In addition, the high scaffolds have been taken down from the building, and final cleaning activities are currently taking place, all according to schedule.
The Church of St. Nicholas, a "spirit of place" is built in the heart of Ground Zero replacing the one destroyed, after being completely buried by the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre on 9/11 - the only religious institution destroyed on that day.
As such the newly erected St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is a Greek Orthodox Church of national and international importance as well as a National Shrine acting as a “cenotaph” for the approx. 3,000 people who died, may their memories be eternal, on 9/11. The term “cenotaph” from the Hellenic is an “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek: κενοτάφιον / kenotaphion (κενός kenos, meaning "empty", and τάφος taphos, "tomb"—from θαπτω /thapto, I bury.
"The iconography of the “Holy Mountain/ Mount Athos monks Fr. Loukas and his assistant Fr. Pachimos…complements the church’s magnificent original design, bringing in elements of Agia Sofia in Constantinople and the Parthenon in Athens, by renowned architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter Santiago Calatrava,” says well-known Greek-American entrepreneur Lou Katsos, who has been amongst those helping with the completion of St. Nicholas.
“I highly admire his conceptual aesthetic thought process as well as the monk’s unique artistic iconographic integrity and mysticism. A fantastic “genius to genius” combination/collaboration in a structure that will be an instant landmark in New York’s skyline, and one of the most important structures in the Christian and Orthodox world.
“I am honoured to have been part of the final process, with many others, to have helped complete the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a sacred monument and outstanding addition to Orthodoxy.”
The St. Nicholas Greek Church will open for Great Vespers on December 5th, and Orthros and Divine Liturgy on December 6 , St. Nicholas’s Feast Day. Regular Church activities and services will follow after December 6.