NY1 VIDEO: In December 2009, plans for the Park 51 Islamic community center located on Park Place in Lower Manhattan were announced with little fanfare. But by spring 2010, conservative bloggers renamed the project the "Ground Zero Mosque," and it became the site of protests and counter-protests that lasted for months, attracting national attention from media and politicians alike. On July 20, 2010, NY1's Josh Robin sat down with the founder of Park 51, Sharif el-Gamal, to get a sense of what the project was really all about.
NY1 FOLLOW-UP: Though el-Gamal's original plans for new construction at Park 51 have languished, the center is currently open and operating with a full roster of interfaith events, exhibits and classes in its existing location. Protests behind them, the center's biggest concern today may be one more familiar to New Yorkers: its landlord could be due back rent and has threatened eviction. Consolidated Edison currently leases 51 Park Place to el-Gamal's organization and, according to his attorney, negotiations with the energy company are ongoing and may last until next spring.