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20 West 26th Street, Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Resolution in support of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava after its partial destruction by fire.

WHEREAS, The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, on West 25th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues, was destroyed in a raging fire just hours after its worshippers celebrated Easter on May 2nd; and

WHEREAS, Although we are very fortunate that no victim was claimed, the four-alarm fire that started at 7 p.m. Sunday May 2nd , engulfed the whole building in flames; and

WHEREAS, The roof of the church collapsed but the brownstone walls still stand and they show signs of relative stability; and

WHEREAS, The church was designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn and was built in the early 1850s as the Trinity Chapel; and

WHEREAS, One of its earlier congregants was novelist Edith Wharton, who wrote The Age of Innocence and she was married in the church in 1885; and

WHEREAS, The Church became an individual landmark on April 12, 1968; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends that all necessary support (funds, logistics, access) by the city and the state be provided to the church and its congregants in this time of tragedy, including assistance from engineers and experts from the Department of Buildings and the FDNY and that the investigation of the fire be thorough; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommend that every effort be made to have the building rebuilt and whatever remains be restored (The Central Synagogue is a prime example of a historic place of worship destroyed by fire and rebuilt to serve its congregants again); and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends that the site of the church retain its landmark status; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board five supports every effort made to assist the church and its congregation and praises the work of the FDNY for bravely extinguishing the fire, and praises our elected officials, including Council Member Johnson, for their leadership immediately following this tragedy. 

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