Chase Tower to Shadow Church

%name Chase Tower to Shadow ChurchGovernor Eliot Spitzer said the cantilever on the JPMorgan Chase building would let you play chess in the rain. Here’s another, um, "advantage": lighting a church from the heavens.

Anthony Shorris, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said today that the overhang would extend out over the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that is supposed to be rebuilt at the southwest corner of Liberty and Greenwich streets. The Chase tower would be further south, on the far side of a proposed park.

“The church at this point does go under the cantilever and it actually offers some interesting opportunities in terms of lighting and to make the church an even more splendid contribution to the community,” Mr. Shorris told reporters after the Port Authority board approved the deal.

The seven cantilevered stories will house 60,000-square-foot trading floors, while the remainder of the 40-story building has 32,000-square-foot floor plates, which means that the cantilever will extend about 165 feet out over a new park, to be called Liberty Park, the northeast corner of which the church, which was destroyed in the Sept. 11 attack, will be located.

The new deal does provide more than just overhead lighting for churchgoers, though. Chase has agreed to give $10 million to the church and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, with the exact amount for each to be worked out later. Mr. Shorris, however, said that the contribution was not meant to make up for blocking the church’s view toward the sky.

A spokesman for the church, Peter Drakoulias, would not comment on the building's design.

Above is a preliminary image of the building, as imagined by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox. Mr. Shorris said that the total square footage of the building would be the same as previously planned, and that by transferring seven stories on top for seven stories on the side, the tower would cast shorter shadows over the World Trade Center Memorial, which will be located north of Liberty Street.

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