November 19, 2015 - Norfolk, VA. - Titan America’s Essex Cement Company, located at Port Newark, New Jersey, is donating the cement to rebuild the venerable Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church which was completely destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center.
Essex will donate approximately 1,000 cubic yards (approximately 250 tons) of cement for the project with an estimated value of $25,000.
Additionally, Essex partnered with long-standing customer Corona Ready-Mix to produce the concrete. Corona, based in Queens, NY, is the only Greek-owned concrete producer in the NY Metro area and the company maintains close involvement with the local Greek community. Corona also agreed to donate the remaining cost of the production and delivery of the concrete to the project.
“Titan has a long history of dedication to corporate social responsibility, and it’s a great honor for us to be involved with Saint Nicholas National Shrine. The Shrine will not only be a valuable asset to the greater New York Greek community but it will be a national treasure for future generations,” said company CEO, Bill Zarkalis. “We also wish to recognize Corona Ready-Mix for their generosity and thank them for partnering with us on this endeavor.”
The destruction of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was a heartbreaking loss to millions. The original row house was purchased in 1892 as a community home and it became the Saint Nicholas Church in 1916. For many Greek immigrants, it would have been their first stop after seeing the Statue of Liberty and disembarking from Ellis Island. The little church was described by many as a “spiritual
jewel.” Generations of New Yorkers, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike, would stop in to light a candle, say a prayer, or just sit quietly.
Architect Santiago Calatrava was chosen by a committee of lay and clergy leaders to design the Shrine. Calatrava’s design is reminiscent of the Byzantine architecture of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia. He specified white Pentelic marble from the same vein in Greece used to construct the Parthenon. The marble will allow the building to glow softly at night but appear solid during the day.
The Archdiocese and the Parish envisioned the historic site to be a “place of pilgrimage for the entire world.” Archbishop Demetrios of America was determined to not only rebuild Saint Nicholas but to create a Shrine of international significance, with the potential to inspire millions for generations to come. The Archbishop described his vision, “This church will not be just a national shrine, but also an international shrine. It will show the will of all people to rebuild and resurrect from the ashes of 9/11. This will be a church for all to light a candle for the beloved that were lost on September 11th. This church will be a Greek Orthodox National Shrine on hallowed, sacred ground.”
Progress reports, a webcam and additional information about the Saint Nicholas National Shrine are available at www.stnicholaswtc.org.