Orthodox Church to be re-built at World Trade Center

Here is a video which is a digital “tour” of the future St. Nicholas [Orthodox] National Shrine to be built at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The video is pretty cool. I am not hot about their interior choices, but it is striking.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    Dezeen has some interesting comments about the architectural influences:

    Work starts on Calatrava-designed Greek Orthodox Church on World Trade Center site

  2. NoraLee9 says:

    And someone who used to regularly pray in the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, (whenever we were called to meetings downtown) I am highly disappointed in the interior design. It borders on ugly. It is even less inspired then St. Vartan’s on E. 34th Street. The original St. Nicholas was colorful and seemed as if it was transported entire from the old country. What a shame .

  3. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    The interior reminds me of an Orthodox Church which is newly opened and not yet filled with the iconic walls. There is a Melkite Church near me and soon after it opened I went there and the walls were all white like that. In their case they did not have the funds to pay the required sum with such a small congregation.

    When I visited an Orthodox Church in Indiana to get a photo of a specific icon with their, and the artists permission, I was told it took some 13 years with the icon artist living there. He then moved to the next church for his assignment that needed icons.

    It will take many years for an icon artist to fill all that white space, decades even.

    I think it’s possible the architectural video did not want to show art on those walls because he can’t foresee how an icon artist will go about this. Each has their own style.

  4. Patti Day says:

    It’s very somber, which I guess is to be expected, nothing joyful or inspiring of hope here. In fact it reminds me of pictures of Grenoble, a nuclear reactor encased in concrete.

  5. TawdryPenitent says:

    Sorry. It’s hideous. Maybe the Germans can do their liturgical dance there.

  6. Wiktor says:

    Well.. that interior looks better than a local Eastern Catholic church… (imagine everything in black and red)

  7. Ad Orientem says:

    I am Orthodox and concur with most of the criticisms above. It is deeply disappointing.

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    A computer animation cannot be expected to capture the subtle beauty of white Vermont marble.

  9. Patti Day says:

    I realize I wrote Grenoble above. I meant Chernobyl.

  10. Father G says:

    Are you referring to the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Bia?y Bór designed by Jerzy Nowosielski? Yes, quite an unusual design to say the least: http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/cosmostheinlost/files/2013/07/plate-5.jpg

  11. spock says:

    Wow! An orthodox church designed in “the spirit of Vatican II”. It reminded me of that hideous sculpture they did in Italy of Pope St. John Paul II. Should put them together. Best to keep the strange-ness localized. There is a fine Orthodox Skete in SW WI that produces very good icons. They should give them a call ….

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    A technical question: is splitting crosses used as door handles long-established or innovative?

  13. NickD says:

    Why must so much church architecture be so shivering cold these days? This proposed design isn’t quite as modern and Apple Store-ish as the Ice Cathedral (or Christ Cathedral, take your pick), but it certainly is in the same vein, and that’s a crying shame.

  14. YorkshireStudent says:

    I fear the architect has had too much training, and insufficient experience… Other than St Isaac’s and Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood (both in St. Petersburg) I’m afraid my knowledge of Orthdox architecture isn’t good enough to suggest remedies for this!

  15. jhayes says:

    You can seen the original church in te opening scenes of this video.


  16. C. says:

    The idea of a Cross-topped church shining prominently over Ground Zero, and an “o”rthodox one at that with Our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament reserved inside, is more than I ever hoped to see in my lifetime. This is a wonderful development. Congratulations to St. Nicholas. I hope that the church remains open and that Catholics will be welcome, as they usually are, to come inside and spend time with Our Lord.

  17. Charles E Flynn says:

    From St. Nicholas Ground Zero: Out of the Ashes, A New Symbol of Faith, by Nicholas Gage:

    The church and the park area it will crown will become a national destination that some 10 million people are expected to visit every year. That will make St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero one of the most popular sites in New York City, attracting twice as many visitors as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, and many times more than other churches in the area, including the most majestic cathedrals.

    A terrible tragedy has brought us the opportunity to leave our mark on our new-found land and to do it in a way that is worthy of our faith, fitting to the memory of all those who perished on 9/11, and mindful of the promise of Jesus when he said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.”

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I wonder what the interior will be like in different weathers, and at midnight between Holy Saturday and Easter? (Not something you would have to wonder about the welcoming interior at 28 seconds in the video jhayes links – which is to reject the new design, but to be struck by the difference.)

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Ouch! – “which is not to reject the new design”!

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