Titan America’s Essex Cement Co., based in Port Newark, N.J., is donating cement to build the Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the site of the old Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Essex will donate approximately 1,000 cu. yd. (250 tons) of cement for the project. The company is also partnering with long-standing customer Corona Ready-Mix of Queens, N.Y., to produce the concrete.
“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 Titan America CEO Bill Zarkalis. “We also wish to recognize Corona Ready-Mix for their generosity and thank them for partnering with us on this endeavor.”
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.