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. dwighthuth

    The major question to ask is this. Why does America need another facility meant to foster international relation's in America when America is governed by laws and rationality. The facility that Feisal the Islam wants to build should be built somewhere in the Middle East so that understandings can grow in the Middle East as a result of coming together and understanding. The terrorist attacks are not coming from America where radical's are free to move around and blow people but are coming from the Middle East where centuries old hates between Jews, Christians and Muslims foster hate around the world. The problem of understanding is not within the United States but is being grown in the Middle East. Feisal would have more support if he built his facility in the Middle East which would draw more respect from American's for engaging the problem close up with his short sword instead of being stand-off-ish and hoping that his archers can hit their mark from afar.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Arash

      because,a) Feisal is an American and lives in New York? b) why would he build a mosque in the Middle East? c) He's an American and wants to build a mosque in his own country? d) that's a stupid question

      October 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  2. Shaun

    I can't wait to see it burn!

    October 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Michel

      Just remember that arson can get you in jail for a long time.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  3. JesusChrist

    I order all my followers to open a pork & Bacon store on all sides of the Islamic center and tell them to be tolerant....

    October 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • T

      You'd be better spending your time by firts talking to your libidinous clergymen in the catholic church...

      October 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Jesus... ummm you were jewish so you didn't eat pork either...

      October 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  4. Jay Schuler

    As a Jew, and as a man married to a woman who is Catholic but whose father was Muslim, I say to everyone that you need to have tolerance. I am a Marine Corps veteran, I fought in the Persian Gulf War, I have seen dying Muslim children and they cry just like Catholics or Jews. I believe that people try to paint moderate Muslims like they are Radicals. Do Catholics want to be painted with the brush of what is happening in their Church, do Jews want to be viewed through some of our actions in Palestine? I think that I can look at any religion and find some horrible things happening but that does not make the religion bad. I do not want to be next. If the radical extremist Christians had their way they would "Purify" this county and expel Muslims. I, as a Jew, and my wife do not want to be next. But should I judge all Christians by this view. Are you all like that? Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheist, etc. This country is founded on religious freedom. George Washington gave a speech defending a Jews right to build a synagogue. Are the people against the mosque so anti-American that they would disagree with our founders. I am not a pacifist, I have fought for this country. I will do it again whether it is a external Muslim extremist who wants to blow us up or a internal extremist who wants to stop religious freedom. Do all of you love our country enough to defend our principals of religious freedom and there for the right of an Islamic cultural center?

    October 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • T

      Thanks Jay!! You represent the best of America!!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Arash

      Amen brother, amen!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Jay: Thank you for your service. And I am glad you are representing America in our armed forces.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  5. Jim

    An ugly building for an ugly religion.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  6. Kevin Sr

    We are suppose to tolerate the intolerant..........it's a joke

    October 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      well, thats what Jesus supposedly taught you!!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ray

      ...and Jesus wept.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  7. rs1201

    We're allowing these damn muslims to build that monstrosity and the gov't is busy issuing a travel alert for all Americans...muslims are trying to blow us up somewhere in the world. What a bunch of morons we are for allowing this to happen.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Ray

      It's all a bunch of Liberal spew straight from Obamuslim himself...we need to be diligent in our tolerance towards those who will end up slitting our throats in the end. Personally, my religion is common sense and none of this is in my scriptures.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      Yes, we are allowing this building to go up because we are a nation with freedom of religion as one of its greatest and most important tenets.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Wow...I do not like that style. Abstract is cool...but this will end up hurting my eyes.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • T

      So will the sun. Don't stare so long...

      October 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  9. Deemo

    I sincerely hope that all Americans can pull their heads out of their @$% long enough to realize that this is a beautiful building and that Islam Did not attack New York on September 11th!

