities are believed to be willing to reach an agreement; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to reenter into negotiations with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in an effort to have the church rebuilt after being destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

What the full and actual facts are, and what was understood and agreed to, still remains unclear.

BPC
February 21st, 2011, 08:59 PM
The one thing that is clear is that the PA has seized and excavated the Church's property without a Court order, and without any agreement to do so that they have announced publicly (other than the agreement in October 2008 which the PA has now renounced). Since when do governmental agencies simply steal privately-held land in this fashion? This is the sort of thing that happened in the old Soviet Block, but hard to believe the PA still operates in the same manner.

lofter1
February 21st, 2011, 11:00 PM
Where do you see that the PA has nullified or renounced the 2008 Agreement?

And why would a Court Order be required for an agreement between two parties? It wasn't until the Church filed the legal Complaint that the Court enters the picture, and that only happened within the last week.

From what we've read the Church admits that the agreement allowed for the exchange of the original Church site for a new site at 130 Liberty -- and possibly included unstated specifics in regard to some future date (once the VSC is substantially constructed) when the church could build at the new site (and also included a provision for an exchange of money, but the date that those funds are due & payable remains unclear).

It seems that the PA is now moving ahead in a way that is in line with their view of the agreement. And that their position is that the Church's actions are what violate the agreement (insistence on a building larger & costlier than the one previously outlined in the agreement).

STR
February 21st, 2011, 11:55 PM
Where do you see that the PA has nullified or renounced the 2008 Agreement?

The fact that they planned and are building the VSC without the ability to support the church on top of it at the announced location (130 Lib) is a pretty good indicator that they Welched. In fact, reports say that there is nowhere on the plot where a church could be supported, even on the original plot.

My personal guess is that neither acted in good faith. The church probably asked for too much. The PA probably changed plans when they had to cut costs.

lofter1
February 22nd, 2011, 10:33 AM
The PA seems to continue to claim that rebuilding on the original site is viable ...

Greek Orthodox Church Sues Port Authority for ‘Seized’ Land Share

TRIBECA TRIB (http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/2011/february/904_greek-orthodox-church-sues-port-authority-for-seized-land-near-wtc.html)
BY MATT DUNNING
UPDATED FEB. 22

The years-long feud between the leaders of the tiny church destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks and the Port Authority might finally need to be settled by a federal judge.

Parish leaders of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America formally sued the Port Authority this week in federal court. The church claims the agency effectively stole its land at 155 Cedar Street so it could begin construction of the new Trade Center’s underground vehicle security garage.

“This case arises out of the arrogance, bad faith and fraudulent contract of the Port Authority,” the church wrote in its 37-page complaint against the Authority and several other agencies, filed Feb. 14. The suit accuses the Authority of fraud, trespassing and defamation in addition to unlawfully taking the church’s land.

“Their shabby and unlawful treatment of the church will be fully revealed,” the church wrote in the complaint.

After years of negotiations, the Port Authority offered the church a plot of land at 130 Liberty Street—the site of the former Deutsche Bank tower—and up to $60 million to build a new church in July 2008. In exchange, the agency would absorb the church’s former site at 155 Cedar Street as part of its above-ground entry into the Vehicle Security Center. The next month the church agreed in principal to the deal and bowed to the Authority’s request that the bulk and height of the planned church be reduced. But no agreement was finalized and nine months later the Authority abruptly broke off negotiations, saying it had to start excavating the site for its underground Vehicle Security Center or risk falling further behind in developing the World Trade Center.

“The Port Authority renounced a long-standing agreement with the Church to rebuild at Ground Zero, seized the Church’s land [and] barred the Church from access to it,” the Archdiocese said in a statement released Monday. “Since that time, the Port Authority has rebuffed all efforts by the Church to work with it regarding the rebuilding.”

A Port Authority spokesman said the agency would not comment on the specifics of the church’s suit against it, and that it remains open to the idea of rebuilding the church above the security center’s entrance at 155 Cedar. The church has repeatedly dismissed that proposal, claiming it would put the church building’s entrance several stories above street, hampering handicap access.

In its suit, the church claims that because the Port Authority never finalized the agreement for the 130 Liberty Street site, it unlawfully began excavation at 155 Cedar Street. The church also accuses the Authority of purposely stalling on the land swap until March 10, 2009. It was then that the agency sent the church its “term sheet” on the deal and, subsequently, an email from the Authority’s Chief of Capital Planning David Tweedy requesting “any remaining issues and/or questions” regarding the agreement, according to court documents.

But, the suit goes on to say, the church’s request for “relatively minor points of clarification and finalization” was met by an abrupt response from Tweedy, breaking off negotiations. In that response, the church says Tweedy wrote: “Our final offer was the term sheet and the associated plans that you received last week. We have made a generous offer and have negotiated in good faith for months. We are terminating negotiations and proceeding with an alternative approach. You will be hearing from our attorneys.”

The church claims that if it had known the term sheet was being treated as a “final offer,” it would have accepted the deal on the spot. The suit names Tweedy and Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward as co-defendants.

“The Port Authority deliberately misled the Church into believing that the term sheet was not a final offer by explicitly asking for [our] comments,” the suit claims.

“The demands of the Orthodox Church continued to increase over and above what was originally agreed to in 2008,” agency spokesman Steve Coleman countered in a statement. “The Port Authority had to make a practical decision to move on or risk further delaying the entire World Trade Center project, which was a completely unacceptable alternative.”

In court documents, the church denies asking for any more money than the Authority offered. Both sides have accused the other of refusing to meet on the issue since negotiations broke down in 2009. The church is seeking unspecified damages in addition to a judge’s order directing the Port Authority to complete its deal with St. Nicholas Church.

Copyright © 2009 The Tribeca Trib

ZippyTheChimp
February 22nd, 2011, 10:58 AM
An equitable settlement might be for the PA to buy the 25 Thames site and transfer it to the church. It was bought at a bankruptcy auction last year for $19.6 million, less than half the price three years earlier. It's C5 zoned (church was C6), but at 6100 sq ft, 2.5 times bigger than the church property.

lofter1
February 22nd, 2011, 11:34 AM
Crain's report from August 2010 on the sale of the lot at 25 Thames / 133 - 135 Greenwich:

Vacant downtown lot sells for $19.6M (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100818/REAL_ESTATE/100819810)

It was bought by an entity called Greenwich Thames Realty:



"It is unclear who is behind Greenwich Thames Realty. There were two competing bidders at the auction which lasted a few hours, according to Kevin Nash of the law firm Goldberg Weprin Finkel Goldstein LLP who represents the owners of the property Greenwich Street Developers, a subsidiary of Ofek International Real Estate, which was forced to file bankruptcy protection during the recession. Mr. Nash confirmed the name of the buyer and the price but declined to elaborate."

The lot on Google Map (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=25+thames+street+new+york+ny&client=safari&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=25+Thames+St,+New+York,+10006&gl=us&sqi=2&ll=40.709426,-74.012731&spn=0.003115,0.004742&t=h&z=18)

12313

lofter1
February 23rd, 2011, 02:13 PM
The timing of the Spitzer / Client 9 brou ha ha and how that effected progress here is of interest ...

The Other Controversy at Ground Zero: Church vs. State Over Tiny Site

NY OBSERVER (http://www.observer.com/2011/real-estate/other-controversy-ground-zero-church-vs-state-over-tiny-site?utm_medium=partial-text&utm_campaign=real-estate)
By Matt Chaban
February 22, 2011 | 8:27 p.m

A bitterly cold wind tore across the 50th floor of One World Trade Center on Dec. 5, yet the crews in hard hats kept their pace, driving the most important building in the city skyward a floor a week, putting to rest years of complaints about indecision and inaction at the world's most famous construction site.

Hundreds of feet below, on the other side of the 16-acre site, nearly 1,000 Greek Orthodox congregants had gathered for the annual vespers honoring St. Nicholas. The faithful crowded about the trailers, heavy machinery and sundry materiel of ground zero, preparing for a ceremony they had undertaken annually ever since the attacks of Sept. 11 destroyed their tiny church honoring the patron of sailors, bankers and bakers. TV crews stood ready to film.

Three Port Authority officials told them to cut.

"In nine years, we'd never seen anything like it," the Rev. Mark Arey, a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, told The Observer last week. "They were hiding their badges; they were clearly uncomfortable doing this. Only when one of our priests put in a direct call to Chris Ward did they relent."

Mr. Ward, the executive director of the bistate Port Authority, has had to answer many such calls since taking over in 2008. All ask the same thing: Why has the authority reneged on a three-year-old deal with the church to give it a grand new home at 130 Liberty Street, something promised personally by Governor George Pataki back in 2004?

The church has found every opportunity, including within the recent "ground zero mosque" mania, to remind everyone of its plight. The December vespers were another deliberate reminder, a mingling of protest and sacrality. "Church left out of 9/11 renewal," declared the next day's USA Today. (The local church had agreed to no media at the vespers, prompting the Port Authority's intervention.)

Now, even with all the recent progress at the once international punch line, the church last week filed a federal lawsuit that could bring everything at the site to a halt. Again.

In 1916, a growing Greek community bought an old four-story, wood-framed tavern at 155 Cedar Street; placed a belfry on top; and called it St. Nicholas. It was the only religious institution destroyed on 9/11.

