Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine will host a public conversation on contemporary sacred buildings with Justin Davidson, the architecture critic for New York Magazine. This event honors the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed on 9/11, as a national shrine. Designed by the world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, Saint Nicholas now sits atop Liberty Park and overlooks the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
The May 31 event will be the keynote of an international symposium, “The Shape of the Sacred: Eastern Christianity and Architectural Modernity,” sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Scholars will discuss how sacred architecture orients worshipers in relation to a transcendent cosmic reality while addressing ever-changing social conditions, urban development patterns, building technologies, and artistic styles. Hosted at Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center, this will be the first academic symposium in North America to examine modern and contemporary Eastern Christian church architecture.
The keynote will take place at Saint Nicholas Shrine, 130 Liberty Street. Attendance is by free registration using the link below. The event will begin at 5:30 PM with a welcome address by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. After that, Justin Davidson will discuss the church from an architectural point of view, as a paradigm for what sacred buildings can contribute to the contemporary metropolis. Davidson received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2002 and is the author of Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York. Davidson’s interlocutor will be Joseph L. Clarke, an associate professor of modern architectural history at the University of Toronto.