A 13-story Islamic community center and prayer space that created controversy because of plans to build it close to Ground Zero (9/11 terror attack site), has been given a new name -- 51 Park Place
The New York Daily News quoted the center's spokesman, Oz Sultan, as saying that the new name puts emphasis on the community center aspect of the project rather than on religion.
The name was derived from the address of the planned new building, 51 Park Place.
On Tuesday, an angry crowd of nearly 100 turned a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing into a turf war over the project.
Up for debate was the architectural and historical significance of the existing building, which developers hope to replace with a 13-story community center and Islamic prayer space.
But the public testimony quickly dissolved into racially charged tirades against the project, with supporters accusing their detractors of "Islamophobia."
Commissioners will debate the matter in private, then vote on whether to proceed or remove it from consideration at a public meeting later this summer. (ANI)