(New York, New York, United States) – Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New York City is the only religious structure to have been destroyed during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Located at Ground Zero on Cedar Street, it was completely buried underneath rubble and debris. Even the landing gear from one of the airplanes is said to have been found resting on top of the church. Thankfully, no one was in the church during the time of the attacks, but after over a decade has passed, the church still hasn’t been rebuilt.
The first attempt to rebuild the church back in 2008 fell through due to a controversy between the church and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In 2010, efforts to rebuild picked up once again and an architect was hired to design the new church. Recently, there was a fundraiser to help raise money to build the new church. While still being an Orthodox Church, the new church will also have an area that is designed to be a 9/11 memorial. It is intended that the new church will be a friendly and welcoming place so that people of all faiths can find solace, meditate, and pray.
During September 11, 2016, those looking to rebuild the Rochester Greek Orthodox Church held a fundraiser that will support the building of the new church. There were speakers in attendance who lived through the tragedy, such as John Kassimatis, a former lieutenant at the Port Authority. During his speech, he said that, “We were able to escape the debris field, I hit a fire engine that I didn’t even know it was there. When I got out of the car they hosed me down, some medical people checked me out, my eyes, it was a mess. I stayed there for a day and a half setting up a command post and I worked 9 months, 4 hours after my shift.” The hope is that the new church will be fully built sometime in 2017.