GREEKS ABROAD
Most Important Greek Landmarks in USA

There are several significant Greek landmarks in the United States that reflect the country’s rich Greek heritage.

These landmarks symbolize the Greek culture and have become important community centers for Greek Americans across the United States, preserving their traditions, history, and architecture.

Some of the most important Greek landmarks in the USA

Parthenon – Nashville, Tennessee

Greek landmarks USA
The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles are direct casts of the original sculptures. Credit: https://www.nashvilleparthenon.com/

A full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, the Parthenon in Nashville is an iconic landmark. It houses an art museum and stands as a tribute to classical Greek architecture and as a symbol of Nashville’s nickname, the “Athens of the South.”

Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures, which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C.

The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s art museum. The focus of the Parthenon’s permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church – New York City, New York

Greek landmarks USA
The church sits in Liberty Park overlooking the Memorial pools and the 9/11 Museum. Credit: Zachbarbo, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0/Wikipedia

Located in the heart of Manhattan, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, reopened in 2022.

Designed by celebrated Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the church sits in Liberty Park overlooking the Memorial pools and the 9/11 Museum.

“It’s important for all New Yorkers, not just the parishioners, but all New Yorkers that this is a cenotaph, a living cenotaph in memory of the 3,000 people who were martyred and murdered that day,” said Michael Psaros, chairman of the group Friends of Saint Nicholas.

Greek Theatre – Berkeley, California

Greek landmarks USA
The theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus. Credit: Sanfranman59 , CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikipedia

The Greek Theatre is an outdoor amphitheater located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Its design is inspired by ancient Greek theaters and it hosts various concerts and performances.

It was built in 1903 on the site of a rough outdoor bowl already in use as an amphitheater since 1894 known as “Ben Weed’s Amphitheater”. The project was championed by University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler. Its construction was financed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after whom it was named.

The design of the theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral – New Orleans, Louisiana

Greek landmarks USA
The imposing cathedral in New Orleans. Public Domain

This cathedral, established in 1864, is the oldest Greek Orthodox church in the United States. It is a beautiful example of Greek Revival architecture.

The church served an eclectic congregation of Greeks, Syrians, Serbians and other Slavic Orthodox city dwellers.

Documentation attests to the presence of Greeks in New Orleans from the mid-1700s. The first confirmed New Orleans Greek, Miguel Dragon (Drague, Dragos, Draggonas), a “citizen of the Venetian islands” landed here in the late 1700s, where today there are remnants of an old fort.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, early 1900s
Photo from the early 1900s. The Church, established in 1866, was of a wooden clapboard design typical of Southern churches of the era. Public Domain

National Hellenic Museum – Chicago, Illinois

Greek landmarks USA
The NHM is dedicated to connecting generations to the legacy of Greek culture and history and the Greek story in America. Credit: National Hellenic Museum

While not a physical landmark, the National Hellenic Museum is a significant cultural institution dedicated to preserving and showcasing Greek history and heritage. It houses a wide range of artifacts and exhibits.

The Museum preserves and portrays Greek history and the Hellenic legacy, sparking inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives and communities through educational classes, exhibitions, and programs.

It highlights Greek American contributions to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family stories through cultural expression and oral history.

Hellenic Memorial – Tarpon Springs, Florida

Greek landmarks USA
The picturesque town has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. Public Domain

The Hellenic Memorial is a monument dedicated to the sponge divers who arrived from the Aegean to Tarpon Springs. It serves as a tribute to the city’s Greek-American community and their contributions to the region.

Tarpon Springs, with its traditional Greek eateries, shops bursting with various sizes and shapes of sea sponges, and the largest Greek-American population anywhere in the United States, will transport you thousands of miles away to the blue waters and small villages of Greece.

Chris Alahouzos is the town’s proud mayor. Alahouzos and his family emigrated to the United States from the Greek island of Kalymnos when he was 14. His father was a sponge diver.

Behrakis Gallery – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Greek landmarks USA
The stunning Behrakis Wing. Credit: Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Behrakis Wing at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) established by the generous donation of George Behrakis, houses exquisite antiquities that will make the visitor fall in love with Greece.

It all started in 2009 when Greek-American philanthropist George Behrakis and his wife Margo made a $10 million donation to the Museum of Fine Arts, the fourth-largest museum in the United States.

His donation resulted in the creation of the George D. and Margo Behrakis Wing, where the MFA hosts exhibits on ancient civilizations, including Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Greek landmarks USA
The Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Credit: Facebook/Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Built in 1951, this church showcases a blend of Byzantine and Greek architectural elements. It is renowned for its colorful iconography and ornate interior.

It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956, built at a cost of $1.5 million dollars and completed in 1961 after the famous architect’s death. Archbishop Iakovos of the then Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America presided over the first Diving Liturgy inside this church on Sunday, July 2, 1961.

The Church building is entirely formed of reinforced concrete and has a seating capacity of over 800 people. The lower level houses the Chapel, former Offices and Fellowship areas. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Athens Square Park – Astoria, Queens, NYC

Greek landmarks USA
The statue of the Greek goddess Athena gives the park a Hellenic ambiance. Credit: NYC official guide

Located in Astoria, New York’s Greek-American neighborhood, this park was restored in 1990 as a locus for neighborhood gatherings and to create “a little bit of Athens in Astoria.”

An amphitheater juxtaposed with statues of the Greek philosopher Socrates and the Greek goddess Athena give the park a Hellenic ambiance. Many groups have held performances here, including the Greek-American Folklore Society.

Astoria was the place to be for Greeks who moved from their homeland to the United States around the turn of the last century.

Statue of Louis Tikas, Trinidad, Colorado

Greek landmarks USA
Tikas is remembered as a symbol of the struggle for labor rights in the United States as the leader of the Ludlow miners. Illustration: Greek Reporter

A statue of Louis Tikas, the Greek-American who became a symbol of the struggle for labor rights in the United States was unveiled at the Trinidad, Colorado Coal Miners’ Memorial Park in 2018.

Tikas, born Ilias Athanasios Spantidakis in Rethymno, Crete in 1886, was the leader of the Ludlow miners who went on strike over the inhumane working conditions at the Rockefeller mines.

He was assassinated by the Colorado National Guard, the bloodiest event of the attack, on April 20, 1914. Nineteen people died during the massacre, including two women, eleven children, and a member of the National Guard.

St. Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine and Museum – St. Augustine, Florida

Greek landmarks USA
The St. Photios exhibition interprets the history of the Greek Orthodox religion in St. Augustine. Credit: Visit St. Augustine

The St. Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine and Museum is a hidden gem of the ancient city of St. Augustine. This holy space welcomes people of all faiths to enjoy the elaborate religious murals and solitude found within.

On the way to the shrine itself, visitors can also learn a bit of history in the museum. The St. Photios exhibition interprets the history of the Greek Orthodox religion in St. Augustine and the lives of America’s first Greek immigrants, who arrived to Florida in 1768.

Along with the Shrine Chapel and museum, there is also a gift shop onsite that sells religious items, Greek food goods, and jewelry.

Source: Greekreporter.com 

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