    October 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • T

      Thanks Deemo!!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • rs1201

      We Americans disagree with you. Islam and its followers attacked us and killed 3000 innocent people on 9/11 and it will never ever be forgotten. We're not Europe who essentially let muslims take over their countries...it ain't going to happen here. We don't want muslims here and we will never want them here. They should go back to their damn muslim countries....they're not welcome here nor will they ever be welcome here.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      you sound like Hitler!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Arash

      And additionally even if Muslims killed the "3000" people here, the 100, 000's killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of the world by American "soldiers" or muderers should not be forgotten!

      October 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Megan

      rs1201, I'm american and don't you dare think you speak for me. I see you as the infection, stop pretending like you represent anyone with your backwards bs.

      October 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Frank

      "We Americans disagree with you. Islam and its followers attacked us and killed 3000 innocent people on 9/11 and it will never ever be forgotten. We're not Europe who essentially let muslims take over their countries...it ain't going to happen here. We don't want muslims here and we will never want them here. They should go back to their damn muslim countries....they're not welcome here nor will they ever be welcome here."

      Go spitshine Hitler's jackboots. You speak for no one but your own idiotic self. Hatred is a poison that kills the one imbibing it. You apparently have downed a few kegs of it.

      If you think a relative handful of barely able to fly Muslim crackpots defeated the USA's air defense networks and skillfully guided 2 jumbo jets into buildings in lower Manhatten, causing flaming jet fuel to melt structural grade steel, thereby causing a free fall pancake collapse which also caused girders in the core of the building to sponteneously turn into fine dust (or vapor!) and blow away in the wind – you're a brainwashed buffoon who has never had an independent thought in his life. You're a robot – no chip required.

      October 4, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  10. zulie


    October 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • T

      Julie, you aren't alone! We aren't all zealots and crazies!

      October 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Ray

      No, this country is becoming weak with tied hands to your cult as you invade it like Europe. I don't see anyone over there too pleased with your infection, either. Thanks to the liberals, we are all force-fed the notion that this cult is our friend and we need to play nice so they can kill more people during Jihad time. When that happens, I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see Obamuslim dart out of the White House waving a sword and an Islamic flag chanting Hurka-Durka spew all over D.C. Your liberal ignorance will be the death of us all...

      October 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  11. JJ

    It could look like Disney Land; it STILL doesn't belong there.

    This religious Freedom BS "story" is just that.

    Not everyone is asleep out here.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  12. ratty

    any intelligent, caring, open minded, non-racist, American, would support the right for the center, mosque, whatever you want to refer to it as, to be built... it is wrong on so many levels to prevent it from being built... it is against what we believe in as Americans to prevent it from happening... BUT, it is a terribly disgusting to think how cold and unfeeling those are, who are the people behind this project, who KNEW how inappropriate it would be, how much pain it would bring, even if they had a legal right to do so, to allow this project to occur... They should know better, that it is in incredibly bad taste, tremendously disrespectful, and can only do more harm than good, can only put those who follow a peaceful, non-radical Islam, in a worse light than they already are... Shame on them, they knew better, but decided to go forward anyway. American Muslims should be ashamed, and should be boycotting this project for that very reason, to stand up for the Muslim community, to show others that they are not disrespectful, they are not unfeeling.

    On a totally non-political note, concerning the architecture itself, it's in my opinion, very cool looking... looks great on the outside, fantastic from the inside, but all i can see is it will be a nightmare to try and keep it clean, that with all its complex openings that will attract dirt, dust, pollution, and bird droppings like a magnet. Good luck trying to keep it clean!

    October 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ratty: Can you explain why you think it's disrespectful and disgusting to put a community center in that location?

      October 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  13. JR

    Want to see what an educational and recreational center like Park51 has and does, Google any of the CROC Centers, the only difference is they're Christian based and Park51 is to be Islam based. They ALL will welcome anybody and everybody.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  14. lily

    The second pic shows a woman in short skirt, heels and uncovered head/face. S-u-r-e. I want to meet her and ask her what she thinks of the new digs at the grand opening.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @lily: A large number of muslim women wear modern clothes including short skirts, heels and uncovered heads. My best friend of 20 yrs dresses exactly like that but is muslim all the same. There are many different kinds of muslim people, just like there are many different kinds of christian people.

