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NEW YORK (AP) — A city commission on Tuesday denied landmark status to a building near the World Trade Center site, freeing a group to convert the property into an Islamic community center and mosque that has drawn national opposition.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0, saying the 152-year-old building blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks wasn't special or distinctive enough to meet criteria to qualify as a landmark. Commissioners also said that other buildings from the era were better examples of the building's style.
National and New York politicians and the Anti-Defamation League have come out in recent weeks against plans for the mosque, saying it disrespects the memory of Sept. 11 victims. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also chairs the foundation building the Sept. 11 memorial, has defended plans for the mosque.
Several members of a crowd of 50 or 60 applauded, while others shouted "Shame!" as commission chairman Robert B. Tierney called for the vote. One opponent, Linda Rivera of Manhattan, held up a sign reading, "Don't glorify murders of 3,000. No 9/11 victory mosque."
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