Construction has topped out on the Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church the Financial District. Located by the intersection of Greenwich Street and Liberty Street in the elevated Liberty Park, the structure will replace the original church of the same name located at 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on 9/11. The symmetrical architectural design was inspired by Istanbuls’ Hagia Sophia and Church of the Holy Savior of Chora. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is developing the project, which is positioned across from the original 16-acre World Trade Center complex.
Recent photos show the state of work on the structure, where the construction of the glass dome is progressing. The dome is made up of individual panels spanning the 40 ribs of the frame and topped with a cross at the pinnacle. Crews can be spotted on outside tending to the exterior assembly. Part of the dome will feature a series of 10-foot skylights.
Work is also progressing on the main entrance on the western side facing Liberty Park and a set of staircases going down to Liberty Street. Wooden boards temporarily cover the stone pavers already laid underneath.
Just a short walk within the park from the structure is Fritz Koenig’s The Sphere, which once stood as the fountain centerpiece in the plaza of the original Twin Towers.
The underside of the dome is planned to feature a colorful circular painting of Jesus. On the exterior, the curved walls will be clad in 1,000 eight-inch-thick Pentelic marble slabs, and the corners of the structure will be covered with solid, opaque slabs. Two panes of glass are planned to surround the white marble and create an envelope translucent enough for the church to be lit by diffused natural light during the day and for the interior lighting to radiate through at night.
The church is rendered to be illuminated at night with a warm glow, much like the architectural plans for the nearby Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center that is also expected to feature an external marble enclosure.
A completion date for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church has not been announced, though sometime in 2021 is conceivable if construction continues at its current pace.
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