Jump to content

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greek immigrants founded the congregation of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in 1916. Parishioners initially worshiped in the dining room of a hotel on Morris Street owned by Stamatis Kalamarides. In 1919, five families raised $25,000 to purchase a new location for the church, a three-story tavern on 155 Cedar Street that was originally built in the 1830s as a private home. The modest structure was converted into a church and given a fourth story, holding worship services by 1922.

St. Nicholas was only 22 feet (6.7 m) wide, 56 feet (17 m) long, and 35 feet (11 m) tall. It was originally an old calendar church, but in 1993 began holding Wednesday services according to the Gregorian calendar. It was notable for its small size, unusual location, and juxtaposition with the large modern skyscrapers in the area—all other adjacent buildings had been demolished, leaving the church surrounded on three sides by a parking lot.

Before the attacks, the church had a dedicated congregation of about 70 families led by Father John Romas. On Wednesdays, the building was open to the public, often receiving visitors that were not Greek Orthodox; in addition to local residents and Greek immigrants, St. Nicholas attracted Greek shipping magnates passing through New York City.

By the late 20th century, all the buildings around it had since been demolished and it stood alone in a carpark. It was one of only two buildings that were not in the World Trade Center complex to be demolished. Construction on a new church began in 2011 and finished in 2022.