NEW YORK – The cost of the new St. Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center is expected to approach $60 million. The new church, erected after the destruction of the old church in the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, began with an initial budget of $30 million and a timetable for completion in 2016.
However, even this amount is likely to be revised in the next few years. As The National Herald discovered, the cost will reach $60 million – almost twice as much as originally budgeted – without including the costs of the agiography of the new church.
The rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center caught the attention of the local media in New York with a report by Peter Haskell of WCBS 880 on September 6.
Haskell spoke with executive director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Jerry Dimitriou about the resurrection of St. Nicholas National Shrine Church at the World Trade Center, noting the destruction of the church on September 11, 2001.
He said, as reported on CBS New York, “The original St. Nicholas was fully destroyed, and really crushed by the South Tower.” The report mentioned the architectural details of the new structure, its “distinctive dome” and “blast proof concrete columns.”
Dimitriou said as CBS New York reported, “All the marble in this church is coming from Greece. It’s all from the same vein of marble that was used to build the Parthenon two and a half thousand years ago. It’s the Pentelic marble.”
The church will welcome visitors from around the world.
“Certainly because of the lives lost on 9/11, this place has a tremendous amount of meaning both for the Orthodox church, for all Christians, and for the whole world,” Dimitriou observed in the CBS New York report, adding, “We want them to feel at peace.”
The new St. Nicholas Church was designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava. As noted on the St. Nicholas website, Calatrava developed his plan from a wealth of Byzantine precedents, including the famous Church in Chora and Hagia Sophia itself for the design of the domed church. The topping out of the church took place in November 2016.
The St. Nicholas National Shrine Church at the World Trade Center is expected to open in 2018 in time for the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the original church which once stood at 155 Cedar Street and is now located at 130 Liberty Street. The cost of the project as reported by CBS New York is $52 million.