St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at WTC, Manhattan


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at WTC, Manhattan. Image 1

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church stood across Liberty Street from the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, USA. It was completely destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks when the South Tower collapsed.

The building that came to house the church was built around 1832. In 1916, Greek American immigrants started the congregation of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and in 1922 started to hold worship services at the Liberty Street location. The church building was only 22 feet (6.7 m) wide, 56 feet (17 m) long, and 35 feet (11 m) tall and was easily dwarfed by the 110 story Twin Towers, which were completed in 1972 and 1973. Despite its small size and unusual location, before the attacks the church had a dedicated congregation of about 70 families led by Father John Romas. On Wednesdays, the building was opened to the public and many people, including office workers from the towers and non-Greek Orthodox, would enter the quiet worship space for contemplation and prayer.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at WTC, Manhattan. Image 2

Among the church's most valuable physical possessions were some of the relics (remains) of St Nicholas, St Catherine, and St Sava, which had been donated to the church by Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. These relics were removed from their safe on holy days for veneration; they were never recovered after the attack.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at WTC, Manhattan. Image 3

The building was completely buried by the collapse of the South Tower of the WTC. No one was inside when the church was destroyed. Very little of its content was ever recovered. Among what was eventually found were the damaged icons of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos and Zoodochos Pege and a handful of miscellaneous religious items. The congregation members and Father Romas have temporarily relocated to St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn.

The plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center complex include building a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church quite close to the original location. During the vespers service that was held on December 5, 2010, Archbishop Demetrios said the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese would do anything to rebuild the church.


This text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

based on Wikipedia page
Contact info:
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
P.O. Box 340968
Brooklyn, New York 11234
See also: