City Orders Demolition of Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava’s Burnt Remains

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. SavaPre-demolition Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava. Photo by Vitali Ogorodnikov

As May came to an end, the New York City Fire Department was investigating the fire that gutted the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, an individual landmark at 15 West 25th Street in the Flatiron District. Authorities and engineers were studying the structural integrity of the remains, and have now declared the church “too unstable to be left standing,” the New York Post reported. That means the main house of worship will be demolished. The rectory portion of the cathedral, which was unscathed during the fire, currently also has Landmarks protection, which should mean it won’t be demolished with the main structure. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has the option to de-designate the property, too, but we think, at the very least, the LPC will want to keep the rectory a landmark. The Executive Board of St. Sava will now decide if they will rebuild on the property or relocate. The site has 244,450 square feet of mixed-use development rights, minus the usable square-footage of the rectory.

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