Mosque Project Near Ground Zero Advances
New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously against granting historic protection for an old factory building, designed in the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style, located two blocks from Manhattan’s the World Trade Center (WTC) reconstruction site. The vote clears the way for development of an Islamic center on the site of the buildings. A Muslim group called Cordoba Initiative has named SoHo Properties to develop the $100-million Islamic center, which would contain a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium and a swimming pool. The project is controversial because of the site’s proximity to Ground Zero, where on Sept. 11, 2001, Arab terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the WTC’s twin 110-story towers, bringing them down and killing 2,752 people.