      October 5, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  15. 5t1v roma

    how exactly is a swimming pool going to work? Arent muslim women not supposed to expose their bodies in public? And will non-muslims have to wear a barakini? Seems like the stupidest idea I have ever heard, the swimming pool, it brings out all that is divisive between cultures.

    And while I'm at it, arent muslims not supposed to befriend people of other faiths? Isnt it written in the Koran that they are supposed to not associate with non-believers? Wouldn't the iman be getting into deep doo-doo with his secular and extremist buddies and supporters if he perpetuates the notion of Muslims and non-muslims being friends?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Ray

      These are excellent questions and demand some answers. I do believe that Muslim women must don a burlap potato sack and wade into the water on camelback...this avoids all temptation for the men by not seeing the hairy armpits and the camel takes the brunt of the hygiene.

      Regarding the two-faced iman with hidden agenda, you have to break some eggs if you want an omelet and pretending you are the Good Cop is part of the game. It's just amazing how flexible that cult is with rules when it delivers them the heads of innocent people for their futile cause.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • gene

      th men can swim, cool off, have fun, the women are supposed to be servile and have babies.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • BluePhoenix

      Not all muslims are so strict. Not every muslim wheres hijab – it is a choice. I'm sure the children will enjoy it regardless. Besides, this is not a muslim center – it is a community center. Muslims in general can befriend anyone they desire – after all this is the US. Many Arab countries where muslims live befriend those of other races, faiths, and cultures. I have learned some Arabic and can at least say that the original Quran (in Arabic) can be translated in any number of ways. The Quran does not state that we shouldn't all associate – in fact it encourages tolerance between everyone, men & women, no matter the differences. I married a muslim and have been accepted and loved by his family although I am a white American that also happens to be Protestant. My family adores him and his family as well.

      October 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Frogist

      5t1v: You have a lot of misinformation about muslims and the Imam. I suggest you and Ray educate yourselves a little about muslim culture by maybe meeting some muslims and talking with them.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  16. ANewAmerica

    I, for one, hate capitalism and believe that materialism has stripped the human element out of the human. However, I don't hate on people who condone the building of Wal-Marts and designer cloths outlets. Why? Because I understand that others do not feel as I do and I have no right to impose my opinion onto others.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • 5t1v roma

      no one is going to kidnap your son and cut his head off over a wallmart...

      October 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  17. RaveDave

    Definately a landmark.

    And it's also obvious this isn't that close to ground zero. In Manhattan, a couple of blocks is like another town.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • Ray

      Yup, it sure is pretty, isn't it? Next thing you know, every major city will want a ghastly Giant Spider Tower to call their own and it will make it all that much easier to get that Jihad cry out publicly.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Frogist

      @RaveDave: Absolutely. A lot of people outside the tristate who are protesting that it's too close have no idea about where it is and the context of it in NYC.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  18. Don Miguel

    Which floor will the suicide vest making class be held? Will materials be provided as part of the class? Can we get a group discount? Will the mosque validate parking? My friends, these questions must be answered.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • RaveDave

      You attempt at humor is offensive.

      It's like saying the KKK is Christian, so all churches must give out pointy white hoods and crosses to burn. Think of how that would feel...

      October 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • Ray

      I believe the SuicideWear class will be on the 13th floor...right between the Fun With C4 Kiosk and the Stone Throwing Olympic Arena...you won't be able to miss it.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      Any good planner would keep the suicide blast demo classroom far away from the C4/RDX storage areas

      October 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  19. Kevin B

    If America is better than Iran or other islamic nations, then why would we stoop to acting just like they do? If America really is a better country then how about we act like it?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      What's with the reference to Iran? It can't be about them not allowing the building of churches because Iran has some of the most historic churches in the world.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  20. Arsio

    Looks beautiful NICE!!!!!!

    October 3, 2010 at 6:43 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.