In New York City, where all power is centralized, all roads lead to the Mayor's office. And Mayor Bloomberg is covertly pushing the Ground Zero mega mosque forward. Bloomberg controls the calender, so why would he suddenly, last week, schedule a landmarks committee meeting for tomorrow and a landmarks commission meeting for next week, in the middle of July, when no one is around? And worse yet, giving our legal team little time to prepare. Boss Bloomberg, is the fix in? And if so, why?
Why is Mayor Bloomberg trying to expedite the building of the Ground Zero mega mosque, when according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, the majority of New Yorkers do not want it? The World Trade Center has not been rebuilt. It is still a large gaping horrible wound. The 911 Memorial Museum has not been built, although remains of the dead are still be found, and yet Bloomberg is ambivalent about all that..... but the mega mosque? That's his priority.
One phone call from Bloomberg could table these hearings, giving much needed time for our landmarks legal team to work up our report. The only one who has accountability on this is Mayor Bloomberg. He controls the landmarks commission; they are all his appointees. None of them will go against him.
Make it your business to contact Bloomberg's office today.
Mayor Bloomberg is Mayor because of 911. It was Rudy Giuliani, in the wake of the horror of the Islamic attack, who anointed Bloomberg as his successor. And despite the fact that a majority of New Yorkers oppose the mega mosque at Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg has refused to meet with the 911 families or with any of those opposing the Islamic supremacist mosque.
He has refused to meet with the families. Why is he ducking ? And why the mad rush? And why is he giving stealth jihadist Imam Rauf a free ride?
Bloomberg has an obligation to meet with the Coalition for the Preservation of Ground Zero to hear what the 911 families and the majority of New Yorkers feel passionately about.
The landmark committee meeting tomorrow is a charade, a horse and pony show -- as it is a function of the community board, which has no power. But the Landmarks commission meeting next week has real teeth, and from all indications, they are going to do Bloomberg's bidding.
Who died and made Bloomberg the ayatollah of New York?
Tell Bloomberg to table this mega mosque rush job and meet with families and listen. The Burlington Coat Factory Building is a 152-year-old landmark, constructed between 1857 and 1858 in the Italian Renaissance palazzo style. It is historically and architecturally significant. The building's architect has had a number of his buildings landmarked already
The issue is expected to be resolved at a meeting this summer, though Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, sees it as a difficult one because whichever way the commission rules, it will likely be blamed for taking sides. “I see this as a no win situation,” he said. The commission declined to comment. (here)
One of the two buildings, 45-47 Park Place, an Italianate warehouse from 1858, was calendared in 1989. The Burlington Coat Factory building has been slated for landmark status for twenty years, so why all of a sudden is the Mayor in such a hurry to sweep it under the carpet during the heat of summer, when no one else is around?
The construction of a mosque on that site requires no building permit from the city. But the municipal Landmarks Preservation Commission does have to rule on the status of the current building before any demolition or construction can take place.
According to the landmarks commission, the building has historical, architectural and cultural significance.
It is an example of New York's cast-iron architecture, built in 1857 in the Italian Renaissance style, to house a prominent Manhattan shipping firm. The building is like many of the store and loft structures that dominated the dry goods warehouse districts of Lower Manhattan. It was used between 1911 and 1925 as the headquarters of Merck & Company, the pharmeceuticals giant. It was later converted into a discount clothing store.
The five-story building's storefront is comprised of a cast iron Corninthian colonnade.
"The commission is considering whether to grant the building landmark status," said Elisabeth de Bourbon, spokesperson for the Landmarks Preservation Commission. "We will hold a public hearing on the possible designation on July 13." (more here)
Furthermore, it is an historic war memorial. A piece of the plane that was used as a missile to take down the WTC crashed onto the roof of the Burlington Coat Factory building and went though all five floors to the basement, heavily damaging the building -- that makes that building a part of American history. It should not be altered in any way.
Why the bum's rush?
The ever morphing mosque project: Imam Faisal stands before an illustrative rendering of the project at a community board meeting last month. Courtesy NY Daily News
On Sept. 11, 2001, the store, with 80 employees, was one of 250 Burlington outlets nationwide owned by the Milstein family. That morning, recalled Stephen Milstein, the company’s former general manager and vice president, the staff was in the basement when a piece of a plane plunged through the roof, either from American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into the north tower at 8:46 a.m., or United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the south tower at 9:03.
Kukiko Mitani, whose husband, Stephen Pomerantz, owned the building at the time, tried to sell it for years, at one time asking $18 million. But when the recession hit, she sold it in July to a real estate investment firm, Soho Properties, for $4.85 million in cash, records show. One of the investors was the Cordoba Initiative, an interfaith group founded by Imam Feisal.
“It’s really to provide a place of peace, a place of services and solutions for the community which is always looking for interfaith dialogue,” said Sharif El-Gamal, chairman and chief executive of Soho Properties.
The patched-up roof was easily visible on a recent tour of the building, along with evidence of its sudden evacuation: food bags still in a fifth-floor staff refrigerator and, most eerily, a log sheet for the testing of the emergency alarm system that shows a sign-in signature for 9/11 but no sign-out.
Records kept by the city’s Department of Buildings show anonymous complaints for illegal construction and blocked exits at the site. Inspectors tried to check but were unable to gain access, so the complaints, though still open, were listed as “resolved” under city procedures, according to an agency spokeswoman, Carly Sullivan. (here)