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August 2nd, 2010
06:27 PM ET

NY panel to vote on landmark status for ground zero mosque site

By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent

New York (CNN) - The building slated to house a proposed Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero leads Tuesday's agenda for a meeting of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The 11 commissioners will vote whether to grant landmark status to 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 Ground Zero.

Watch the commission's vote now on CNN.com Live

While the public vote has been the focus of much debate about the planned Islamic center and mosque, the commission cannot prevent the developers from building such a community center. The commission, by designating the building a landmark, can only prevent Soho Properties from demolishing the building or significantly altering its exterior.

"We will continue going forward with the project. It's a project that will build bridges," said Oz Sultan, spokesperson for the Cordoba Initiative, the organization behind the planned center that says it is "committed to promoting positive interaction between the Muslim world and the West."

Cordoba opposes landmark status for the five-story building because it would like to build a taller, modern building. "It's not minarets," said Sultan, who described a mock-up of the proposed center as consistent with the latest architecture found in New York City.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city leaders support the Islamic center.

Opponents, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have argued against a mosque being so close to the scene of the nation's worst terrorist attack.

"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing," tweeted Palin last month on her Twitter account.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that battles anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, is asking for the Islamic center and mosque to be built further away from Ground Zero in consideration of families who lost loved ones during the September 11, 2001, attacks. "Building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain - unnecessarily - and that is not right," said the organization in a statement.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission points out its decision has nothing to do with the planned use of the structure.

"The purpose of tomorrow's vote is to decide whether the building has a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of New York City, New York State or the nation," commission spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said Monday.

Most recently a Burlington Coat Factory retailer, 45-47 Park Place was completed in 1858. The Landmarks Commission describes it as "a prominent example of the store and loft structures that dominated the dry goods warehouse districts of Lower Manhattan" during the era.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • New York • Politics • United States

soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. Don't Be A Sucker

    The 'Left-Side' of me says...To me it's VERY important that this 'Center' be built, the only way healing can occur is if those in the Muslim community have the opprounity to Openly denounce the actions of the radicals on 9/11 on a daily basis, in a civil place where all Americans (believers or not) can have access to authentic Islamic teachings.

    The 'Right-Side' of me says...Islam, like any other group that see's itself 'seperate' from others in some way and has shown that they're a catalyst for hostie vile actions against people must be watched closely...And STOMMPED into the ground when they F'uk up

    August 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  2. Jennifer

    Sarah Palin is just a celebrity, and since when are celebrity tweets considered a news source?

    August 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • Don't Be A Sucker

      Uhhh....When it's mel gibson, or Paris Hilton

      But thats okay right

      August 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  3. mike

    I am soooooooooooooooo sick of being politically correct it makes me want to puke .How about we start doing what is right for our country and not give a crap what everyone else out there thinks//////////

    August 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • nick2

      Oh I agree Mike. Lets stop this attempt to saddle Islam with the acts of some hate ridden terrorists.

      August 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  4. Curt

    Spot On. That should be mandatory viewing for all Americans.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  5. mike

    JAY-Z my man here here you hit that nail right on it's head i agree 100%

    August 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  6. Rita

    Lets get a hotdog stand to put it on the upwind side of the mosque and sell bacon and other pork products everyday.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  7. CommonSense?

    Did you know that all golers are adulterers?

    August 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  8. Quest

    If they build it, they will come ... and blow it up .

    August 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  9. Rita

    Amanda's another idiot parroting the liberals new view that only came about because a Conservative first brought the issue up. If a drunk driver killed your child and a beer company wanted to put a billboard on the site where it happened you would ask that some respect be shown and the billboard be moved somewhere else.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • BMaryland

      All liberals don't find the answer to this so easy, Rita. I am very liberal in most of my views, but there are some issues that fall outside of our normal pigeon-holed positions, and to me this is one of them. I think Muslims ask a lot of America if they ask us to pretend that there are not several of that religion that want to do us harm. I think it is asking too much to expect anyone to approve of an Islamic Center in New York City.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  10. Bobafett2015

    To say all Muslims are Islamic Extremists is equal to saying all Christians are in the KKK. The vast majority of Muslims and Christians are not a part of the "hate/terrorist group fringe" of their respective faiths, but they are scared and silent in voicing their disgust and demanding that the violent minority act like civil humans to all people. Hopefully, leaders from this silent Muslim majority will move into power and will bring calm and peace to the Muslim people throughout the region. However, the Western Countries must accept the fact that for 125 years our governments and business interfered and took advantage of these countries, peoples, and faiths for the betterment of the West and a company’s bottom line, while the Muslim countries and peoples were treated like ignorant children. If the USA is truly a “Free County” than an Islamic center and mosque, as well any church/shrine/ synagogue/centers of the different faiths be allowed to build anywhere within the USA, even two blocks from Ground Zero.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Quest

      Muslims might not all be terorists but they have done little to stop the extremists – when have you seen a muslim cleric issue a fatwah against suicide bombers or killing civilians. IF they are silent, they are also guilty.

      August 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • GroundZeroForMemorial

      @Quest have you tried fighting armed and dangerous militia with intimidation influence. Doesnt work out so well...

      August 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  11. Corkpuller

    I would love to see a KKK meeting hall, a Synagogue, a Christian church, Buddha temple all on the same block. I'm sure there are a lot more ways we can provoke people. I think an Ice cream store would make everyone happy.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  12. Harfi

    No! No! No! The funding is definitely coming from Saudi Royal Family to spread the Wahabi brand of Islam which advocates strict Shariah Law. We do not need this breed next to WTC or anywhere else in this country

    August 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  13. misha

    Follow the money...who got rich at the expense of those people losing their lives??

    August 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  14. JoAnn

    Why don't we just put a musque on every street corner? Lets just let the Islamic take over, like the Mexicans are in the South. Sorry, but, its true and I do not care if I am politically correct. Its all true. How about something that represent the lost live at that spot.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  15. mike

    such aggressive hate and discontent everywhere you look when will the people of this earth learn to peacefully coexist in a mutually beneficial manner and stop with all the hate and ill will

    August 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  16. Average American

    The next one will most like be put on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  17. Jim4520

    Go Amanda go!

    August 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  18. Jim in Manhattan

    They have every right to put their cultural center there.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  19. mike

    does anyone or any group or party or religion speak and stand up for the truth anywhere?????????????????????????

    August 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  20. Stop Islam

    Muslim=Trouble makers wherever they live. Muslims can't live in peace with any other religion.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • GroundZeroForMemorial

      Dude not all Muslims are like that. Its just a group of stupid people with heavy explosives.And lots of influence from intimidation.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.