FAQ

1. What is Park51?

Park51 is an organization dedicated to providing recreational, cultural and social services to the Lower Manhattan community.  Our aim is to give back to the NYC community and help integrate the Muslim community within the fabric of American society. Whether it be education, social outreach, or physical fitness, Park51 is here to enrich the lives of New Yorkers of all backgrounds and faiths.

2. Is Park51 a mosque? If so, can I pray there?

Park51 is not a mosque. It is a cultural and community center. You may pray at the adjacent PrayerSpace, which is a non-for-profit completely independent of Park51. The Community Center and the PrayerSpace share the same landlord, Soho Properties, Inc, whose partners serve on the board of Park51. For more information on the PrayerSpace please visit www.prayerspacenyc.org.

3. What is the relationship between Park51, the Cordoba Initiative, and the Cordoba Movement?

Park51 is an independent organization completely separate from the Cordoba Initiative and the Cordoba Movement.

4. Who owns the property that is Park51?

45-51 Park Place is owned by Soho Properties, a private real estate developer here in Manhattan, whose founder and CEO is Sharif El-Gamal.

5. What services do you offer right now?

Currently, we offer events on interfaith and intrafaith dialogue and education.  Within the next six months, we plan to offer Arabic and English language classes, referral services for domestic violence victims, skill development for homeless services, immigration services and event space for art galleries and lectures.  If you want to stay updated about our events subscribe to our RSS feed on park51.org or our newsletter.

6. What services will you offer in the future?

We plan to offer a wide variety of services and programs once our new building is finished.  These include:

Children & Families

  • Child care facilities
  • Camps
  • Playground
  • Youth activities
  • Senior programming

Health, Fitness & Sports

  • Swimming pool
  • Fitness center
  • Sports center
  • Wellness center
  • Spa, Massage, Yoga/Pilates

Muslim Life

  • Islamic studies
  • Lectures
  • Youth activities
  • Arabic language
  • Holidays & Celebrations

Arts & Culture

  • Exhibition space
  • Art gallery
  • Artist studio/Residence
  • Culinary school
  • Art workshops & classes
  • Digital library

Education & Dialogue

  • Interfaith
  • Politics & current events
  • Culture & society
  • Science & discovery

Social Services

  • Social action
  • English as a Second language classes
  • Legal services (domestic violence, immigration)
  • Interfaith/Veteran/Homeless
  • Small business support

7. How do I stay updated on Park51 activities?

You can subscribe to our RSS feed to get regular updates of our blog on a range of different topics (education, arts and culture, Muslim life).

If you would like to engage in active dialogue and interaction follow us on twitter @park51.

If you would like to share with us your experiences through photos, videos, comments, connect to us through our facebook page.

If you would like to stay updated on Park51 happenings by e-mail, sign up to our newsletter (on the right panel).

8. What other organizations are you working with?

We are in discussion with national and local organizations for partnerships on events, classes, and more. If you would like to partner with Park51 for programming and events, please e-mail us at info@park51.org.

9. I am not Muslim.  Can I attend Park51 activities?

Yes, Park51 is open to people of any religious, racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic background.

10.  What kind of membership will you have?

Park51 will provide an array of membership packages, and will customize them to its distinct audiences – all residents of lower Manhattan, Muslim residents in the vicinity, residents of the Tri-State area and NYC tourists.

11.  Have you started fundraising yet? How is this project being funded?

Park51 is an established not-for-profit corporation and is registered with the Office of the New York State Attorney General.  At this time, Park51 has not yet launched a formal fundraising campaign and is currently in the process of expanding its Board of Directors to plan, manage and oversee such efforts. In the meantime, we have started outlining our fundraising strategy and hired top-notch legal counsel to aid us in the process.  We are committed to New York. We are Americans, we are New Yorkers, we have families here, and we expect and hope to build our future in New York. As such, we’re concerned and committed to raising money responsibly and transparently.

12.  Who are the leaders behind Park51?

Park51’s Board of Directors is currently composed of four members; managing partners of Soho Properties Sharif El-Gamal, Nour Moussa and Sammy El-Gamal. We will announce our Executive Director in the very near future. We are also in the process of expanding the board of directors, and will include members from the NYC community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

13.  How long do you think it will take to build the center?

We expect 2-3 years of fundraising, followed by 2-3 years of construction. In the meantime, we will be providing events and programming at the current site.

14.  Will the new building be green?

Yes!  We are designing the Park51 building under LEED standards.

15.  Who is the architect?

We have not selected an architect yet. We plan to host an open competition for architectural design in the near future.

16.  Are you concerned about security?

The safety and security of all attending Park51 events and programming is a priority to us. We have a close relationship with the NYPD, and have police at our building at all times.  As our project advances we will continue working closely with the NYPD to ensure that Park51 is always safe and secure.

17.  What will be the state of the property from now until construction?

We are currently using space within the existing building for events, and will be offering classes, social services, and exhibitions in the near future.

Additionally, PrayerSpace, an independent entity from Park51, holds daily prayer services, and Friday congregational prayers.  For more information, please visit prayerspacenyc.org.

18.  Park51’s LMDC Funding Request

Park51 applied for a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, created precisely to aid efforts to service Lower Manhattan’s population and to revitalize its economy and infrastructure.

Park51 will use these funds to finance a range of services including cultural exhibitions, educational programs, language classes, domestic counseling services and others.

Update; October 1st:
Due to our pending 501(c)(3) status, Park51 was ineligible for LMDC funding.

19.  I am an educator/artist/community member/guest/tourist, and I wish to visit the site and/or bring a group, who can I reach out to?

We would love to receive you/your group at the current site! Please send your request to info@park51.org and we will get back to you promptly.

20.  Where are you located?

Park51 is located in lower Manhattan, at 45-51 Park Place between Church Street and West Broadway.

You can reach us by taking the following subway lines:

  • 2, 3 to Park Place or the A, C or E to Chambers Street  and walk one block west
  • R to City Hall/Broadway and walking two blocks west

21.  I have questions/concerns/recommendations for Park51. Who should I e-mail these to?

Please address all inquiries to the Park51 Team at info@park51.org , or to individual staff members (see staff members list) based on the nature of your request.