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October 3rd, 2010
05:10 PM ET

First images of proposed NYC Islamic center

The group behind the proposed Islamic cultural center near New York's ground zero has released what it is calling the first official images of the center.

The website for the project, known as the Park51 Community Center, said that the "new images display an updated exterior and provide a first look into Park51’s interior and lend some insight on how we’re envisioning the project," in a post that went up Tuesday but that initially drew little notice.

Plans for the $100 million, 13-story center include a 500-seat auditorium, classrooms and conference rooms, space for social events, a 9/11 memorial, a pool and a gym.

Scores of Muslims are already using the Lower Manhattan site as a mosque.

The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.

The images of the project were produced by SOMA Architects, which Park51's website identifies as the project's architectural design consultants.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (781 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    I heard that when the sun strikes just right, once a year (happens around September 11), the image of a giant "finger" shows in the refection on the glass.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The project should not be allowed to go forward. Period.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Linda

      Quite a post here Lars. I did like the information on using the Design Binder. It is stmoehing that I tend to pass over just like the design library. I am going to request that our IT department Whitelist your blog so I can your blog at work. Now time to cut and paste your post of wisdom into my TiddlyWiki for reference. Thanks Lars, JRU_1962

      April 4, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  3. mark

    Can I see the rendering of what it is going to look like after someone blows it up please?

    October 4, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  4. Kerry

    This is insane and a serious insult tothe people who lost their family and friends on 9/11. Find another place for you to have your mosk. Every religion is important, but really? right next to ground zero? CLEARLY this is just there way of them to laugh in our faces even more. 42% of yellow cab drivers didnt show up to work on that day, and there were no carts for coffee or breakfast either. Both those jobs are contained majority from Muslims. There is no coincidence there. This is a great insult, and I am angry. I live two blocks from ground Zero and I will make my voice heard there.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  5. RezPause

    It will be an eyesore unwanted my Americans of all religions. Why spend $100 Million here when there a little baby muslims starving all over the world?

    October 4, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  6. Peter

    Looks really beautiful and interesting. I am looking forward to visiting when it's complete. I am particularly excited by the way arabesque forms have been built into the structure of the facade, and, evidently, the interior. Function in modern materials that recalls the forms of art and history. Really exciting.

    Oh, and Cristal, thanks for the laugh. When you start picketing the strip joints and other dives in the area, I may even believe you're sincere. As a New Yorker, who doesn't think that anyone different is scary and hostile, I'm quite happy to have an inclusive community center that will help people in their practical lives, and maybe even help foster a little interfaith understanding and dialogue. And in that it's a few blocks away from a site that to so many ignoramuses represents the "evil" of islam, maybe it's very well-placed indeed, as an immediate counterpoint to that event and a refutation of the sort of hateful ignorance that causes some to ask, "why there," with anger and venom?

    Don't worry about it. Go back to living your life, and mind your own business. In New York, we don't need your advice or opinions.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  7. Hey You

    Just a question for all those who believe the site is too close to ground zero –
    How far away does the Islamic center need to be to be acceptable?

    October 4, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  8. johnnyhouse

    The scary thing about all of this is how the churches turned on their own when one little man tried to fight this mess. One reason only.Afraid of the present decisions being made by the IRS as to who is going to lose tax exempt status.It is about money-power and the transfer of money-power from the beginning.Control is the word.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • Ron

      Wild card line you are on the air...

      October 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  9. Ali

    I personally, I'll say right now, have never been opposed to the idea of a mosque near the 9/11 site. I have kept my opinion as neutral as possible, seeing both sides as remarkably justifiable.
    However, that being said, I don't think this is a very appropriate design. Very flamboyant, it will stick out tremendously. With as much controversy as this is kicking up, I personally feel that this design is just a bit too much for the public to handle. I feel like making the building a darker color, maybe heather gray, with the same concept, then it would be more acceptable.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  10. johnnyhouse

    If you complain you can not get a message to the government post here.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  11. tooltard

    how cute they even included an Algerian recruiting for Al Qaeda in the pictures.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  12. Dimidrol

    The only reason Bloomberg was so eager to defend the mosque is that he doesn't want another bomb in the middle of the Times Square.
    Shame on our spineless politicians for that. If something, God forbid, happens and perpetrators ties will lead to this mosque, I wonder how people will react then.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Caroline

      wooooow! magari ti ocpmri una xbox, magari giochi solo a giochi in cui devi uccidere e profanare il nemico, magari ti disiscrivi da wiitalia, e magari ti iscrivi ad un forum di xbox! vacacare. MENO MALE che esistono ancora giochi come "A Boy and His Blob"

      April 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  13. johnnyhouse

    News media has become an arm of our government .We know that news is being manipulated to enforce the ideas of this administration. Fire all of your good reporters who tell the truth and keep control of your Liberal organization.Why did that not make the news this morning on CNN?

    October 4, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  14. ttt

    i,as a proud brit who has lost friends in this conflict ,supporting america since 9/11 cannot imagine why the american people would even consider allowing this insult to be built.if this is done,we may as well just give up ,bring all our brave men and women back,and wear the damn burca then submit to shia law.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • johnnyhouse

      You can bet the majority of Americans do not support anything about this mosque or any other for that matter.We fight censorship continually.We are governed by a media invented, and supported government, that we will be lucky to survive.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  15. johnnyhouse

    No my comment has been censored.Why patronize me.You can not stand the truth and so many are caught up in religion they do not realize reality anymore.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • Ali

      I agree entirely. People get so caught up with religion that they don't consider individual people or the reality of things. Everyone is talking about how peaceful the religious life is, and yet there is always dust being kicked up about the conflicting beliefs. If it was as peaceful as proclaimed, then there wouldn't be such indecision and controversy over a religious building. As offensive as the proximity of the building to Ground Zero is, it is still a religious building and if it were any other religion in the world requesting a building of faith it would not even be an issue.

      Religion blinds many people and it's a shame to see it be as brutal as it is.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Ron

      @Ali- Are you talking about the blind Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King? Perhaps the blind Ghandi??? Please stop trying to come across as intelligent while making blanket statements that prove you are a moron!

      October 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  16. sisi

    How much hatred will this breed. This is not a community center, it's a show of power. The Christians cannot put up a Christmas scene of Jesus in a public place yet on Friday afternoons, the Muslims can stop traffic on Madison Avenue in New York by worshiping in the streets, every friday when their mosques are full. Take a look at what is happening in Europe, we are next.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  17. Dave

    The shattered look reminds me of all the shattered hopes and dreams of all the Americans that lost their life and freedom that day. Why reward a group for their belief that Americans and other people around the world do not deserve to live in freedom and peace.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  18. John D.

    The mosque is wrong! I do not care how all you pro-mosque morons try to justify it. It is not going to be or ever will be a "Cultural Center"! It is and will be a meeting place for Radical Muslims and Extremists. It will be a temple of victory over America for 9/11. People do LIE about things to get their way and that is just what the people building this mosque are doing.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • John - Altanta

      There is nothing, anywhere, at any time to supprt your ignorant hateful post. You are condeming all based on teh action of few. There is a word for this defective thinking,

      October 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  19. rab gem

    No Not two blocks! GZM should be just be built One Planet away.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  20. Claude

    Awesome building! Great rendering.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:33 am |
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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.