saint nicholas ground zero

Project Rebuilding Saint Nicholas Church to complete by 2014


New York, NY—The Metropolitan Engineering Societies Council and the Hellenic American Technical Chamber sponsored the Engineers week celebration gala at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in Brooklyn on Wednesday February 13, 2013. Engineers’ Week is an annual celebration to recognize the achievement of engineers in New York, across the United States and around the world.

During the event, Nicholas Koutsomitis, a prominent Greek-American and Principal of Koutsomitis Architects PC in New York City spoke about the design and construction challenges faced in the replacement of the Saint Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center which could open by 2014. Greek immigrants founded the original Saint Nicholas Church in Lower Manhattan, in 1922 at 155 Cedar Street. During the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Saint Nicholas Church was destroyed by falling debris from the World Trade Center’s South tower. After ten years of legal struggles with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a settlement was finally reached to build a new church. This church will include a nondenominational bereavement center of the WTC site. The Port Authority will build this platform at the corner of Greenwich and Liberty Streets at the site of the former Deutsche Bank Building.


“The new church will be much more than an ordinary parish; it will become a spiritual monument, a place of worship offering serenity and restfulness to all who will visit,” Nicholas Koutsomitis, keynote address speaker at the event, said.

According to Koutsomitis, the World Trade Center Master Plan, developed by the Studio of Daniel Libeskind for the Port Authority under the direction of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp-oration, has provided a site for the reconstruction of Saint Nicholas Church within a new park that will be easily approachable by all. The plan and program have been developed to make appropriate use of the site and to provide facilities appropriate for a place of worship, contemplation, reflection, and education.

Founded in 1981, Koutsomitis Architects PC has become an award winning organization, experienced at managing diverse projects of superior design quality. They are experienced in museum quality building design and construction. They have a body of knowledge and resources that is essential to producing unique designs that special projects demand. KAPC has provided services in every phase of project development. From programmatic stages to post construction phases, for a variety of diverse project types and sizes, KAPC approaches projects with a generalist philosophy, focusing on content, context, and creative problem solving.

Besides the event and the Saint Nicholas Church project, the Hellenic News of America had the chance to meet with two prominent engineers in New York City, Greg Homatas and Sal Galleta with whom we discussed all those problems faced by the Engineer community today as well as the way the Engineer profession is perceived in the United States today. “The general (American) public does not really know or understand what we really do,” Galleta told HNA. “We need to put the word out there and create a new profile for the Engineer World, we finally need to receive some credit and be recognized for our work just like our colleagues around the world,” Galleta said. For Galleta it is not about prestige or fame, it is all about educating the public and making it more familiar with what Engineers really do.

According to Galleta, more young Americans need to be educated on the Engineer profession and its potential and eventually remove the “stigma” of a “low-paying” not well-rewarded profession. “This is causing a shortage of Engineers in the United States, and it is to the best interest of our society to have qualified, well trained engineers around,” he said. Gregory Homatas, P.E., agrees with Sal Galleta and stressed the importance of both the Saint Nicholas church project as well as putting back on the map the profession and work of an Engineer.

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