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Thread: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

  1. #256

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    No, I am not involved in the business, all of my work is based on research and info from inside folks.

  2. #257

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    Wall Street Journal
    October 15, 2014

    URBAN GARDNER

    A Church Near Ground Zero Reimagined

    St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Designed by Santiago Calatrava

    By RALPH GARDNER JR.

    Video - New Renderings

    It took two hours of talking with architect Santiago Calatrava —we touched on rock climbing, the Swiss cheese dish raclette, Rembrandt’s self-portraits and New York City’s tradition of great civic architecture—before I realized how appropriate the placement is of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which will overlook the 9/11 Memorial.

    And not just because it’s the rebirth of the church, a fixture in the neighborhood since the 19th century until it was destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Mr. Calatrava designed the church and will attend its groundbreaking on Saturday. If everything goes according to schedule, the building should be finished in 2016 or early 2017.

    While the 9/11 Memorial, with its twin reflecting pools and alleys of trees, masterfully creates an opportunity for quiet reflection, there’s also something to be said for a sanctuary with four walls—and perhaps for lighting a memorial candle, no matter what religion you practice, or even if you practice no religion at all.


    Santiago Calatrava with one of his sculptures in his Manhattan studio.

    “All the circumstances around 9/11, the memorial embodies that very well,” Mr. Calatrava said as he sat in the stately Park Avenue townhouse that does double duty as his home and his office.

    Then, the architect pulled out the sketches that won him the competition to rebuild St. Nicholas, describing the church with words such as “full” and “introverted” to illustrate how different the experience will be from the voids of the reflecting pools.

    Unlike what you might expect, the renderings aren't architecturally rigorous. They are relatively simple, rather impressionistic drawings—of a mosaic of the Madonna and Child Enthroned at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul that morph into a church with a cupola, of flowers and domes produced during a visit to Mount Athos in Greece.

    My hunch is that many architects don’t operate that way.

    “In Europe, I dedicate the morning until noon,” to drawing, said Mr. Calatrava, who divides his time between New York and another home and office in Zurich. “And in America I do it mostly in the afternoon to the evening.”

    Born in Spain, the 63-year-old Mr. Calatrava isn't only an architect. He also paints, sculpts and designs furniture.


    The new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, in this rendering, will overlook the 9/11 Memorial.

    “I started in an art school,” he added. “I have always been working in art. I do that mostly alone with very little assistance.”

    While acknowledging that architecture is among the most collaborative of professions, he said, “It’s also a very meditative job. It’s important to travel into yourself.”

    That might explain why he’s producing some of the most innovative and controversial architecture today—controversial as much for cost overruns and feasibility as for design.

    Among his creations is the bird-winged PATH station at the World Trade Center, scheduled to be completed next year at almost $4 billion—double the projected cost.

    We didn’t much delve into the controversy. The architect did mention that train stations are challenging—because the trains have to keep running—but that he has completed seven of them.

    Mr. Calatrava, his wife, Robertina, and their four children moved to the U.S. only a couple of months after 9/11. But his relationship with the city started well before that.

    His first visit occurred in the mid-70s when he traveled the country on a Greyhound bus and remembers his first encounter with Grand Central Terminal—and with the law.

    “I stay there watching the whole experience,” he recalled. “I was in ecstasy. After 15 minutes a policeman came and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I was the only one not moving.”

    He noted New York’s tradition of great architecture, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the Seagram Building.

    “New York is a good school of these kinds of spaces. I say many times I came to learn from New York.”

    He hopes the World Trade Center PATH station will be uttered in the same breath as those other architectural wonders.

    “I like when a building tells you a story,” he said.

    However, the architect pointed out that his contribution to the narrative of the Church of St. Nicholas is circumscribed by a thousand years of tradition.

    “It’s like climbing a rock,” he said of a sport he gave up, though he remains an enthusiastic hiker in the Alps. “You don’t have a grip. You only have some millimeters.”

    Still, a video of the yet-to-be-built church, made of white Vermont marble and with spaces that filter light inside during the day and make the structure glow at night, makes it clear his contribution is far from negligible.

    “This is what I want; this is what the church wants: a very ecumenical place; they would like to have 24 hours the church open.”

    But Mr. Calatrava conceded the public has the last word.

    “When it’s finished,” he said, “we’ll go there and ask what the building is telling us.”

    Copyright 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  3. #258

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    Nice video. I imagine the church is going to need some pews.

  4. #259

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    New York Times
    September 9, 2015

    Church, Rising at Trade Center Site, Will Glow Where Darkness Fell

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP


    Construction was underway on the St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday.

