Commission Clears Way for Mosque
August 3rd, 2010

As expected the Landmarks Preservation Commission just cleared the way for the construction of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero. In a 9-0 vote, the commission ruled a 152-year-old building that once housed a Burlington Coat Factory store did not deserve preservation and so could be razed to make way for the 13-story proposed building.

The structure at 45-47 Park Place “does not rise to the level of an individual landmark,” commission chair Robert Tierney said.

By most accounts, this was the main regulatory hurdle the Islamic center had to clear, although it remains uncertain whether and how opponents, include an array of Republican politicians, will continue to press their case.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has supported the project on the grounds of religious freedom, has scheduled an event to discuss the vote on Governors Island at noon today. He will, according to the mayor’s press office, be joined by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and religious leaders. In case youre wondering what his message might be, the announcement notes the mayor will speak “with the Statue of Liberty in the background” and that Governors Island “is where the Dutch who founded New Amsterdam — the earliest religiously tolerant colonial settlement in America — first lived.”

By on August 3, 2010, 10:50 am
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Land Use | Comments Off on Commission Clears Way for Mosque

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