Well before it was decided what would become of the rest of the site, it was agreed that the church would be rebuilt. As the site's master plan began to take shape, the church was granted a more prominent plot at 130 Liberty Street, atop the Vehicle Security Center. "It always seemed like it was a settled issue where it was going to be," a former Port Authority official said. "It just kept getting inherited and passed off from one group to another. It wasn't until later when they really realized what that would mean, building on top of the security center."

Like God directing Noah, the message the church took from the Pataki administration was one of trust and deliverance. But instead of captaining the ark, the church was but cargo. "Other than us pledging to rebuild the church, that was all that was said," a Pataki administration official told The Observer. "It never got down to that level of detail." (The former governor continues to lobby on the church's behalf.)

As plans were drawn and redrawn between the numerous stakeholders, the church in 2005 set about creating schematics for its own project, hiring architect Nicholas Koutsomitis. The plans called for a new chapel along with a non-denominational interfaith center--24,000 square feet total.

One person described it as "trading a brownstone for St. Patrick's." An obvious exaggeration, it belies the concern many public officials, especially those post-Pataki, had when they saw the project's parameters. Still, the church has a point. In light of the development rights at 155 Cedar, it is not building anything larger than it would legally be allowed to. "We were never asking for more," Mr. Koutsomitis said, even though were he building on the old site, he would effectively be replacing the four-story parish with a 20-story one.

In spring 2006, the Pataki administration and the Port Authority reached its deal with Larry Silverstein, the twin towers' leaseholder, to build out the site, but an agreement was never formally reached with the church. When the Spitzer administration began to grapple with what its predecessor had promised, it was somewhat taken aback but still happy to work with St. Nicholas.

Even as plans were drawn up to bring JPMorgan Chase to the former Deutsche Bank building site behind the church, its new tower was designed with a "beer belly" for its trading floors overhanging the church, quite the accommodation by one of the world's most powerful banks--and yet another gonzo project of the real estate boom.

Then the BlackBerrys began lighting up.

A morning meeting between the church, JPMorgan and government officials was just starting in a conference room inside 115 Broadway on March 10, 2009, when phones began buzzing. They were checked and set aside, as preparations continued, but the buzzing continued unabated: The Times' Client 9 scoop was about to upend everything.

"I thought it was a prank at first," a person present said.

The meeting was canceled in preparation for Governor Spitzer's press conference. The church continued to wait, continued to make its plans.

"The Port did not want this fight," a person working at ground zero said. "Let me underscore that--they did not want this at all."

In one of his first acts as the authority's executive director, in early 2008, Chris Ward, a Paterson appointee, announced he was preparing a report that would identify all major issues at ground zero and create a timeline for addressing them. Issued in July of that year, it was full of bad news, but Mr. Ward promised to forge a path forward.

Just weeks later, eager to show signs of progress, he announced an agreement with the church for its land. St. Nicholas would receive $20 million toward its new building, as well as up to $40 million for additional infrastructure work to support a larger church structure atop the security center.

This is where things began to unravel, in no small part due to the recession ushered in by Lehman Brothers' collapse a few months later.

The July announcement was never an official deal, and it was set aside while the authority focused on other matters at the site. Both sides continued to negotiate and worked on drawing up plans to finalize the deal. Father Arey said the church was accommodating throughout, scaling down its plans when the Port Authority asked. The Port Authority argues that whenever it reached a tentative agreement, "the goal posts would move," spokesman John Kelly said. "At a certain point, negotiations had to end or risk delaying the WTC project further."

In March 2009, the matter came to a head. The authority sent a standard term sheet and asked for comment. According to the church's lawsuit, the document's real purpose was to find signs of disagreement so the Port Authority could cancel the deal. Mr. Kelly said the church had ample warning, and that it was demanding the impossible: control over the design of the park and security center.

Negotiations ceased, the deal was off, and the two sides have barely talked since. Mr. Ward announced that the authority would go ahead with construction of the security center, and St. Nicholas was welcome to build on its original land once the authority was done with it.

As is so often the case at ground zero, conspiracy theories abound.

"First they asked us to shrink the church, which basically meant taking off the cross," Mr. Koutsomitis, the architect, said. "Then they move us back to 155 Cedar. I think someone decided they did not want a church on this prominent site at ground zero."

Some believe Larry Silverstein wants the site. Others point to Mr. Ward. George Demos, a onetime unsuccessful G.O.P. Congressional candidate from Long Island, blasted a press release the day after the December 2010 vespers ceremony: "Atheist Blocking Ground Zero Church." Mr. Ward had once told a trade publication, "I'm probably the biggest non-believer in terms of religion. If you are not going to believe in God, you have to be smarter than the people who do, because you have to answer tougher questions about why you don't." He was responding to a question about why he has a master's in divinity from Harvard, a fact left out by critics. (The church's suit also includes the quotation.)

As things stand now, more than two and a half years after the July agreement, a federal ruling in the church's favor could create months of delays at ground zero and add hundreds of millions in costs.

The authority won't even entertain that scenario--though those involved in the fight over the years describe the church as tough and aggressive. They had lost their home. The other stakeholders were getting new ones, so why not them?

"They failed to realize the world had changed again," the former Port Authority official said. "They were used to getting so much."

Copyright 2011 © NY Observer

lofter1
March 1st, 2011, 10:32 AM
The Bird and the Cross: How an Over-Budget PATH Station Helps Explain a Missing Church

NY OBSERVER (http://www.observer.com/2011/real-estate/bird-and-cross-over-budget-path-station-helps-explain-missing-church?utm_medium=partial-text&utm_campaign=real-estate)
By Matt Chaban
February 28, 2011

Last week, the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved yet another increase in the budget for Santiago Calatrava's winged transit hub (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110224/downtown/price-of-world-trade-center-path-hub-swells-by-180-million) at the World Trade Center, bringing the price of the station up to a level once deemed untenable while also dipping into the Port's ground zero reserve funds for the first time.

The station will now cost a total of $3.44 billion, up from an initial $2.2 billion, after it was determined the signature spines that comprise the structure's roof would cost an additional $180 million. It is the first time the project's budget has risen since executive director Chris Ward released his overarching review of the entire World Trade Center site more than two years ago, when the project was budgeted at $3.26 billion.

Ward told The Times that while not ideal, this situation is within the realm of acceptability because most of the PATH project had been bid out (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/nyregion/25ground-zero.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss), so the odds of prices rising further were remote, and the need to strengthen the structure was crucial. Also, that is why there is a reserve fund, "for these types of circumstances."

Yet if the Port could find money to fortify Calatrava's design, why could it not execute plans for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church on the other end of the site? On the one hand, this underscores the Port's arguments, that the decision to terminate the church's plan was not one of economics but logistics, that the church was being too demanding and it could not be reasonably accommodated.

But this latest announement also underscores a storyline delivered both by the church and government officials who discussed the matter with The Observer for a feature last week (http://www.observer.com/2011/real-estate/other-controversy-ground-zero-church-vs-state-over-tiny-site). Not long after the Port made its initial deal with the church, Lehman Brothers collapsed, the world changed, and $60 million began to look like a lot of money to an public authority whose finances were suddenly a little less certain.

Even if money remains a non-issue with the church--as the Port told to The Observer after the Calatrava announcement--the fact that the transit hub continues to be a source of ballooning budgets and uncertainty serves as a reminder of just how complicated and uncontrollable ground zero can be.

There are still plenty of pieces, such as the completion of Silverstein's two towers, the Performing Arts Center and the Deutsch Bank site that remain an open question. Adding yet another volatile piece to that mix, as the church very well would have, could have only made keeping things moving at the major projects like the memorial and One World Trade even more difficult than the hardest job in the city already is. Indeed, it remains to be seen how many more hiccups there could still be.

BPC
March 2nd, 2011, 04:11 PM
This article sheds light on nothing. It's always more economic simply to steal something from one's neighbor (in this case, the Church's plot of land) rather than to pay for it. The question is whether it is legal.

lofter1
March 2nd, 2011, 05:40 PM
Not necessarily better economics to steal if one gets caught and is held accountable. The cost of that can be quite high.

The question as to whether any theft occurred here is still unanswered, as we do not know the actual specifics of the dealings between the PA & St. Nick's.

lofter1
March 8th, 2011, 10:55 PM
St. Nick's in context ...

Thanks to


... 1981 ...


Aerial view of the Twin Tower of the World Trade Center, July 1981 ...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5178/5455127230_9500eba05c_b.jpg

Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking south from Hudson River, April 1981 ...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5016/5454478377_a90e14d7a1_b.jpg

BiggieSmalls
March 8th, 2011, 11:33 PM
the remnants of westway stand out.

it's amazing 90 West st didnt sustain critical damage.

Music Man
March 9th, 2011, 08:43 PM
Aerial view of the Twin Tower of the World Trade Center, July 1981 ...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5178/5455127230_9500eba05c_b.jpg



I'm curious about that little trio of row buildings on the west side of the church. Seems they got demo'd some time in the mid 80's. It looks like there was another church in one of them.

http://www.brianrose.com/wtc/wtc06a-35.jpg
In this photo from Brian Rose's WTC gallery (http://www.brianrose.com/wtc/wtc35.htm#) of the old highway looking north, you can see a sign on the western-most building for St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.

lofter1
March 9th, 2011, 11:47 PM
That RC Church is referenced HERE at CityNoise (http://citynoise.org/article/3416):



12459

i started work at 130 cedar street in june of 1960. right out of high school. the elevator had an old new yorker as its operator. he was 85 and still working the lifts. he was born in manhattan in 1875. he told me many stories about the waterfront. i watched them tear down the old city and put up a new city. things change. this next picture (above) is of the old Saint Joseph's Church on cedar street and west street. see the old west side highway.