    What is most amazing about the World Trade Center, 14 years after the terrorist attack, is that it is steadily growing less amazing.

    With the removal last year of fences around the National September 11 Memorial, the opening this summer of Greenwich Street to foot traffic and the arrival of office tenants at Tower 1 and Tower 4, the site feels as if it is being knitted back into the fabric of Lower Manhattan. To mix metaphors, it is coursing again with lifeblood.

    A landscape that could scarcely have been imagined a decade ago is now a day-to-day reality for thousands of workers who pour into the site each morning.

    For those who know the trade center’s history, however, there is something amazing to report: Construction has begun in earnest on the St. Nicholas National Shrine, a Greek Orthodox church and nondenominational bereavement center, designed by Santiago Calatrava, which will overlook the memorial.

    On Aug. 28, the first concrete was poured. This week, the formwork is in place for the base of the drum-shaped sanctuary. Construction is expected to take two years.

    The $35 million domed structure to the south of the memorial will glow at night through a veneer of white Pentelic marble, from the same vein in Greece that was quarried to construct the Parthenon.

    What seemed like a simple idea in 2001 — to replace the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that stood at 155 Cedar Street until it was crushed by the collapse of 2 World Trade Center — became one of the most complex projects in the redevelopment.

    Then again, St. Nicholas has a mission different from any other building on the site.

    “The purpose is to project something that will open a window to eternity,” Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, said on Tuesday.


    Molding frames at the construction site. On Aug. 28, the first concrete was poured.

    For years, little progress was made as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey squabbled over how the church would be compensated for giving up the Cedar Street parcel — and the air rights along with it — which the authority needed to build an underground vehicle security center.

    Conflicts over the future of St. Nicholas also played out within the Greek Orthodox community. The archbishop said in 2001 that he envisioned the new building as a memorial shrine, not just the parochial church it had been. Members of the small but still active parish felt they were entitled to more control over the project.

    Not until 2011 was the path cleared for the plan that is now being realized, under which the church was to be situated at the east end of Liberty Park, a landscaped public space that the Port Authority is constructing on the roof of the vehicle security center.

    Proposals were invited from 13 architects. Archbishop Demetrios said they were instructed to design a building that would be unmistakably ecclesiastical yet contemporary in design and harmonious with the rest of the new trade center.


    Construction on the shrine, to the south of the National September 11 Memorial, is expected to take two years.

    Mr. Calatrava was the unanimous choice of the selection committee, the archbishop said, despite the fact that his World Trade Center Transportation Hub was running over budget and behind schedule.

    Though the cost of St. Nicholas was estimated at $20 million in 2013, Archbishop Demetrios said, “We know in principle there is no way, even in building a cottage, that you stay within budget.” And this is to be a national shrine of Eastern Christianity. “We have to have a masterpiece of architecture,” the archbishop said. “It has to be the best.”

    Mr. Calatrava has “done a lot to assist in keeping the budget down,” said Jerry Dimitriou, the executive director of administration for the archdiocese.

    What attracted the committee, Archbishop Demetrios said, was that Mr. Calatrava had been strongly influenced by Hagia Sophia, the magnificent sixth-century Byzantine basilica in Istanbul that was converted into a mosque and then, in 1935, into a museum.


    Jerry Dimitriou, the executive director of administration for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, touring the site.

    Fulfilling the requirement of modernity, the principal facade of St. Nicholas, a drum supporting its 48-foot-diameter dome, will glow softly from within after dark.

    The concrete load-bearing walls will be sheathed in a curtain wall of glass panels sandwiching slices of marble so thin — two or three millimeters — that they will be translucent, illuminated by LEDs in the cavity between the concrete and curtain walls.

    Because the glass surface will be nonreflective, it will appear in the daytime that the church is sheathed in solid stone, Mr. Dimitriou said, as he led a reporter and a photographer through the concrete outline of St. Nicholas.

    “If you can conceptualize it,” he said, “we’re standing at the center of the dome and, looking up, you’ll see the icon of Christ when we’re finished.”

    As he spoke, there was an expanse of cloud-free blue sky overhead. A cloud-free blue sky on a September morning. A Tuesday morning, to be precise. At a quarter of 9.

    2015 The New York Times Company

  5. #260

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    WTC Progress on Facebook
    October 9, 0215


  6. #261

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    Nice!

  7. #262

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC View Post
    Nice video. I imagine the church is going to need some pews.
    Orthodox churches don't require pews, though some have them anyway.

