‘Ground Zero’ mosque: Developer rethinks unpopular plan

This modern interior vision of Park51 may never be realized: Developer Sharif El-Gamal said he is starting from scratch on building the controversial mosque and community center.

No longer 15 stories. A new name. Severed ties with its original founder.

The controversial project known as the “Ground Zero mosque” is a far cry from its original vision.
“Everything was backward,” lead developer Sharif El-Gamal, 37, told The New York Times. “We’re going back to basics.”

El-Gamal is prepared to scrap the proposed 15-story structural redesign of the Burlington Coat Factory building, depending on the community’s input.

“If the community only wants four or five floors, it’s going to be four or five floors,” El-Gamal said.
He’s even recruited the aunt of a 9/11 victim to his advisory board.

But Barry Zelman, who lost his brother Kenneth in the attacks, said he will not support a mosque so close to Ground Zero, whether it’s four stories or fifteen.

“I believe they have the right to practice their religion,” said Zelman, 56, of Roxbury, N.J. “I still think it’s in bad taste. I still question the location.”

The mosque portion of the building has been rebranded “PrayerSpace.” But it may be five years before the property undergoes any changes, as El-Gamal still needs to raise up to $10 million. He has even severed ties with the project’s original imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf. El-Gamal said the two had personality and philosophical clashes.

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Many deaths as boat with African emigrants sinks…

BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - A boat packed with up to 250 African emigrants trying to reach European shores sank on Sunday off the Libyan coast…

Local

State health department warns against rare respiratory virus…

The New York State Department of Health is calling upon parents to be aware of the symptoms of enterovirus EV-D68. More than 12 children across the…

National

Liberal Vermont Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate's leading liberals, said on Sunday he is thinking about running for U.S. president in…

Money

Second Shift: Turning fun into money

In this week's Second Shift series, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around having fun.

Movies

Dan Stevens kisses Cousin Matthew goodbye

Dan Stevens wanted a change and he certainly got one. After quickly developing a devoted fan base as Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," the 32-year-old…

Movies

Nerd alert: Genesis Rodriguez, robot-maker

Geeks of the world, you're about to fall in love with Genesis Rodriguez. There's no point in resisting. The actress, appearing in Kevin Smith's totally…

The Word

The Word: Kanye West wants everyone on their…

Maybe we can blame this one on the migraine, too. Kanye West is drawing ire for halting a performance in Sydney when his demands that…

Movies

That's a wrap on TIFF 2014

This year's Toronto International Film Festival closes without the satisfying sense of certainty that had become a mainstay in recent years. Last year, for example,…

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

NFL

Giants vs. Cardinals: 3 things we learned

The Giants heard all week about how ragged their new offense has looked, but even when they finally answered the bell they still can’t find a way to win.

NFL

About a quarter of football players will get…

About one in four National Football League players are likely to end up suffering cognitive impairments during their lifetime, according to a report.

Home

DIY design: Try this upcycle furniture project

Tiffany Threadgould is living a DIY life. The Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, an international waste management company headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, grew up…

Parenting

The downside of a BFF

For teenage girls a best friend can mean everything, but the way they deal with their problems together can lead to depression

Education

How many colleges should I apply to? Your…

To the average high school senior, creating the perfect college application can seem like a golden ticket into their future. Students and their parents spend…

Career

How Generation Z will change the way Americans…

What to learn how to establish a career in this new economy? Look no further than the current generation of young people - that is,…