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August 3rd, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Panel denies landmark status for Islamic center and mosque site near ground zero

Allan Chernoff
CNN Senior Correspondent

New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission denied landmark status Tuesday for a building at the site of a proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.

The commissioners voted unanimously against landmark status for 45-47 Park Place. It and an adjoining building are owned by real estate developer Soho Properties, which intends to build an Islamic center two blocks north of the former site of the World Trade Center.

While the public vote was the focus of much debate about the planned Islamic center and mosque, the commission could not have prevented the developers from building such a community center. The commission, by designating the building a landmark, could only have prevented Soho Properties from demolishing the building or significantly altering its exterior.

There is a prayer site in the building currently, so Muslims are peacefully praying in the building already.

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Filed under: Raw Politics
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. George in New York

    As someone who lived through that horrific day and lost my own father to the attacks, I have one question to ask, if the building in question were being renovated into a new Christian church, would there be as much of an uproar? I think not. This only goes to show that religious intolerance continues to spread throughout this country. Religious fanaticism from any sector is what is killing the majority of people in this world. Every fanatic from every religion is convinced that THEY know the truth, and that THEY know what god wants. Stop fooling yourselves; God is disappointed in all of you.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  2. Daphne

    Annie Kate is correct. Please people; before you start bad mouthing Landmarks, get your facts correct. Do some research- read something that will give you the right information instead of leaning on your own understanding. Landmarks cannot prevent it from becoming what it already is. Their only jurisdiction is what is architectually done to the exterior.

    August 4, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  3. Katherine Cummins

    It is wrong to build a mosque near where the world trade centers once stood. Just wrong.

    August 4, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  4. Janine LaRosa

    As a resident of Bucks County PA where many victims hailed from, I find it appalling that the politicians especially Bloomberg are not more considerate of the feelings of those who lost loved ones. Just as the families of those lost on the Pan Am flight are devastated over the release of the Lockerbie bomber, so too are those families of 9-11 victims experiencing a similar "saly in the wounds." The bottom-line is the terrorists were Muslim, and regardless that they are currently using the facilities, to speak of building anything connected to that religion close to the hallowed burial ground of the 9-11 victims is a crime. Giuliani understands them as he hasn't forgotten that horrible day. I remember the day as friends were waiting to hear from loved ones, knowing they were on the 101st floor; the quiet skies were not even a bird was flying; all circuits were busy; tv's recording planes smashing into buildings and fields. Tell me Mr. Bloomberg "do you forget?"

    August 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  5. allan

    Never,ever, let the mosque be built there OR make a deal, put up a chuch in Mecca or Medina that will honour the 9/11 victims, then maybe it will be considered.
    I cannot, for the life of me, buy this constant hand wringing, group hug mentality that pollutes the west.
    Just a simple No, beat it and go build the mosque somewhere else, what an insult..
    And augsbee's comment "hope it won't happen again" well, how about that is has and will contiue to do so.
    Simple, no mosque, and take a hike.

    August 3, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission never had the issue of whether to allow the Islamic center to be built or not before it – all it could do was to determine if the current building was deemed to be a historical landmark, worthy of preservation in its original form. With their decision the commission has opened the door to a new building in modern architecture rather than forced the owners to update the current building without endangering its historical significance. Blocking the creation of an Islamic center would be more in the purview of the zoning commission or the building permits office – not the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

    August 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Augsbee

    This is about Property Taxes, Business Taxes, higher Rent. I don't believe our feelings matter to politicians, politicians seem to me excited that New York City will be getting a modern building with pools and everything else and will increase property value in the area thus more property taxes, higher taxes for businesses in the area as permit costs will increase, higher rent money for businesses, etc....
    It is for us to remember the victims of 911, their families, their tragedy and hope it will never happen again.
    As for politicians, they will always do was good for them, this is about money & votes.

    August 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm |

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