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Flatiron's Landmarked Serbian church may actually be saved

Church officials and city agencies are planning next steps to restore the landmark

Max Touhey

The fate of the fire-ravaged Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in the Flatiron District has been up in the air for the past three months, but it finally seems like some good news has emerged for the 160-year-old church. Officials from the church have been meeting with city agencies over the past three months and are nearing an action plan to rebuild the landmark, Metro reports.

In the interim, the church is being fitted with some metal beams and having part of the overall structure reinforced, so that renovation work on the interiors can get underway later on with all the requisite approvals. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will have the final say on what a redesigned church could like, and Metro reports that that process could take anywhere between six months to a year.

"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.''

The building was largely gutted by a four-alarm fire that broke out on May 1 this year. It was later determined that the fire was accidentally caused by Easter candles. One of the major artifacts that did survive the fire however was a painting of St. Sava that was in the church office. While everything else in that room was mostly lost, the painting remained, and several congregants continue to pray under the painting today.

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava

20 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010 (212) 242-9240 Visit Website