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Flatiron




Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street. Looking northeast. Photos by the author, dated May 26 unless noted otherwise.

FDNY Investigation Underway at Burnt Shell of Landmark Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, 15 West 25th Street, Flatiron

As this month got underway, we brought you the unfortunate news regarding the landmark Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street, designed by Richard Upjohn, the architect of the Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. The 1855 building, which was the city’s only house of prayer servicing the Serbian Orthodox community, was reduced to a charred stone shell on the evening of May 1, just hours after the Orthodox Easter celebration. While the church is collecting donations for reconstruction, the authorities are investigating the fenced-off site for the cause of the conflagration, while engineers keep an eye on the ruined building’s stability. The building is a New York City landmark and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Although the city’s laws protect the building from further demolition, the stone shell may be torn down if ultimately deemed dangerously unstable. Fortunately, the walls appear to be structurally sound for the time being, though serious reinforcement work would be permitted only after the investigations are complete.

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The former interior of the St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church at 15 West 25th Street, destroyed by fire on May 1, 2016. Photos by the author unless indicated otherwise.

Mourning the Landmark Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, 15 West 25th Street, Gutted by Four-Alarm Blaze on Easter Day

The May 1 celebration of Eastern Orthodox Easter was marred by the tragic fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street, which reduced the landmark building to a charred stone shell. Aside from minor smoke inhalation by the church caretaker, no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze. The same cannot be said for the church building itself, which was reduced to a charred ruin.

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