Using NYCityMap (http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/), here are aerial views of that block at Cedar + West over the last 90+ years [Map LINK (http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/?z=10&p=980360,198089&c=GIS2008&s=a:155,CEDAR+STREET,MANHATTAN)] ...

1924:

12460

1996:

12463

2008:

12461

According to The Financial District's lost neighborhood: 1900-1970 (http://books.google.com/books?id=X_YD8BakWYUC&lpg=PA8&ots=QsQRd7KYrp&dq=%22St.%20joseph%22%20church%20%22cedar%20Street %22%20%22new%20york%22&pg=PA73#v=onepage&q=%22St.%20joseph's%22%20&f=false), By Barbara Rizek, Martin Rizek, Joanne Medvecky (Page 73) this was St. Joseph's Maronite Church and served the Syrian community. St. Joseph's first home was at 83 Washington Street (http://books.google.com/books?id=Mdn-au-AG94C&lpg=PA272&ots=AbFLLyBFNb&dq=%22St.%20joseph's%20maronite%22%20%22washington %20Street%22%20%22new%20york%22&pg=PA272#v=onepage&q=%22St.%20joseph's%20maronite%22%20%22washington% 20Street%22%20%22new%20york%22&f=false) when it was founded (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10715F9395913738DDDAE0894D0405B 8985F0D3).

12464

12466

Later St. Joseph's moved to 57-59 Washington Street (http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&q=%2257+Washington+Street+new+York+NY%22&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=57+Washington+St,+New+York,+10006&gl=us&ll=40.707538,-74.014658&spn=0.001401,0.002097&t=h&z=19). The church was forced to move to 157 Cedar when the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel construction took the former site.

12465

Here's the 57-59 Washington (http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/?z=9&p=980209,197107&c=GIS2008&s=a:57,WASHINGTON+STREET,MANHATTAN) site on NYCityMap over the years ...

1924

12468

1996:

12467

2008:

12469

lofter1
March 10th, 2011, 12:00 AM
Side view of St. Nicholas Church, seen from Washington Street looking west to the World Financial Center, 1999:

12470

NYPL Digital Library (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=260459&imageID=503785&total=38&num=0&word=cedar%20west&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&imgs=20&pos=13&e=w#_seemore); Photographer: Dylan Stone

lofter1
March 10th, 2011, 12:47 AM
Seems this building was chopped down a couple of floors sometime between 1940 & 1980 (perhaps it was chopped back from the west as well, to make way for the on ramp) ...




I'm curious about that little trio of row buildings on the west side of the church. Seems they got demo'd some time in the mid 80's. It looks like there was another church in one of them.

http://www.brianrose.com/wtc/wtc06a-35.jpg

In this photo from Brian Rose's WTC gallery (http://www.brianrose.com/wtc/wtc35.htm#) of the old highway looking north, you can see a sign on the western-most building for St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.

Here's a shot (with enlargement), circa 1940, of the corner of Cedar and West, showing a 4-story building on Cedar opposite 90 West (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=771998&imageID=1508599&total=38&num=20&word=cedar%20west&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&imgs=20&pos=27&e=w&cdonum=0):

12473

12471

Photo: Wurts Brothers

More views, earlier (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=414367&imageID=724564F&total=38&num=0&word=cedar%20west&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&imgs=20&pos=20&e=w&cdonum=0#_seemore) ...

1927:

12474

1929:

12475

Percy Loomis Sperr (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?col_id=243), Photographer

STR
March 10th, 2011, 02:11 AM
^Interesting stuff. I've got a few photos of the church and Liberty St in my WTC reference collection. The most interesting and relevent of those are these 4:
http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/8881/stnicholasside.jpg

Liberty St and the DB bridge to the WTC plaza
http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/5519/libertystlookingwest.jpg

From WTC plaza
http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3938/142025.jpg

Overview of the area just north of the plot and parking lot.
http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/3853/71382719.jpg

Site from the east
http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4742/231421.jpg

1971ish. Note the building in the NE corner of the plot.
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7636/from104l.jpg

1972ish. Building from previous photo is gone along with a building from the south side of the block. If it wasn't for the fact that the whole block was crushed, I'd say it was kind of a waste to destroy all those old buildings just for a parking lot.
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7560/s92ivtgz55vasss8phat.jpg

Lobby, 2 World Trade, with some woman.
http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/7519/841067083ed8f75f3b3.jpg


the remnants of westway stand out.

it's amazing 90 West st didnt sustain critical damage.

It's actually amazing they screwed up 130 Liberty so badly that it DID get critically damaged. How much mold does it take to make it feasible to tear down a 40 story building? Someone did the calculation, and realized they were way over. I wonder what the tipping point was, and if it was in pounds or gallons?

HoveringCheesecake
March 10th, 2011, 03:19 AM
This link that lofter posted above has a ton of street level pictures of every block in Lower Manhattan in 1999. I just spent a few hours looking at it, and I finally found a shot of the stairs/fountain at the front of Deutsche Bank. Tons of WTC stuff, as well.

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?col_id=176

lofter1
March 10th, 2011, 03:35 AM
Great stuff, STR.

And yes, HC, Dylan Stone really covered downtown (26,000 photos!). Easy to lose a couple of hours in the NYPL Digital Gallery (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm).

I didn't notice it before ... look what was sitting just to the south of 90 West (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=771998&imageID=1508599&total=38&num=20&word=cedar%20west&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&imgs=20&pos=27&e=w&cdonum=0) back in 1940, across Albany Street (where the fugly Marriott is now (http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&q=%2290+west+street+new+york+ny%22&fb=1&gl=us&hnear=New+York,+NY&cid=0,0,12848502569683122839&ll=40.709703,-74.014748&spn=0.001364,0.001816&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=40.709612,-74.014783&panoid=3UPMOUEorewt3VzmOd0fmw&cbp=13,73.24,,0,-26.38)) ...

12476

Music Man
March 10th, 2011, 08:30 AM
So many great links. I really like that 1924 aerial from NYCityMap. Such detail. I imagine they used a blimp or hot air balloon.

You really get a good sense of how many blocks of buildings were razed for the trade center superblock. Note the Barclay-Vesey Building under construction.

12477

STR
March 10th, 2011, 06:52 PM
One more, looks like it was from one of the suites on the south end of 3 World Trade.
http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1440/20114452859ecbaac473o.jpg

BStyles
March 11th, 2011, 02:26 AM
3x4 parking spaces wide? Really? What's the argument about, again?

ZippyTheChimp
March 11th, 2011, 12:15 PM
The land is C6 zoned, quite valuable.

Milstein once owned the entire parking lot, and made offers to buy the church in the 1990s. Not sure of the exact amount, but the number I remember is around $4 million plus the cost of relocating the church to a corner plot.

Milstein sold his property to the state in 2005 for $59 million plus the right to build at the two ballfield sites in BPC.

lofter1
March 11th, 2011, 01:27 PM
Holy Moly! Ground Zero Greek Church Refused a Deal Once Before

NY OBSERVER (http://www.observer.com/2011/real-estate/st-nicholas-deal-87)
By Matt Chaban
March 7, 2011

... It turns out this is not the first time the church has been offered a large sum of money to move. A reader who used to work in government recently informed The Observer that Milstein Properties, one of the city's grand old development families, had offered the church millions of dollars to relocate, along with an offer to build a new facility around the corner. (Milstein owned all the land around the church except for the church itself.)

A number of other properties on the block accepted the deal, including a Catholic Church, according to our reader. But not St. Nicholas. "It was considered a runaway church," the official said.

Paul Milstein, who ran the company with his brother Seymour in those days, was said to have been in charge of the deal, though he passed away last year. His son, and the current head of the company, Howard Milstein, could not be reached for comment, as he is travelling ...

ablarc
March 11th, 2011, 04:10 PM
... and they have not yet invented cell phones.

BStyles
May 13th, 2011, 05:19 PM
It just goes to show that you can't wave a wad of cash around in certain people's faces and expect them to go play fetch. A lot of developers can learn something from this.

BigMac
October 4th, 2011, 02:20 PM
New York Post
October 4, 2011

Cuomo butts into big fat Greek church spat

By Steve Cuozzo

http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2011/10/04/pagesix/web_photos/04.1f028.realty1.c--300x300.jpg
UNORTHODOX: Rendering of St. Nicholas Church, which may be too massive for WTC infrastructure under it.

Gov. Cuomo, seizing the World Trade Center reins even before he picks a successor to Port Authority executive director Chris Ward, is maneuvering to move construction of a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church back to a site the PA had previously ruled out.

The original church, destroyed on 9/11, stood at 155 Cedar St. -- where the PA wants to build the new one.

But sources said Cuomo has secretly tapped construction expert Peter M. Lehrer to find a way to rebuild the house of worship at PA-owned 130 Liberty St., the former Deutsche Bank site across the street from the WTC. Such a move could arrest progress on interlocked WTC projects that finally found traction, insiders fear.

The highly respected Lehrer was co-founder of construction giant Lehrer McGovern. Cuomo tapped him earlier this year to consult pro bono on the Capitol restoration in Albany and reconstruction of the I-287 Cross Westchester Expressway.

