Façade work is continuing to progress on St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a reinforced concrete structure atop the elevated Liberty Park in the Financial District. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and developed by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the church is found near the intersection of Greenwich Street and Liberty Street and sits above the eastern half of the vehicle security center for the World Trade Center.
Our last update in early May showed the first segments of the white marble going up around the center line of each side in a wide, pleated fashion. Now we can see some of the corners enclosed, while other edges are prepped with metal clips attached to the concrete walls. Crews in cherry pickers are working on all sides at different heights, including on top and within the structural frame of the dome. The cross appears to have been temporarily removed from the pinnacle, most likely as a safety precaution as installation has begun on a couple of marble panels for the dome.
Meanwhile, work is also underway on the last set of staircases on the northern edge of Liberty Park, which likely won’t open until St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church gets closer to completion. A wide arch directly beneath the staircase is now outlined with a dark stone finish and could conceivably serve as a secondary ADA-accessible entrance to bring people directly up inside the church. One other minor detail in the façade is a square window facing the 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center complex. YIMBY expects more of the marble cladding to be delivered and installed throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall and winter months.
The following photographs offer a closer look at the color, texture, and veining of the marble. The white slabs are divided by thin, gray horizontal segments around the four corners of the church.
Santiago Calatrava’s architectural concept for the church was inspired by Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Church of the Holy Savior of Chora. The highest point of the underside of the dome will feature a colorful painting of Jesus Christ. The main entrance will be located on the symmetrical western side of the building between two rounded cylindrical corners and underneath a curved canopy facing the rest of Liberty Park and West Street.
A completion date for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is unclear at the moment, though sometime in 2022 is possible.