Panel's landmark denial frees NYC mosque site

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City panel has denied landmark statusto a building near ground zero, freeing organizers to build anIslamic center and mosque there.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission's decision allowsorganizers to transform the 152-year-old building into an Islamiccommunity center blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.

National and New York politicians and the Anti-Defamation Leaguehave come out in recent weeks against plans for the mosque, sayingit disrespects the memory of Sept. 11 victims. Mayor MichaelBloomberg has supported the mosque.

The commission voted 9-0 against granting landmark status to thebuilding.

Commissioners said the building didn't meet historic criteria toqualify as a landmark.

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