Although Cuomo’s office proudly announced Lehrer’s role in those projects, it was mum yesterday about the church. Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said, “We’re not going to comment, because discussions are ongoing.” Lehrer didn’t respond to a call and e-mail.

But a source familiar with Lehrer’s role termed it a “feasibility” study that might result in a finding that the church could be built at 130 Liberty despite the PA’s insistence that it can’t -- at least not without setting back WTC work by a year “or a lot more,” one source told us.

The concern is that a decision to put the church there would cripple work on the underground Vehicle Screening Center, now under construction directly beneath the site. The PA-designed VSC has been under construction for two years on what the agency last winter called an “assumption” that the church would not be built on top of it.

The PA said the VSC’s steel infrastructure can’t support the massive church that the archdiocese hoped to build on top of it -- described by the New York Times as a “domed marble complex” occupying a 4,000 square-foot plot, compared to 1,200 square feet it had at the original location.

“It will be a mess if the whole VSC has to be re-engineered,” a source said. “There’s no telling what effect it could have.”

Moving through the VSC will be the only way trucks can make deliveries to the WTC site’s office towers and other facilities. It must be completed as scheduled in mid-2013 -- or jeopardize progress throughout the WTC’s 16 acres.

Work on the new office-tower interiors could be delayed because trucks wouldn’t be able to deliver materials needed to furnish them and install operating systems -- unlike the exteriors, which are built from the outside, using cranes. The mostly subterranean Memorial Museum could also be affected.

The urgency of finishing the VSC on time is so acute, insiders said, that the PA and construction manager Tishman Construction Corp. had to accelerate a timetable that previously called for it to be finished by the end of 2013.

The Greek Archdiocese of New York originally thought it would erect a new church at 130 Liberty with the PA’s support, until the agency decided in 2009 to switch it to 155 Cedar St.

Although the old church served a mere few hundred parishioners, shortly after 9/11 former Gov. George Pataki called for a larger replacement at the PA-owned 130 Liberty St., closer to Ground Zero.

The PA and the archdiocese were to negotiate a land-swap and financing agreement.

But after years of talks finally led to a prospective deal in 2008, the PA said in March 2009 that it was off. The agency blamed the church for making ever-increasing, “insatiable” demands, keeping the PA from nailing down final terms.

The church, however, claimed it had a “binding” agreement and accused the PA of illegally seizing its land at 155 Cedar St. for the agency’s own use. Last winter, the church sued the PA in Manhattan federal court, where the case remains.

Mark Cuhna, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said yesterday the two sides are still talking. He confirmed that a court hearing is set for Oct. 11, but declined to comment further.

Reps for Tishman. the PA, Silverstein Properties (building 4 WTC), the Durst Organization ( the PA’s partner at 1 WTC) and the Memorial all declined to comment.

scuozzo@nypost.com

Copyright 2011 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hamilton
October 4th, 2011, 05:42 PM
Why does everything with this administration seem like secretive under-the-covers cronyism?

lofter1
October 4th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Which administration? PANYNJ involves two states.

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 02:57 PM
Port Authority Agrees to Rebuild Church Destroyed on 9/11

BUSINESS WEEK (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-14/port-authority-agrees-to-rebuild-church-destroyed-on-9-11.html)
By Chris Dolmetsch
October 14, 2011

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America agreed to rebuild a lower Manhattan church destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, ending litigation over the site.

The agreement, signed today by the Port Authority, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and St. Nicholas Parish, allows for the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church at 130 Liberty St., the authority said in a statement.

Negotiations between the church and the authority broke down in 2009 and the archdiocese sued in February in federal court in Manhattan, accusing the bistate agency of reneging on an agreement to rebuild.

A 4,100-square-foot church with a nondenominational bereavement center that will serve as a “venue for interfaith dialogue” will be constructed, the authority said. The church was founded by Greek immigrants in 1916 and began services at its location on Cedar Street in 1922.

The agreement is the result of a four-month independent engineering study conducted as a result of settlement talks between the authority and the archdiocese mediated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, the authority said.

Structural Issues

The study found that structural issues could be resolved that would allow the church to be located on Liberty Street “at significantly reduced cost” from the original agreement, which called for the authority to give the church $20 million to defray the cost of construction.

The church will exchange its land on Cedar Street for the rights to the Liberty Street parcel, with no payments from the authority, and the litigation will be terminated upon approval of the agency’s board, the authority said.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message left with its press office seeking comment on the agreement.

The case is Hellenic Eastern Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas of the Downtown Part of the City of New York v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 11-cv-0985, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 03:04 PM
PORT AUTHORITY AND GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE ANNOUNCE
AGREEMENT ON REBUILDING OF ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Greek News (http://www.greeknewsonline.com/?p=17659)
October 14, 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America today announced an agreement regarding the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Governor Andrew Cuomo invited Archbishop Demetrios and the Hierarchs of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, together with leadership of the St. Nicholas Parish and the Archdiocesan Council to his New York City office for the official signing of the agreement by Archdiocesan Council Vice-Chairman Michael Jaharis and Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. Archbishop Demetrios and Governor Cuomo signed as the formal witnesses to the agreement.

The agreement permits the rebuilding of the Church with a nondenominational bereavement center at the east end of Liberty Park, at 130 Liberty Street. The agreement follows a four-month independent engineering study commissioned by the Port Authority and the Archdiocese, which found that the Church could be built on the site with minor modifications to the original plan and with no impact on the World Trade Center construction schedule.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, “We lost St. Nicholas Church in the destruction of September 11 and for too long its future has been uncertain. Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church, with a nondenominational bereavement center, is not just good news for the Greek Orthodox community, but for all New Yorkers. With this agreement, we are continuing New York’s collective healing, restoration, and resurgence. Now we are finally returning this treasured place of reflection to where it belongs.”

Archbishop Demetrios said, “We are grateful to our esteemed Governor and precious friend Andrew Cuomo for bringing to reality the dream we have nourished for ten long years. St. Nicholas Church, rising again with the help of God at Ground Zero – where it stood spiritually important for 85 years, is an affirmation of the significance of religious freedom and experience for all New Yorkers and all Americans. The covenant stands firm. We will again light many candles in the new St. Nicholas Church and remember those who were lost to us, and those heroes who so nobly sacrificed their lives. Our pledge is to be a witness for all New Yorkers that freedom of conscience and the fundamental human right of free religious expression will always shine forth in the resurrected St. Nicholas Church.”

The Archbishop also expressed deep appreciation to Michael Jaharis and Dennis Mehiel and the other members of the joint committee who had labored so diligently to accomplish this historic agreement.

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “I am delighted that we were able to find a way to rebuild the Church with no impact on the construction schedule at the World Trade Center. The Church is an important and appropriate addition to the site, and will serve New Yorkers of all faiths for generations to come.”

The original Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, was founded by Greek immigrants in 1916 and occupied a 1,200 square foot building. The new Church will be 4,100 square feet. The rebuilt Church will also house a nondenominational bereavement center and serve as a venue for interfaith dialogue. The siting of the Church will have no impact on the World Trade Center site construction schedule.

Negotiations between the Church and the Port Authority to rebuild St. Nicholas broke down in 2009 and resulted in litigation in 2011. As a result of settlement discussions mediated by the Governor’s office, the Port Authority and Archdiocese agreed to an independent engineering study to determine the feasibility of siting the Church at various locations in Liberty Park. The four-month study was led by Peter Lehrer, a nationally renowned construction expert, who worked on the project on a pro bono basis with Director of World Trade Center Construction Steven Plate and independent engineers Gorton & Partners and McNamara/Salvia, Inc. The study concluded that structural issues could be resolved to site the Church at 130 Liberty Street at significantly reduced cost compared to the original agreement and with no delay to construction at the World Trade Center site.

Under the agreement, the Port Authority will be responsible for below-ground infrastructure costs and the Archdiocese will be responsible for all costs related to the above-ground construction of the Church. The Church is agreeing to swap its 155 Cedar Street land for the rights to the Liberty Street parcel. Under the agreement, there will be no payments made by the Port Authority to the Church. The agreement announced today will result in termination of the litigation upon approval of the Port Authority board.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said, “Today is a very historic day for the members of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the entire Greek American community. As the grandson of Greek immigrants, I have worked for years to ensure that this church was rebuilt, and thanks to Archbishop Demetrios, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and countless others, we have finally achieved that reality. Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero will stand as a strong and hopeful symbol to the world of the revitalization of New York and a fitting reminder of the spiritual journey we have taken together since 9/11.”

Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said, “Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church is an important part of reclaiming what we lost on September 11, 2001. The Church will serve as a place of remembrance and unity. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in this process and for making sure that the Church has a beautiful new home that will serve all New Yorkers.”

Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John Katsimatides on 9/11 and is a Board Member of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said, “My brother John used to visit St. Nicholas Church and found it to be a place of comfort and reflection. I hope that with the church’s return, it will serve as a place of spiritual solace to people of all faiths who come to pay tribute at the 9/11 Memorial. I thank Governor Cuomo for his work to ensure that this matter has been resolved.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R C–Brooklyn, Staten Island) issued the following statement:


The Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have announced an agreement on rebuilding St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in lower Manhattan, marking the end of a ten year journey to restore the only house of worship to fall in the September 11th attacks. This is an historic day for the Greek community that has filled the halls of this cathedral for generations and has fought so hard to see that their church would stand tall once again.

