The new building was erected from 1846 to 1874 in the neo-Gothic style to designs by the English architect Gilbert Scott and was destroyed by the bombings during the Second World War in 1943; the ruins were demolished in 1951.
Unlike the other principal churches, after the war the parish of St. Nikolai decided in 1956 against rebuilding the church on the Hopfenmarkt and instead dared a new beginning at the Klosterstern in Harvestehude, a densely populated district of the city. The new church on Klosterstern (Harvestehuder Weg 118) was built according to designs by Gerhard Langmaak and was dedicated in 1962.
Considered as both a special feature and attraction is the altar mosaic based on a design by Oskar Kokoschka, as well as the Coester window from 1939.
The former location of the main church of St. Nikolai with the 147-metre church tower – the third highest in Germany – is a ruin worth seeing on Hopfenmarkt and is considered a memorial and as a place for exhibitions and events.