Two years after blaze, Greek Orthodox church gets resurrected
Published Saturday, July 15, 2017 2:17PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 15, 2017 7:33PM EDT
Two years after a famed Greek Orthodox church burned to the ground, parishioners are anticipating its resurrection.
The Koimisis Tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) Church on St. Roch was long known as one of the jewels of Park Extension when it caught fire in April, 2015. Built in 1962, it had been taken over by the Greek Orthodox community in 1968. The destruction devastated the tight-knit community who called the church home.
Today, the finishing touches are being placed on the rebuilt structure.
“It’s beautiful,” said parishioner Angela Konsoulas. “Every day I pass by, I make my cross and I see day after day how it goes. The way it looks from the outside, it’s a beautiful building.”
Ecodomus Construction has been given the task of bringing the Panagitsa church back to live. For company president John Theodosopoulos, it was important to make sure the new facility is as grand as what it replaces.
“This church is deeply engrained in our upbringing here and our sense of belonging in Montreal and Quebec,” he said.
Care was taken to preserve the look and feel of the original church, down to the timber beams in the ceiling.
“Those are exactly the same ones as we had before,” said Theodosopoulos. “It’s supposed to evoke images and memories of the old church.”
However, from the tragedy comes some opportunity. The new building includes modern upgrades and fresh touches, including a dome that is traditional in Eastern Orthodox churches.
“The original building was a mashup of attachments,” said Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal Secretary of Real Estate Achilles Nikopoulos. “This one is completely designed from the beginning to be a church in a usable space. We’ll have modern bathrooms, modern ventilation, sprinkler system. All the safety (systems) are in place.”