I commend Governor Cuomo, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the St. Nicholas Parish and the Port Authority for rebuilding this church, which is so important for not only our Greek community, but our city, state and nation. This project is a testament to the American spirit and our refusal to give way to terrorists and other groups that try to destroy our way of life. I look forward to the day when we can all gather together once again at St. Nicholas to celebrate our community and our faith.

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) also praised the agreement. “This agreement marks a historic moment for the Greek American community, which worked so diligently and with great passion to cut the red tape of bureaucracy and clear a path for St. Nicholas to be rebuilt,” Dr. Grossomanides said. “We are grateful for the efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and the local, state, and federal officials past and present who shared our voice. We also commend all parties for coming together to reach an agreement that ends a decade of frustration and begins a future of revitalized hope that St. Nicholas will provide to all Americans.”


In support of the effort to rebuild St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street, a site chosen by the Port Authority, AHEPA held a Ground Zero rally on June 26, 2011. The organization also submitted more than 20,000 signatures collected via electronic petition to Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward that went unanswered.

Attorney George Demos, a candidate for 1st Congressional District said:


“Fifteen months ago when the ember of hope to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was nearly extinguished and our nation was embroiled in a controversy about the propriety of a Mosque at Ground Zero, we stood up and let the nation know that it was our obligation to rebuild the only house of worship destroyed on September 11th.

What started as a quiet voice in the wilderness grew to national television appearances and a press conference with Governor Pataki, to a national call to honor America and the victims of that tragic day by rebuilding the Church. Most importantly, I am proud of all of those who joined the tireless fight to break through the bureaucracy. Together we have succeeded in relighting the candle of hope.

Sadly the breakthrough only came after the Port Authority’s Director Christopher Ward, who had been maliciously blocking the rebuilding of the Church, was forced to resign.

Ten years ago, Governor Pataki walked amongst the smoldering ruins and made a heartfelt pledge that the humble Church that stood against those mighty towers would rise again. Today Governor Cuomo has stood tall in ensuring this happened. To both Governors Cuomo and Pataki, our nation owes a debt of gratitude.

Generations from now, Americans will read history books about the brave and heroic acts of September 11th and now they will also look back with pride that our nation stood up and defended our Judeo-Christian values. I am proud of those who joined us and you have my pledge that I will always continue to fight for our values.”

ZippyTheChimp
October 14th, 2011, 03:31 PM
So what exactly happened here?

It looks like the structural changes can be easily made and won't cause delays; and the money that the PA was to pay the church will go toward making the changes.

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 03:53 PM
If the latest info is correct then it seems the future St. Nicholas has been seriously downsized from what was previously proposed ...




From the NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19church.html) March 18, 2009:

... Last July, the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Church announced a tentative plan to rebuild the church just east of its original site, at Liberty and Greenwich Streets. The authority agreed to provide the church with land for a 24,000-square-foot house of worship, far larger than the original, and $20 million. Since the church would be built in a park over the bomb-screening center, the authority also agreed to pay up to $40 million for a blast-proof platform and foundation.

>>[NOTE: the 4-story original church, on a 1,200 SF lot, was less than 5,000 sf]




October 14, 2011

... A 4,100-square-foot church with a nondenominational bereavement center that will serve as a “venue for interfaith dialogue” will be constructed, the authority said.


That size ^ seems way small. I'm not sure that latest info is fully accurate. Perhaps the new building PLOT is 4,100 sf (with the actual square footage of the new church building somewhere between the original ~ 5,000 sf and the proposed 24,000 sf) :confused:

scumonkey
October 14th, 2011, 04:29 PM
There was a news story about this (I think on NY1)this morning, and (if I remember correctly), they said it would be three times the size of the original.
But the story lacked info- like how big the original was, and what deal was actually worked out to get this done.

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 09:14 PM
The PANYNJ Press Release (http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/press-item.cfm?headLine_id=1474):


Press Release Article

PORT AUTHORITY AND GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE ANNOUNCE
AGREEMENT ON REBUILDING OF ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Date: Oct 14, 2011
Press Release Number: 122-2011

Church Was Destroyed on September 11, 2001

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America today announced an agreement regarding the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The agreement, signed today by Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward and representatives of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and St. Nicholas Parish, permits the rebuilding of the Church with a nondenominational bereavement center at the east end of Liberty Park, at 130 Liberty Street. The agreement follows a four-month independent engineering study commissioned by the Port Authority and the Archdiocese, which found that the Church could be built on the site with minor modifications to the original plan and with no impact on the World Trade Center construction schedule.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, “We lost St. Nicholas Church in the destruction of September 11 and for too long its future has been uncertain. Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church, with a nondenominational bereavement center, is not just good news for the Greek Orthodox community, but for all New Yorkers. With this agreement, we are continuing New York’s collective healing, restoration, and resurgence. Now we are finally returning this treasured place of reflection to where it belongs.”

Archbishop Demetrios said, “We are grateful to our esteemed Governor and precious friend Andrew Cuomo for bringing to reality the dream we have nourished for ten long years. St. Nicholas Church, rising again with the help of God at Ground Zero - where it stood spiritually important for 85 years, is an affirmation of the significance of religious freedom and experience for all New Yorkers and all Americans. The covenant stands firm. We will again light many candles in the new St. Nicholas Church and remember those who were lost to us, and those heroes who so nobly sacrificed their lives. Our pledge is to be a witness for all New Yorkers, that freedom of conscience and the fundamental human right of free religious expression will always shine forth in the resurrected St. Nicholas Church.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “I am delighted that we were able to find a way to rebuild the Church with no impact on the construction schedule at the World Trade Center. The Church is an important and appropriate addition to the site, and will serve New Yorkers of all faiths for generations to come.”

The original Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, was founded by Greek immigrants in 1916 and occupied a 1,200 square foot building. The new Church will be 4,100 square feet. The rebuilt Church will also house a nondenominational bereavement center and serve as a venue for interfaith dialogue. The siting of the Church will have no impact on the World Trade Center site construction schedule.

Negotiations between the Church and the Port Authority to rebuild St. Nicholas broke down in 2009 and resulted in litigation in 2011. As a result of settlement discussions mediated by the Governor’s office, the Port Authority and Archdiocese agreed to an independent engineering study to determine the feasibility of siting the Church at various locations in Liberty Park. The four-month study was led by Peter Lehrer, a nationally renowned construction expert, who worked on the project on a pro bono basis with Director of World Trade Center Construction Steven Plate and independent engineers Gorton & Partners and McNamara/Salvia, Inc. The study concluded that structural issues could be resolved to site the Church at 130 Liberty Street at significantly reduced cost compared to the original agreement and with no delay to construction at the World Trade Center site.

Under the agreement, the Port Authority will be responsible for below-ground infrastructure costs and the Archdiocese will be responsible for all costs related to the above-ground construction of the Church. The Church is agreeing to swap its 155 Cedar Street land for the rights to the Liberty Street parcel. Under the agreement, there will be no payments made by the Port Authority to the Church. The agreement announced today will result in termination of the litigation upon approval of the Port Authority board.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said, “Today is a very historic day for the members of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the entire Greek American community. As the grandson of Greek immigrants, I have worked for years to ensure that this church was rebuilt, and thanks to Archbishop Demetrios, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and countless others, we have finally achieved that reality. Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero will stand as a strong and hopeful symbol to the world of the revitalization of New York and a fitting reminder of the spiritual journey we have taken together since 9/11.”

Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said, “Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church is an important part of reclaiming what we lost on September 11, 2001. The Church will serve as a place of remembrance and unity. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in this process and for making sure that the Church has a beautiful new home that will serve all New Yorkers.”

Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John Katsimatides on 9/11 and is a Board Member of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, said, “My brother John used to visit St. Nicholas Church and found it to be a place of comfort and reflection. I hope that with the church’s return, it will serve as a place of spiritual solace to people of all faiths who come to pay tribute at the 9/11 Memorial. I thank Governor Cuomo for his work to ensure that this matter has been resolved.”

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 09:24 PM
Seems it's poorly worded, as it clearly refers to the size of the building PLOT and not the full size of the building:





... The original Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, was founded by Greek immigrants in 1916 and occupied a 1,200 square foot building. The new Church will be 4,100 square feet.

3 X the size of the original @ < 5,000 gsf = < 15,000 gsf

One of the key design agreements is most likely the height of the church dome. Back when negotiations were going on the PA took the position that the top of the dome couldn't rise higher than the highest point of the Snohetta Memorial Pavilion, which "varies in height from 62-70 feet (http://www.wtc.com/news/new-design-details-for-memorial-museum-pavilion)."

lofter1
October 14th, 2011, 09:32 PM
More news from Architect's Newspaper BLOG (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/25464), which says the new church will be 4 X larger than the original (still not as large as once-proposed @ 25,000 sf):


... At 4100 square feet the building will be nearly four times the size of the original 1848 structure. Arey said that it was premature to speculate on any architectural competition, but allowed that the new building would harmonize with the new neighborhood, but would also be clearly identifiable as a Christian church with a cross at its top.

“We want to do something that is in concert with what is now there and at the same time make it creative and dynamic,” said Arey. “The old St. Nicholas wasn’t a part of the neighborhood architecturally, but now we’ll be connected spiritually and architecturally.” The church will have to wait for the Port to produce the slab for them to build on, which Arey said would take at least a year ...


