NEW YORK – The World Trade Center site will remain a hive of construction activity for years to come, but visitors on Saturday, April 26 saw that much of the master plan for Ground Zero is complete.
The iconic Freedom Tower – officially known as One World Trade Center – looks finished from many angles and tourists and New Yorkers alike cannot wait for its grand opening, if not this year, then in 2015. A number of office towers are open and the 9/11 memorial and museum receive thousands of guests daily.
Greek-Americans who visit are filled with a similar sense of anticipation when they observe the site of the new Church of St. Nicholas, which will boast a design by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava that evokes the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople and other monuments of Byzantine and world architecture.
The small but striking new church will rest atop a concrete platform built by the Port Authority of NY and NJ at a cost of $20 million.
The price of the church itself is expected to exceed its projected price of $20 million, but the Archdiocese’s construction team will keep an eye on costs to avoid the overruns the PA must deal with at its new PATH commuter rail station and few hundred feet away, which was also designed by Calatrava.
There is no “ground” to be broken, but Archdiocesan officials have informed The National Herald that they are looking into a blessing of the site sometime this June.
Construction is expected to begin by August, and completion by Pascha 2017 was reported to be “doable,” but it appeared on April 26 as if the southeast pier of the dome has already been built, raising hopes that the parish’s 100th anniversary year of 2016 will see its near completion if not a grand opening.