Vote on mosque near ground zero Tuesday

August 2, 2010 3:41:22 PM PDT
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to approve tearing down the old Burlington Coat Factory two blocks from ground zero to clear the way for a new Islamic center.

"I think it looks terrible," said one woman.

Even amateur architecture critics told Eyewitness News the same thing.

They thought that 45 Park Place is, in a word, unremarkable.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission reportedly agrees with that consensus.

They are expected to vote Tuesday to deny the building landmark status.

The vote will clear the way for an Islamic cultural center, situated two blocks from ground zero.

Opponents lobbied hard, and hoped that if the 150-year-old building qualified as a landmark, the developers would give up.

Mayor Bloomberg supported the project, and all 11 commissioners are appointed by him.

Conservatives are trying to make it a national issue.

On Twitter, Sarah Palin wrote: "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls repudiate."

On "Good Morning America" Monday former Congressman Newt Gingrich rallied angry Republicans.

The Anti-Defamation League has also opposed the project declaring: "Building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain-unnecessarily-and that is not right."

Many New Yorkers disagreed.

"To move past what happened over there, we need to accept what's happening over here," said one man.