St. Nicholas: Letter from Port Authority to Archbishop Demetrios

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center. (FILE Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej)

NEW YORK – The Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (“Agency”), Richard Cotton, wrote a letter dated November 6, 2018 to Archbishop Demetrios of America and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressing the Agency’s concern about the status of the St. Nicholas church at Ground Zero, stressing that “I believe we can all agree that the status quo cannot continue as it is a negative for all involved.”   

In his letter, which …

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  1. Right now the Port Authority has a better shot at finishing this than the Archdiocese does. The cost is way to high to complete this church with its current designs. They seem to be more than accommodating
    and are willing to help us maybe we should take the offer!

  2. Cut and paste from another post:

    Steve says:
    December 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    Thoughts and prayers on getting anyone to donate to the “Friends of St. Nicholas”.

    By the way why hasn’t anyone ever mentioned the fact that the Port Authority has spent $17,609,085 as of 09/30/2017 on the construction of the Shrine? Just so all of you know, the Port Authority has paid for all of the construction from the top of the foundation, what is referred to as the “Mat” on page 2 of the “Project Redevelopment Agreement” and below.

    How would all of you like to be constructing a building and all you’re paying for is the construction costs from the top of the foundation and above – no cost to you for considerable costs of the site work, excavation expenses, foundation walls or slabs, utility hookups, etc… – actually let me just cut and paste that part of the agreement below so you can all read it.

    “WHEREAS, the Parties have agreed that the Church will design and the Port Authority
    (i) will construct a four-foot thick reinforced concrete mat above the VSC’s roof and (ii) on top of the mat to support the Building will install structural Styrofoam and a lightweight concrete slab necessary to raise the platform for the Building to the level of Liberty Park ( collectively, the “Mat”); and that the Church thereafter will construct the Building on top of the Mat.”

    Better yet let me cut and paste page 3 of the agreement that specifies all of the construction costs of the Shrine that the Port Authority is responsible for (the “VSC” referenced below is the Vehicle Security Center which belongs to the Port Authority and which the Shrine is built on top of – in renderings of the Shrine the VSC is prominently shown even though the church does not own this property.)

    (a) design and construction by the Port Authority of the Vent Shaft and
    Concrete Shell to be located adjacent to Liberty Street; the Port Authority will leave an opening in the Concrete Shell that, in the future, will become the entryway to the Building, as depicted in Exhibit A;

    (b) design by the Church and construction by the Port Authority of structural
    connections necessary to support the Mat in the location depicted on Exhibit B, (“Structural Connections”), a copy of which Exhibit B is attached to and made part of this Agreement;

    ( c) design by the Church and construction by the Port Authority of the Mat
    above the VSC’s roof in the location depicted in Exhibit C, a copy of which is attached to and made part of this Agreement;

    ( d) design by the Church and construction by the Port Authority of all
    municipal utility connections, including water, power, gas, and sewer, from the utility source to the property line of the Exchange Parcel, pursuant to the Final Plans (as such term is defined in Section I .3.2(a) below) approved by the Port Authority as set forth in this Agreement (“UtilityConnections”);

    ( e) design and construction by the Church of the Building, incorporating into
    such design and construction the VSC vent shaft as constructed by the Port Authority (“Vent Shaft”), the location of which Building and Vent Shaft is generally depicted in Exhibit D and includes, without limitation, those portions of the Vent Shaft located within the VSC and those portions extending beyond the walls or roof of the VSC; and

    (f) design and construction by the Church of the Entry Fit-Out. The aforesaid design and construction responsibilities of the Parties with respect to the Project are reflected in Exhibit E, a copy of which is attached to and made part of this Agreement.”

    So in short the $38 million dollars that was donated to the Archdiocese which is now gone and the approximately $6 million dollars still owed to Skanska (General Contractor) and the $2.4 million dollars still owed to MG McGrath (Marble Panel Fabricator) adds up to about $46.4 million dollars which was “spent” on just building the shell of a 4,450 square foot building (please spare me the its in Manhattan nonsense, I do this for a living).

    Again keep in mind the Port Authority has paid for all of the considerable expense of the construction work from the top of the foundation and below; the Archdiocese was delivered a foundation with all utility hookups in place before they had to spend a dime on construction.

    And in closing just so you all know, those renderings that show that large green space in front of the Shrine, that’s doesn’t belong to the Shrine, nor was paid for by the Shrine – that’s Liberty Park – a public park, so the Archdiocese didn’t spend any of your donations on that – that was another freebie to them.

  3. It’s not the Greek community, it’s the Greek-American community. And, it’s not the Greek church, it’s the (Greek) Orthodox church.

    1. It’s the Greeks who have screwed this up, not the Orthodox. Greek nationals, Greek cheating thinking, Greek lying, Greek nationalism. Don’t sully the religion with the Greek Deep State operations to build a monument to their culture not religion.

    2. I think you perhaps misunderstood what I was getting at. It’s precisely because I agree with your comments that I posted what I did. If governmental authorities use only the word “Greek” then it shows that, indeed, the leaders of the archdiocese (read archbishop and metropolitans) have succeeded in convincing the world that what counts is being Greek and we need to use the church to further/foster the Greek mentality at the expense of the faith. There’s nothing wrong with using the term Greek Orthodox. PS….that’s one ugly building at Ground Zero, mainly because it was meant to be a national shrine first and an Orthodox house of worship second.

    3. Can you tell I’m mad 1908? We need to do an Occupy Wall Street on the archdiocese. The governmental authorities do not know the difference between Greek and Greek Orthodox. In fact, in my long experience, most , including the media, think we’re Orthodox Greek Jews. Of course, rassa and beards (which you defend as essential Orthodox tools) only add to that misperception, as well as the fact that most people of our faith interchange the word chanter and canter (Jewish) to further confuse the hapless American Public. The temple needs to be destroyed, it’s totally f’d up and we both know it.

  4. Another national embarrassment for Greek-Americans. The rumor is that Ukrainian nationalists bribed Bartholomew with $50,000,000 for their unlawful uncanonical “tomos.” Maybe he find some more bribes to pay for this church.

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