Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 148

All around Ground Zero, construction crews are busy working on the skyscrapers that are fast rising on the site. 1WTC (the Freedom Tower) is now approaching 90 stories tall, and is easily viewed from miles around. 4WTC is also rising and concrete is being poured on the core for 3WTC above street level. At the same time, steel is now rising above street level for 2WTC, which means that the Church/Greenwich corridor skyscrapers are all seeing work done at or above street level.

That's a tremendous amount of progress, but one area that hasn't gotten a lot of attention is the southern quadrant, where the vehicle security center and St. Nicholas Orthodox church will be located. A design has been finalized for the church, which was destroyed by the collapsing towers. The Port Authority and church representatives have been haggling over the details of rebuilding for years, and the demolition of the former Deutsche Bank building further complicated matters because the church location was compromised by the bank building.
Under significant pressure from Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority will allow St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to rebuild their destroyed church on a World Trade Center site. An earlier deal had the state giving the church $20 million to rebuild while the Port invested $40 million in a blast-proof platform for the building over a new vehicle security center beneath. That deal moved the church up the street from their old location at 155 Cedar Street and onto a 4,100 square foot site at the corner of Greenwich and Liberty streets. Under the new agreement the church will stay on Liberty Street and the Port will build a $25 million platform, with the church raising its own funds to rebuild.
If 4,100 square feet doesn't sound like a lot of space for the church footprint, you'd be right. It's tiny. It's akin to a 41 x 100 parcel and is tiny compared to other structures on site, yet this site is among the more complex arrangements because of the interaction between the church and the vehicle security center beneath it.

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