  8. #263

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    WTC Progress on Facebook
    November 5, 2015


  9. #264

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    WTC Progress on Facebook
    October 3, 2016


  10. #265

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    New York Times
    November 29, 2016

    Cross Takes Its Place, Temporarily, Atop Shrine at World Trade Center

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    Video: Rebuilding a Church Crushed on 9/11


    The 6-foot-3-inch cross being installed atop the St. Nicholas National Shrine in Lower Manhattan. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

    Visiting the National September 11 Memorial on Monday, Lori Siders stopped and stared wordlessly. Ahead was something she never expected to see at the World Trade Center.

    A cross.

    Ms. Siders, a Long Islander transplanted to Florence, S.C., had been walking with her husband and their two daughters beside the south memorial pool when she caught sight of the 6-foot-3-inch Justinian cross atop the St. Nicholas National Shrine, over the crowns of the tawny oak trees along Liberty Street, silhouetted against the skyscrapers of Wall Street.

    “It’s breathtaking,” she said at last.

    It is more than that. The topping out of the shrine with the cross was a milestone in the tortuous effort to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a little parish outpost at 155 Cedar Street in Lower Manhattan that was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the south trade center tower fell on it.


    Attendees wrote messages, blessings and remembrances in a stairwell inside the shrine. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

    And it is more than that. The cross is the first overtly religious symbol to appear in the public realm at the World Trade Center, where officials have often contorted themselves to maintain a secular air. (What almost everyone knows as the “World Trade Center cross,” for instance, is officially referred to as the “intersecting steel beam.”)

    Less than an hour before Ms. Siders sighted the cross, it stood waiting in front of the shrine, within the elevated Liberty Park, opposite the memorial.

    “As we are here and we look around, we see the triumph of human mind and human spirit and human, really, disposition of overcoming any tragedy,” said Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, who has been a constant visitor to ground zero since the earliest days after the attack.

    “But St. Nicholas will give an additional message,” he said. “St. Nicholas will also offer the opening towards a nonmaterial reality: the presence of God. So this small chapel here will say the story that there is a God beyond what we see, what we feel and what we could statistically verify. And that’s the very great mission of this new St. Nicholas Church.”

    After joining with Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos and Deacon Eleftherios Constantine in chanting the “Feast of the Cross” — “The cross is the glory of the angels, and the defeat of the demons” — Archbishop Demetrios sanctified the steel cross with water from a golden rantistirion, or sprinkler. He blessed the small crowd of people around him, as well.

    Among them was Patrick J. Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which struggled with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America over the redevelopment plans. The authority was obliged to accommodate the church, since it needed the site at 155 Cedar Street for a high-security underground garage.

    Mr. Foye said there was nothing inappropriate about the presence of the cross in a public park, because St. Nicholas was destroyed in the attack, because construction costs were being met privately and because the shrine would include contemplative space for the general public.

    “A house of worship is going to have its own shape, style and iconography,” he said.

    It took 11 minutes for the cross to reach the summit of the 50-foot-diameter dome, made of 40 sensuously curved ribs fabricated by the E & H Steel Corporation in Midland City, Ala., where the cross was also made. Ornamental lobes on each arm distinguish it as a Justinian cross.


    It took 11 minutes for the cross to reach the top of the 50-foot-diameter dome, made of 40 sensuously curved ribs. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

    The newly installed cross is intended as an interim measure. It will be replaced with a permanent cross when the shrine opens in the first half of 2018, Jerry Dimitriou, the executive director of the archdiocese, said. He estimated the development budget at $40 million, most of it in construction costs. He said $38 million had already been pledged.

    Paradoxically, the trade center’s most spiritual landmark was designed by Santiago Calatrava, the architect of its most materialistic landmark: the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall, part of the greater $4 billion transportation hub. On the shrine, Mr. Calatrava is associated with Koutsomitis Architects. Skanska is the construction manager.

    St. Nicholas is intended to be a simplified, miniaturized, modern evocation of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which has served over its long life both as a church and as a mosque.

    Steven Plate, the chief of capital projects at the Port Authority, sounded an inclusive note in his remarks before the cross was hoisted aloft.

    “We welcome on this site all denominations, all creeds, all walks of life and all religions,” he said. The message did not take long to reach Ms. Siders.

    2016 The New York Times Company

  11. #266

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    Is there a functioning camera for this section of the site that is not obscured by Towers 3 and 4? I'd like to keep up with progress on the church and the installation of the Koenig Sphere.

  12. #267

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    Never mind. I'm not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but there have been both an Earthcam and a live feed of this portion of the site for some time now, here.

    https://www.stnicholaswtc.org/webcam

  13. #268

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    This looks great!

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