At this stage, it is a landmarks issue. The 152-year-old Burlington Coat Factory building should be landmarked, as it is part of historic New York (and it is a war memorial).
Any Atlas historians, librarians and old New York experts who can help research and/or provide details of the important history of this great old building would be enormously helpful. In early New York, most of the action was downtown (Manhattan was once the capital of the nation, for goodness sake). There must be a rich and wonderful history to the Burlington Building, 45 Park Place.
Here is the New York Observer's take on the Islamic mega mosque and the upcoming landmarks hearings ........keeping it classy, NYO. As if.........a triumphal mosque at the cemetery that is Ground Zero is a good idea.
City to Host Controversial Ground Zero Mosque Hearings July 13 The New York Observer
Let the shit-show begin. The city has scheduled hearings for a controversial proposed mosque near ground zero at Hunter College on July 13. The Landmarks Preservation Commission—which must approve the demolition of an existing building at 45 Park Place to make way for the 13-story Cordoba House, a mosque and Muslim community center that's intended to foster interdenominational understanding—has scheduled the hearing for 2 p.m. at Hunter College, in a room that can accomodate [sic] up to 300 people. The Commission's on-site hall can fit up to 60.
In other words, the Commission is expecting a large, and angry, crowd. The city has good reason.
On June 6, more than 1,000 people protested the mosque planned for a site two blocks from ground zero bearing signs reading, "No 9/11 Mega Mosque." The movement against the mosque is being stoked by Pamela Geller, of the group Stop Islamization of America. Ms. Geller was also active in opposing the creation of the city's first Arabic language charter school in Brooklyn.
The opposition to the community center—described by its creators as akin to the 92nd Street Y—is unnervingly similar to the vitriol that's greeted plans for new mosques in Sheepshead Bay and Staten Island, and is reminiscent of the anti-Muslim fervor following 9-11.
A Quinnipiac University poll released today revealed that 52 percent of voters in the city don't believe the mosque should be built near ground zero.