Last night the landmarks committee on Manhattan's Community Board 1 voted against recommending landmark status for the old Burlington Coat Factory building at 45-47 Park Place. This address is where Cordoba House is planning to build a mosque and community center, a project that has some people up in arms because it would be two blocks from the WTC site. It's unclear how many blocks away the mosque would need to be to appease the opposition, but last night the plan won a key victory from CB1, and on Tuesday it faces the final hurdle at a Landmarks Commission hearing about the building.
That's open to the public [pdf], so opponents will have all weekend to prepare for what's sure to be a civil, rational exchange of ideas. Of course, the mosque has become a talking point for the gubernatorial election this fall—Rick Lazio says Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate the legality of the mosque's funding sources but he (Lazio) won't comment on whether he opposes it. For his part, Cuomo agrees with the Community Board's approval and points out that this country was founded on "religious freedom."