A little slice of Greece on Lewis Street
There’s been a startling transformation of a small piece of property outside the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity on Lewis Street.
Where a couple of public housing buildings formerly stood has been partly transformed into a replica of Delphi, an archeological site located in lower central Greece that is dedicated to the Greek god Apollo.
Several columns, surrounded by an attractive landscape, reach skyward, while providing the perfect complement to the Holy Trinity’s golden dome.
The little slice of Greece will be unveiled Sunday at noon, and the man who made it all possible, the well-known businessman/philanthropist George Behrakis, will be thanked by a grateful church community.
“We are truly blessed,” Holy Trinity Father Nikolaos Pelekoudas said Friday. “This is God giving his gifts to all of us.”
Eve Sorokin, a proud Holy Trinity member since she was a little girl, said the project has been in the making for many years.
Initially begun by Behrakis and the late Telemachus “Mike” Demoulas, it was designed to provide badly needed parking for the church, which it did, about 55 spaces.
A partnership between the church, the city and the Lowell Housing Authority led to the demolition of the housing units and the relocation of the folks who lived there.
As part of its Acre Urban Renewal Plan, the city required that green space be created as part of the project, Sorokin said. “Delphi” occupies the center portion of the parking lot. Expert masonry, colorful shrubs, grass and, or course, the columns, combine to create a soothing island-like effect in what otherwise would be just a patch of pavement. Behrakis and Demoulas agreed to fund the entire project, and following Demoulas’ death in May 2003, Behrakis agreed to see the project to its conclusion.
Anyone who knew Demoulas well enough knew about his generosity. They also knew that Demoulas would only share his wealth on one condition: that it be done silently. He would not tolerate any recognition.
Sorokin said it took quite a lot of prodding to convince Behrakis to participate in Sunday’s ceremony.
“We worked on him, worked on him and finally he agreed,” Sorokin said. “We’re all so proud of him and what he’s done for the city and preserving Greek heritage.”
On Sunday, a granite bench will be unveiled in honor of Behrakis and his wife, Margo. The bench is located on the western side of the column display.
Next year, Sorokin said the church community hopes to unveil a similar bench on the eastern side, this one in memory of Mike Demoulas.Explore posts in the same categories: The Column