“Ground Zero Mosque” Clears Last Hurdle
I am watching the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing (on NY1 for locals). All of the commissioners seem to be coming down on the side of NOT preserving the building currently on the site. [Update: all commissioners have spoken, the vote is in, and the building has been removed from the commission’s calendar, 9-0. That means that this building is not landmarked and can be demolished to make way for the Cordoba House, a proposed interfaith cultural center that will be built by an organization led by Muslims, but is not intended to be an exclusively Muslim institution.]
This is not a surprise. I actually think this building is worthy of preservation, but, having worked with LPC in the past, it was pretty clear this one was not going to get their blessing.
Plus, the mayor wanted no designation, and well, phones ring on these sorts of things.
This is not to say that I am opposed to a Muslim cultural center. Quite the contrary. I would have liked that the building at 45-47 Park Place could have been restored and rehabilitated.
Current plans for the Cordoba cultural center do not include plans to preserve this cast iron structure, nor does it incorporate any of its existing design elements. That, I feel, is a loss, even if the approval of the center and its mission is a gain for the former World Trade Center neighborhood.
[image: 45-47 Park Place today (adapted from google maps)]