Some three months ago, a four-alarm fire gutted the landmarked Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street. Currently, beams support the shell of the church and construction boards block off the unstable site from the street. But now, for those who hope to see the church rebuilt, there is a glimmer of hope.
The city has approved the addition of metal beams and a few other tweaks to reinforce parts of the remains of the structure at 25 West 25th Street, according to Metro.
“The shoring of the 25th Street wall has been required as well as waterproofing,” Lidija Nikolic, a church executive board member, told Metro. “Shoring and bracing was broadened to the entire building as opposed to previous specification to only do the east and west walls. This should be completed by the first week of September.”
Nikolic added that she anticipates that the new beams will allow interior renovation work to begin.
The construction costs would be financed through insurance, donations and fundraising. However, the Landmarks Preservation Commission would need to approve a new design, a potentially lengthy process.
“The parishioners are heartbroken but optimistic,” Nikolic said. “It is tragic what happened this year. But even if we lost our beloved cathedral building, we have our living church — our congregation, our Serbian community in New York. We have each other.” [Metro] –Christopher Cameron