Cuomo pushes to move WTC church despite construction interference

October 04, 2011 09:04AM

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Governor Cuomo and the St. Nicholas Church
Behind closed doors, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to rebuild the St. Nicholas Church at the former site of the Deutsche Bank Building, sources told the New York Post, even though it could severely delay construction of the World Trade Center site.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey wanted the church to be rebuilt at 155 Cedar Street, where it stood before being destroyed during the Sept. 11 attacks. Church leaders initially thought the new structure would be built one block away at 130 Liberty Street, but the Port Authority wanted to negotiate a land swap so that it could be built at the Cedar Street site. (Negotiations have stalled and the two sides will head to court to come to an agreement later this month.)

The Port Authority wants the church to be built on Cedar Street because the Liberty Street location sits directly above the under-construction Vehicle Screening Center. The agency has been working on the center for two years under the assumption that the massive church wouldn’t be built on top of it. Construction could be delayed by a year or more to ready the underground structure to support the domed marble house of worship.

Nevertheless, Cuomo has sought the counsel of construction guru Peter Lehrer, co-founder of Lehrer McGovern, to find a way to make it feasible. [Post]