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Thread: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

  1. #106
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #107
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    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.

  3. #108
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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?

  4. #109

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    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.

  5. #110

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    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.

  6. #111

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    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.

  7. #112
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post

    ... 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.

  8. #113
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #114
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    But let's see what kind of PR disaster it would be for the St. Nick congregation if they played that card.

  10. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by BStyles View Post
    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.

  11. #116
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post
    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?


  13. #118
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A little render from an article by Carter B. Horsley at City Realty (12.27, following up to the 12.26 Cuozzo article in the NY Post):

    Click image for larger version. 

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

    Quote Originally Posted by HoveringCheesecake View Post
    Layout w/r/t the VSC. Probably outdated.


  14. #119
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The original site of St. Nicholas Church:

    Click image for larger version. 

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

    Click image for larger version. 

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

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #120
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    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.

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