The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/14/st-nicholas-greek-orthodo_n_1011428.html) says this:


"The new church will be about 3 1/2 times as large as the old one, and also house a nondenominational bereavement center."


I still think they're all confusing the size of the outline of the agreed-to lot with the ultimate size of the structure.

londonlawyer
October 14th, 2011, 10:37 PM
I could not imagine any public building being 4,100 sf. Every other crappy house in the suburbs of Atlanta, Charlotte and Dallas is 4,000 sf for a family of six (though sometimes more -- they're Evangelicals, as you may recall).

lofter1
October 15th, 2011, 02:02 AM
Way Is Cleared to Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church Lost on 9/11

NY TIMES
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
O (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-w-dunlap/)ctober 14, 2010

14261

The 2008 plan for building a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (shown in light green)
at the corner of Liberty and Church Streets. Under this month’s agreement, the church
will occupy the same site, but it will be roughly 40 to 50 percent smaller than shown here.

Even before the fires were extinguished at ground zero, everyone agreed that St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 155 Cedar Street — crushed by the collapse of 2 World Trade Center — would rise again.

For 10 years, however, no one has agreed exactly where it would rise, what sort of engineering would be needed to build it, how large it should be and who should pay for it. Discussions turned into negotiations. Negotiations turned into litigation. And the tiny congregation of St. Nicholas remained homeless. (The members now worship at SS. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn.)

On Friday, after a combined feat of political arm-twisting and reverse engineering, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/andrew_m_cuomo/index.html); Archbishop Demetrios (http://www.goarch.org/archbishop/demetrios/biography), the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Christopher O. Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, announced that the new church would be constructed at Liberty and Greenwich Streets, exactly where it was envisioned three years ago but on a plot of 4,100 square feet, about two-thirds the size of the site in the earlier plan.

“We lost St. Nicholas Church in the destruction of Sept. 11, and for too long its future has been uncertain,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement issued after the agreement was signed in the governor’s Midtown office.

The church, which is to include a nondenominational bereavement center, will sit on a platform above the helical underground ramp of the vehicle security center, through which trucks and buses will travel from street level to the subterranean loading and parking areas serving the new World Trade Center.

A smaller church building will allow engineers to take advantage of the current design of that helical ramp, thereby eliminating the need for the extensive redesign and structural reinforcement that the larger plans would have required. Because there will be no fundamental change to the underground layout, officials of the state and the archdiocese said the St. Nicholas project would not delay or impede construction of the vehicle security center, which is expected to be completed in 2013.

The Port Authority estimates that it will spend about $25 million to construct the platform on which St. Nicholas will sit and provide the necessary utility hookups. The authority had balked at earlier estimates of $40 million, and it will not make a $20 million contribution to the archdiocese, as had been contemplated in earlier discussions.

From the platform up, financing would be the church’s responsibility. While it is impossible to estimate the cost with any precision until the church has been designed, the Rev. Mark Arey, the ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and a spokesman for the rebuilding effort, said a $10 million construction budget would not surprise him. With a base of several million dollars of spontaneous contributions, in addition to insurance proceeds, Father Arey said that sum could be raised quickly.

St. Nicholas is effectively swapping the empty parcel it still owns at 155 Cedar Street for the right to build its new church at Liberty and Greenwich Streets. The agreement also calls for an end to the lawsuit that the church brought in February against the Port Authority in federal court. Mr. Cuomo inherited the impasse and moved forcefully to resolve it: The New York Post reported last week (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/commercial/cuomo_butts_into_big_fat_greek_church_f1pAVFNV1gNm 5Xp1vwuVpL) that he brought in the construction executive Peter M. Lehrer to serve as a kind of mediator and expediter among the parties. “We are finally returning this treasured place of reflection to where it belongs,” Mr. Cuomo said Friday.

Father Arey said it was too early to predict whether St. Nicholas would have a dome. “It will look like an Orthodox church,” he said, “while the emphasis will be to be spiritually and contextually harmonious with the neighborhood.”

Speaking of the 2001 attack, Father Arey said: “It wasn’t just an act of terrorism. It was an act of religious hatred at some level. Rebuilding the only house of worship destroyed on 9/11 is important for the psyche and the soul of the nation.”

© 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

BrooklynLove
October 15th, 2011, 08:54 AM
An interesting result.
It seems that much of the sub-street level work for tower 5 would need to be completed in conjunction with the construction of the church in this new location. I'd love to see an innovative tower-church juxtaposition here like resulted at the midtown Citicorp tower.
So are we to assume that the 155 Cedar site will become parkspace, now that the parkspace planned for the new church will no longer be parkspace?

USSManhattan
October 15th, 2011, 08:15 PM
There's still going to be a Tower 5? I thought that was abandoned long ago... where is it going to go, above the VSC? Former site of DB?

ZippyTheChimp
October 15th, 2011, 08:35 PM
The old DB site overlapped what is now site 5 and the VSC. Any new building on site 5 will be south of Cedar St, not part of the VSC.

Tower 5 wasn't abandoned; they just don't have a tenant since Morgan-Chase cancelled.

BPC
October 15th, 2011, 08:45 PM
Way Is Cleared to Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church Lost on 9/11

NY TIMES
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
O (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-w-dunlap/)ctober 14, 2010

14261

[FONT=arial]The 2008 plan for building a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (shown in light green)
at the corner of Liberty and Church Streets.
© 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

I'm no Rand McNally, but I'm pretty sure that's the corner of Liberty and Greenwich, not Church. On the corner of Liberty and Church is a Burger King.

lofter1
November 11th, 2011, 01:37 PM
OPA! WTC

Greek Orthodox Church back and forth and back.

ARCHITECT'S NEWSPAPER (http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5747)
By Tom Stoelker

http://archpaper.com/uploads/image/greek_wtc_01.jpg
AERIAL VIEW OF THE PLANNED ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.
COURTESY KOUTSOMITIS ARCHITECTS

Under significant pressure from Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority will allow St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to rebuild their destroyed church on a World Trade Center site. An earlier deal had the state giving the church $20 million to rebuild while the Port invested $40 million in a blast-proof platform for the building over a new vehicle security center beneath. That deal moved the church up the street from their old location at 155 Cedar Street and onto a 4,100 square foot site at the corner of Greenwich and Liberty streets. Under the new agreement the church will stay on Liberty Street and the Port will build a $25 million platform, with the church raising its own funds to rebuild.

From 2003 to 2008, the church worked with the Port to develop the Liberty Street site. But as the church’s ambitions grew from the original 1,200-square-foot chapel to a community center of more than 6,000 square feet, the Port pulled out. The church in turn forced the agency’s hand with a lawsuit that was just about to go to court when the governor stepped in.

For their part, church officials say they were more than cooperative all along. “Whenever they asked us to move we moved,” said Nicholas Koutsomitis, architect for the proposed church. “We always looked at the bigger picture, we did that for eight years.”

Unlike the proposal for a mosque a block away, there remains substantial support for the church to rebuild on the WTC site. “I think that the issue with the mosque in a way saved the church from eminent domain,” said Koutsomitis. Donations to rebuild began pouring in immediately after the attacks. Despite the importance of the overarching World Trade project, using eminent domain to remove the tiny church with its congregation of 70 families probably wouldn’t have played out well in the press.

Father Mark Arey said there are two words to describe the new deal. “Win, win!” he exclaimed. Arey, the spokesperson for the Greek Archdiocese in America, said the agreement signed in Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office between archdiocesan council vice-chair Michael Jaharis and the Port Authority's soon-to-be-departing-director Chris Ward would not cause the state financial hardship or delay construction.

Throughout the planning and the lawsuit Koutsomitis said his architecture office acted as a clearinghouse for all aspects of the negotiations. “It’s very rare, but it’s a special relationship with the client group,” explained Koutsomitis of the combination design, legal, and financial team.

Currently there is no final design, the architect said, but it will be clearly identified as an Eastern Orthodox church. While the old St. Nicholas contrasted with Yamasaki’s twin towers, the new church will play off the new buildings, the architect said, describing the new structure as a transparent “cube that’s floating on air.” If the current schedule holds, the church could open its doors by 2014.

THE BEREAVEMENT CENTER:


http://archpaper.com/uploads/greek_wtc_02.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/greek_wtc_02.jpg)

A SITE PLAN:
http://archpaper.com/uploads/greek_wtc_03.jpg (http://archpaper.com/uploads/greek_wtc_03.jpg)

RoldanTTLB
November 11th, 2011, 02:17 PM
Uh, wow.

lofter1
November 11th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Dome on the Mount, WTC style.

oquatanginwan
November 11th, 2011, 03:52 PM
To me this looks like they're cashing in on the proximity to the WTC memorial in more ways than one.

ZippyTheChimp
November 11th, 2011, 04:17 PM
I didn't realize the east side of the VSC is going to be so high.

Is that thin structure in the foreground (another one next to the bridge) a vent building.

Speaking of which, the memorial plaza looks so much better without the vent buildings.

BPC
November 11th, 2011, 04:57 PM
Just as an FYI, if you go to the architect's web site (http://www.kapc.com/framesets/stnicholas.htm), and download the pdf, those drawings are for the former, 25,000 sq. ft. design (see Lofter's posts above for media confusion between size of footprint vs. total square footage). The designs show a "completion date" of 2011. Sad. Anyway, from the article above, it sounds like the deal is new enough that they don't have a design for the smaller footprint yet, although I'm not all that excited about a transparent “cube that’s floating on air.”

lofter1
December 21st, 2011, 01:19 PM
Some images of the St. Nicholas church are showing up in possible plans for Liberty Park (http://tribecatrib.com/news/2011/december/1177_port-authority-pictures-wtc-sphere-in-park-near-where-it-stood-for-30-years.html).

