Tuesday, August 03, 2010

LPC Unanimously Denies Landmark Status To Cordoba House/Park 51 Property

As was expected, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) rejected a call to landmark 47 Park Place, which is the site of a proposed Islamic center and mosque two blocks north of Ground Zero.

The LPC unanimously rejected calls for landmarking the building.
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0 against granting historic protection to the building at 45-47 Park Place in Lower Manhattan, where the $100 million center would be built.

That decision clears the way for the construction of Park51, a tower of as many as 15 stories that will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool. Its leaders say it will be modeled on the Y.M.C.A. and Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

The vote on Tuesday was free of much of the vitriol that had marked previous hearings. One by one, members of the commission debated the aesthetic significance of the building, designed in the Italian Renaissance Palazzo style by an unknown architect.

Christopher Moore, a member of the commission, said the vote was not a matter of religion, though he argued that the building could not be divorced from the memory of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“It is not directly on ground zero, but it is a part of ground zero,” Mr. Moore said.
And even Moore voted against landmarking because the building itself lacked architectural merits worthy of landmarking.

The backers of the project now have to come up with the $100 million+ financing to get construction underway.

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