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Deal Reached to Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church Destroyed on 9/11

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to rebuild a Greek Orthodox church near Manhattan’s World Trade Center site, more than 10 years after the property was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

A 4,100-square-foot (380-square-meter) church will be built at the east end of Liberty Park, across Liberty Street from the Sept. 11 memorial, the authority said in an e-mailed statement. An agreement with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was signed today, after a four-month engineering study found the church could be erected without interfering with the trade center reconstruction schedule, according to the agency.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, housed in a four-story, 1,200-square-foot building on Cedar Street, was crushed in the terrorist attacks when the entire weight of the south tower came down on it, according to the church’s website. Negotiations for rebuilding broke down in 2009 and resulted in litigation this year, said the Port Authority, which owns the trade center site.

“We lost St. Nicholas Church in the destruction of Sept. 11 and for too long its future has been uncertain,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in the statement. “With this agreement, we are continuing New York’s collective healing.”

The new building will include a non-denominational bereavement center, according to the Port Authority. The agency will assume all below-ground infrastructure costs, while the archdiocese will be responsible for above-ground construction expenses.

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