Photographer's Note

Hard to get a clear, visually effective POV as the chapel/church is still wrapped, incomplete and surrounded by gardens and other buildings within the 9/11 Memorial park.

The original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church cast a reverent and faithful shadow on the World Trade Center. Greeks purchased the row house in 1892 as a community home, and it became the Saint Nicholas Church in 1916. For many Greek immigrants, it would have been their first stop after seeing the Statue of Liberty and disembarking from Ellis Island. The little church was a spiritual jewel, open to all. Generations of New Yorkers stopped in to light a candle, say a prayer, or just sit quietly.

Everything changed on 9/11. Saint Nicholas was completely destroyed in the collapse of World Trade Center Tower Two during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. During the weeks and months that followed, the Archbishop presided over numerous funerals and memorials for the many Greek Orthodox Christians who died that fateful day. He participated in interfaith and ecumenical events, at city, state and national levels.

And most importantly for Saint Nicholas, the only house of worship destroyed on 9/11, the Archbishop inaugurated a dialogue with then-Governor George Pataki to rebuild the church.
there was an overwhelming consensus advising His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios in favor of the design and expertise of Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava developed his plan from a wealth of Byzantine precedents, including the famous Church in Chora and Hagia Sophia itself. At the top of this page, you can see how Calatrava's artistic inspiration for the design emerged from the mosaics of Hagia Sophia. The renderings presented here not only show its appearance, but its relationship to its environment. It is clear that the Church will be a lamp on a lampstand, and a city set on a hill (cf. Matthew 5:14,15)

Dome in the Narthex of the Church of the Savior in Chora showing a mosaic medallion of Christ with the Twelve Apostles View of the St. Nicholas National Shrine dome inspired by the Church of our Savior in Chora

The dome of the St. Nicholas National Shrine was inspired by the world-famous Byzantine Church of the Savior in Chora, Greece.

The tradition of hospitality that Saint Nicholas exemplified throughout the twentieth century will continue at the new location. There will be a Meditation/Bereavement space and a Community room, housed in the upper levels above the Narthex, to welcome visitors and faithful.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 85 W: 0 N: 393] (1952)
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