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Fire-ravaged Flatiron church files suit against insurer

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The church is seeking an additional $47 million to rebuild the former landmark

Max Touhey

The leadership of a historic Flatiron church left ravaged by a four-alarm fire was keen to rebuild, but a new lawsuit lobbed by the church says that will be impossible given its woefully small insurance payout.

The New York Post reports that court documents filed by the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava say its insurer, Church Mutual, paid out just $12.7 million to rebuild the church.

That figure was arrived on by combining the church’s 1945 purchase price of $10 million with later improvements to the property, the suit claims; it does not take into account what it would take to rebuild the church on West 25th Street in present day, which the suit says is $60 million. The church is seeking an additional $47 million from the insurer.

St. Sava was gutted by fire after a caretaker of the church improperly extinguished and stored candles following an Easter service in 2016.

The fire devastated the interior landmark and destroyed one of the largest examples of a timber hammerbeam roof in New York City. The 160-year-old structure’s outer shell is still standing with support from metal beams installed at the behest of the city.

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Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava

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