Not so graceful ... Here we have an open space offering many possibilities and what do they give us? A box :mad:

14580

14581

14582

Music Man
December 21st, 2011, 03:42 PM
That hird rendering ("center option") is the first rendering I've seen from that angle showing the "wall" for the secure parking entrance. Looks just like the old West Street "wall" foundations for the former WTC Marriot and building 6.

HoveringCheesecake
December 21st, 2011, 06:13 PM
That church looks ugly as sin.

har har har

stache
December 22nd, 2011, 01:00 PM
^ Get the hook!

lofter1
June 24th, 2012, 11:45 AM
Superstructure for the VSC now shows some major steel in the vicinity where the new St. Nicholas church will rise. Not clear to me how they will tie it all in, given the proposed configuration of the church we've seen so far ...

15756




http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2011/10/04/pagesix/web_photos/04.1f028.realty1.c--300x300.jpg

unorthodox: Rendering of st. Nicholas church, which may be too massive for wtc infrastructure under it.




14261

the 2008 plan for building a new st. Nicholas greek orthodox church (shown in light green)
at the corner of liberty and church streets. Under this month’s agreement, the church
will occupy the same site, but it will be roughly 40 to 50 percent smaller than shown here.




greek orthodox church back and forth and back.

http://archpaper.com/uploads/image/greek_wtc_01.jpg
aerial view of the planned st. Nicholas greek orthodox church at the world trade center.
courtesy koutsomitis architects.



some images of the st. Nicholas church are showing up in possible plans for liberty park (http://tribecatrib.com/news/2011/december/1177_port-authority-pictures-wtc-sphere-in-park-near-where-it-stood-for-30-years.html).

14580

14581

14582

stache
June 24th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Why are you quoting yourself? :confused:

ZippyTheChimp
June 24th, 2012, 06:07 PM
Wow, that's a big'un.

Will they remove all those steps and create a terrace?

lofter1
June 25th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Why are you quoting yourself? :confused:

Show and tell. Looking back it just turned out that the posts with images of the church proposal were mine.

lofter1
October 13th, 2012, 04:07 PM
It would be great if the designers of the new St. Nicholas Church were to use the opportunity offered by the circular design at the east side of the VSC. That shape should be incorporated into the design.

Imagine a massive sweeping circular stair leading down towards the Memorial and the intersection of Liberty + Greenwich from the new Liberty Park atop the VSC.

16558

Alas, from the designs we've seen (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&page=14&p=384610&viewfull=1#post384610) there's little circularity coming our way. Instead the church will be perched awkwardly atop all that steel. Both it and the surrounding area is mostly angles and hard edges, only minimally buffered by one of the pathways planned to cross through the park area.




http://archpaper.com/uploads/image/greek_wtc_01.jpg
AERIAL VIEW OF THE PLANNED ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.
COURTESY KOUTSOMITIS ARCHITECTS

LeCom
October 13th, 2012, 04:59 PM
Absense of circularity in the church is surprising. Not only would it provide easier means of foundations, eschewing transfer columns, but circular design is a key feature of Orthodox churches, as opposed to elongated naves present in Catholic and Protestant churches.

Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow:

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Travel/Russia/Moscow/Highlights/CathedralOfChristTheSaviour.jpg
http://www.richard-seaman.com/Travel/Russia/Moscow/Highlights/CathedralOfChristTheSaviour.jpg

http://tours-tv.com/uploads/maps/map-Cathedral-of-Christ-the-Saviour-karta.jpg
http://tours-tv.com/uploads/maps/map-Cathedral-of-Christ-the-Saviour-karta.jpg

Hagia Sophia, the grandmother of Eastern Orthodox church design:

http://cyberbrethren.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/hagia-sophia.jpg
http://cyberbrethren.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/hagia-sophia.jpg

Even cheaply built US derivatives present similar configurations. Greek Orthodox Church, Rochester, MN:

http://www.knutsonconstruction.com/_asset/v7qjsn/gallery/Greek-Orthodox-Church_1.jpg
http://www.knutsonconstruction.com/_asset/v7qjsn/gallery/Greek-Orthodox-Church_1.jpg

I'm not advocating historicism or Neo-Byzantine detailing at the WTC site, but at least give us something more true to form (e.g. slightly cruciform shape) than a box. The logic of "circular base + religion with deep roots in circular/cruciform designs = box" does not make much sense to me.

lofter1
June 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM
From Curbed (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/06/11/world_trade_center_redevelopment.php):

Greek-American newspaper The National Herald reports that Santiago Calatrava is the front-runner to design the rebuilt Church of St. Nicholas. (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/commercial/it_all_greek_to_calatrava_AlE55xiCHed4qXfWshSVJN?u tm_medium=rss&utm_content=Commercial)

Yes, that (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/04/26/costs_of_calatravas_bird_keep_on_soaring_at_ground _zero.php) Santiago Calatrava. The church was destroyed by debris on 9/11, and its future home (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/10/14/st_nicholas_church_will_rise_on_former_deutsche_ba nk_site.php) has been a source of controversy. The archdiocese says only that Calatrava was one of 12 or 13 architects asked to submit renderings. One point in his favor: he certainly knows the neighborhood by now.

[NYP; previously (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/santiago-calatrava)]

From the NY Post (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/commercial/it_all_greek_to_calatrava_AlE55xiCHed4qXfWshSVJN?u tm_medium=rss&utm_content=Commercial):

The archdiocese’s Father Mark Arey told us: “Mr. Calatrava has certainly been among the 12 or 13 architects who were pre-selected to offer designs.

“But we have not made an announcement. It’s unfortunate someone spoke pre-emptively to the National Herald.”

ZippyTheChimp
June 11th, 2013, 02:42 PM
Fundraising has been good?

uakoops
June 11th, 2013, 05:29 PM
maybe he'll make a little baby bird to go with the big one down the block.

ZippyTheChimp
June 11th, 2013, 05:39 PM
Or maybe...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3575/3428506321_1d454dabb0.jpg

I'm not kidding, actually. Take advantage of the terrain.

uakoops
June 11th, 2013, 07:25 PM
Zippy, that will answer the age-old question, which came first....

IrishInNYC
June 12th, 2013, 12:41 PM
Architecturally, exciting. Fundamentally, sad.

http://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp291/nin10dogirl/tradeCentersWithoutReligion.jpg

lofter1
October 30th, 2013, 11:00 PM
Church Near Trade Center to Echo Landmarks of East

St. Nicholas Church, Destroyed on 9/11, to Rebuild With Byzantine Design

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/10/31/nyregion/church-1/church-1-articleLarge-v3.jpgSt. Nicholas Church, via Associated Press
A rendering of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, with conceptual images of a landscaped open space known as Liberty Park.

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/nyregion/st-nicholas-church-destroyed-on-9-11-to-rebuild-with-byzantine-design.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0)
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
Published: October 30, 2013

A gleaming, monumental and unmistakable symbol of Orthodox Christianity would rise at the south end of the National September 11 Memorial under plans drawn up for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

The original St. Nicholas Church was crushed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Plans to replace it on the grounds of the new trade center, across Liberty Street from the memorial, have sputtered (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/22/nyregion/22nicholas.html), stopped (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/nyregion/19church.html) and crept ahead (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/way-is-cleared-to-rebuild-greek-orthodox-church-lost-on-911/) in the intervening years. But no images of the new church have been made public.

Until now.

Eight images (http://www.calatrava.com/#/Selected%20works/Architecture/New%20York%202?mode=english) published recently on the website of the architect Santiago Calatrava, who is designing St. Nicholas, showed a building that would draw inspiration from the great churches of the East: Hagia Sophia (http://www.ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en/) and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora (http://www.choramuseum.com/). Both are in Istanbul. The shallow dome of the new St. Nicholas Church will have 40 ribs, as does the dome of Hagia Sophia. Alternating bands of stone on the corners will echo the walls of the Chora church. Though both date to the early centuries of Christianity, they both were later used as mosques before becoming museums.

While that ecumenical provenance may accurately reflect the stated desire of the Greek Orthodox Church to create a space in which all visitors will feel welcome, it will almost certainly ignite a new round of debate over the role of religion at or around the World Trade Center. In 2010, national attention focused on a bitter fight over an Islamic community center and mosque that was proposed nearby.

Mr. Calatrava, the architect of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/nyregion/a-transit-hub-in-the-making-may-prove-to-be-the-grandest.html), is known for his expressive designs and, sometimes, projects with impressive cost overruns (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/arts/design/santiago-calatrava-collects-critics-as-well-as-fans.html). Certainly, his St. Nicholas, which will include a nondenominational bereavement center, will look nothing like the modest old parish church that it is replacing. That was housed in a decrepit 19th-century tavern at 155 Cedar Street with a little rooftop bell cote and cross to announce its purpose.

The new church will occupy the corner of an L-shape block bounded on the north by Liberty Street and on the east by Greenwich Street. Much of this block is already taken up by a large bulkhead being constructed over entrance ramps to a vehicle security center beneath the World Trade Center. The church and a landscaped open space known as Liberty Park will sit atop this bulkhead, a little more than 20 feet above street level.

