With a rich history dating back to the early 1900s, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was completely destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attack, when the South tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Vowing to rebuild, the dedicated congregation began the overwhelming task.
Below are images taken from the Consecration of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine held on July 4, 2022.
This dedication to rebuild came from the same spirit that the Greek immigrants of lower Manhattan had when, in 1892 they purchased a small row house used as a tavern as their place of worship.
The little church was present as skyscrapers began to rise and their surroundings became a very different place. Through the years, its doors were always open for generations of New Yorkers passing by, stopping in to light a candle and say a prayer.
The new structure replaced the 19th century church of the same name which stood at 155 Cedar Street. The renowned architect Santiago Calatrava was chosen to design the new structure, and the ground blessing ceremony and symbolic laying of the cornerstone finally took place in October, 2014.
In August, 2017, the Church signed a formal lease and purchase agreement with Port Authority for what would be known as The Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center.
After a number of ‘bumps-in-the-road’ including COVID-19, financing was identified and an opening was scheduled for September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, as a tribute to those who perished. The marble facade was installed in February, 2021.
The architect modeled the Saint Nicholas Church complex after Byzantine churches of Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Istanbul. It was also designed to glow in the evening hours representing an ever-present beacon of hope on the World Trade Center campus.
The Shrine is accessible directly from Liberty Park and from Liberty Street by an elevator. Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center is located at 130 Liberty Street, NYC.