That a Spanish architect should design a modern Byzantine church in Lower Manhattan for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (http://www.goarch.org/), based on buildings in Turkey that were used for Islamic worship, goes to the heart of the message the archdiocese says it hopes to send with the $20 million project. The new St. Nicholas is to open by early 2016.

“If I may quote Jesus, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people,’ ” said the Rev. Mark Arey, a spokesman for the archdiocese. “It will be open to everyone: the believer, the unbeliever, the Orthodox Christian, the atheist. Whoever you are, this is a space that you can come into and find some meditative solace.”
Meditative solace, however, may be elusive in the near term.

In 2011, the American Atheists, a nonprofit group, filed a lawsuit to prevent the inclusion of a cross-shape steel beam (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/nyregion/atheists-sue-to-ban-display-of-cross-shaped-beam-in-911-museum.html) from the wreckage of the original trade center in the memorial museum on the site. The suit was dismissed (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/nyregion/judge-dismisses-suit-over-steel-cross-at-9-11-museum.html) in March.

A year earlier, plans to create an Islamic community center and mosque (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/park51/) on Park Place, two blocks north of the trade center, attracted furious criticism. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg emerged as a forceful defender of the proposal, citing the constitutional protection of worship. Father Arey recalled that Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, had stood with the mayor.

“We always defended their right to build a mosque on Park Place,” Father Arey said. “We were proud to be with the mayor that day. It was the right thing to do. It was the spiritual thing to do. It was the American thing to do.”

While the building has recently served as a prayer space, the full center has not been built.

Comments on the website of the TriBeCa Citizen (http://tribecacitizen.com/2013/10/29/first-look-santiago-calatravas-design-for-st-nicholas-church/), which published the renderings, show that some viewers already say St. Nicholas resembles a mosque. The presence of the drawings on Mr. Calatrava’s website was noted on Tuesday by The New York Post (http://nypost.com/2013/10/29/new-plans-for-downtowns-70-pine-st-are-sky-high/).

Father Arey said he would welcome the dialogue ahead.

“The dome, invented by the Mycenaean Greeks, was a Christian form of architecture that was borrowed by the Islamic world,” he said. “There are going to be some wonderful teachable moments down the road.”

Mr. Calatrava was chosen after an invitation-only competition with 12 other architectural firms. His design, Father Arey said, has a “certain gravitas.”

“I believe he has achieved mass without volume,” Father Arey said. By that, he meant that the church, which is only 65 feet tall from its floor to the tip of the cross on the dome, conveys the sense of having a substantive presence.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, is to lease the church site for 99 years to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, based in New York City. In exchange, the church relinquished the 155 Cedar Street site to accommodate the authority’s building plans.

lofter1
October 30th, 2013, 11:19 PM
First Look: Santiago Calatrava’s Design for St. Nicholas Church

TRIBECA CITIZEN (http://tribecacitizen.com/2013/10/29/first-look-santiago-calatravas-design-for-st-nicholas-church/)

10/29/13

There was widespread doubt that Santiago Calatrava really was designing a new St. Nicholas Church (the former one having been destroyed in 9/11). But the New York Post (http://nypost.com/2013/10/29/new-plans-for-downtowns-70-pine-st-are-sky-high/) spotted a rendering on the architect’s website (http://www.calatrava.com/#/Selected%20works/Architecture/New%20York%202?mode=english). The website says Calatrava “set out to provide a building and sequence of spaces that would directly address the traditional Greek liturgy while creating a spatially varied architectural procession.” It’ll be located “at the eastern end of the new Liberty Park above the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center.”

It turns out there are a lot more renderings on Calatrava’s site. Thoughts?

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava-420x630.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava4.png)

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava4-420x634.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava4.png)

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava6-420x631.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava6.png)

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava8-420x630.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava8.png)

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava3-420x635.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava3.png)

Jyminee
October 31st, 2013, 01:00 AM
The renderings all show the "Sphere" included in the new park.

scumonkey
October 31st, 2013, 04:00 AM
they also show two buildings that aren't there...;)

ZippyTheChimp
October 31st, 2013, 09:02 AM
Where's the firehouse?

Where's O'Hara's?

econ_tim
October 31st, 2013, 10:34 AM
and, more importantly, where's the burger king?

how are the fargo people supposed to eat?

TallGuy
October 31st, 2013, 11:00 AM
I like it because of the contrast between the white (I assume stone/concrete) traditional yet clean-looking exterior to the modern reflective glass of the surrounding structures. It provides great contrast without clashing.

DMAG
October 31st, 2013, 11:25 AM
Don't hate it, don't love it. That's coming from a Greek Orthodox too FWIW.

EastMillinocket
October 31st, 2013, 01:15 PM
Unfortunately there will be rednecks who will come here and think this is the GZ Mosque because it has a dome.

IrishInNYC
October 31st, 2013, 03:52 PM
Any building built for religious worship is an utter waste of time, money and resources. IMHO.

lofter1
October 31st, 2013, 05:52 PM
The broad staircase along Greenwich will become a grand meeting spot ...




http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava-420x630.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava4.png)

BPC
October 31st, 2013, 06:41 PM
Good start. I'm concerned about the exterior materials to be used, which I think will determine the result. Given the weight restrictions and general lack of funds in the GOARCH, I fear they will cheap out. Perhaps the best aspect is the proposed integration of the building into a truly crap-tastic site. If the final result match the renderings on that, I will be satisfied with the rest.

lofter1
October 31st, 2013, 07:10 PM
The images, rough as they are, indicate that the bulk of the building could be translucent.

stache
October 31st, 2013, 10:14 PM
It does​ look moskie.

lofter1
October 31st, 2013, 10:43 PM
Hmmm, more orthodoksie.

stache
November 1st, 2013, 03:58 AM
Okie dokie!

BStyles
November 1st, 2013, 08:07 PM
They've integrated it well with the VSC roundabout.

lofter1
November 2nd, 2013, 01:33 PM
The images of St. Nicholas Church found on Calatrava's website (http://www.calatrava.com/#/Selected%20works/Architecture/New%20York%202?mode=english) now do NOT include the Koenig Sphere (it was included in previous images, which were seen on the Calatrava website and published HERE (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3426&page=15&p=438551&viewfull=1#post438551) a few days ago).

:confused:

lofter1
November 2nd, 2013, 01:40 PM
Here's what's seen in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/nyregion/st-nicholas-church-destroyed-on-9-11-to-rebuild-with-byzantine-design.html):

Church Near Trade Center to Echo Landmarks of East

St. Nicholas Church, Destroyed on 9/11, to Rebuild With Byzantine Design

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/10/31/nyregion/church-1/church-1-articleLarge-v3.jpg
Santiago Calatrava
A rendering of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, with conceptual images of a landscaped open space known as Liberty Park.

This is what was published in the Tribeca Citizen:

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava3-420x635.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava3.png)

http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava8-420x630.png (http://tribecacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/St-Nicholas-rendering-courtesy-Santiago-Calatrava8.png)

BStyles
November 2nd, 2013, 05:56 PM
I think they removed it for rendering purposes. The same way they removed the lowrises and the fire station up the street and replaced it with a hulk.

lofter1
April 20th, 2014, 05:11 PM
Something is starting to rise above the VSC, and a set of stairs in poured concrete rises up on the east end, leading up to where the church will be ...

17857

17856

17855

O' Daniel
June 1st, 2014, 05:04 PM
Lofter, that is a shaft coming from the VSC below. The "bulk" will indeed have backlit stone. The inside will include a chapel, a reception area and an upper floor overlooking to the chapel.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5316/14319393971_fbceb6f59b_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nPmCWX)Bridging Financial District with Battery Park (https://flic.kr/p/nPmCWX) by Otie OD (https://www.flickr.com/people/62018165@N04/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5113/14319393281_c965e60059_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nPmCK4)Future wedding plaza (https://flic.kr/p/nPmCK4) by Otie OD (https://www.flickr.com/people/62018165@N04/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5481/14136122150_6ed561dd3c_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nxajBY)A privileged view (https://flic.kr/p/nxajBY) by Otie OD (https://www.flickr.com/people/62018165@N04/), on Flickr

Tectonic
June 1st, 2014, 06:53 PM
That looks nice, hopefully it won't take as long as the bird.

O' Daniel
June 1st, 2014, 08:37 PM
It should rise quick, opening is expected between 3Q and 4Q f 2015.

Tectonic
June 1st, 2014, 08:55 PM
Nice! I like the green wall along the VSC.

londonlawyer
June 1st, 2014, 10:22 PM
It would have been nice if they included waterfalls on the Liberty Street facade.

IrishInNYC
June 3rd, 2014, 10:03 AM
Shame that a nice building that resembles an observatory will serve no such enlightening purpose and is instead a complete waste of money.

antinimby
June 3rd, 2014, 10:23 AM
Looks Islamic.

BPC
June 3rd, 2014, 11:19 AM
To those with no appreciation of Byzantine architecture.

lofter1
June 3rd, 2014, 11:37 AM
Not crazy about the mirrored glass.

EastMillinocket
June 3rd, 2014, 02:44 PM
Shame that a nice building that resembles an observatory will serve no such enlightening purpose and is instead a complete waste of money.

How would an observatory even function in the epicenter of global light pollution?