Here is a fuzzy 1935 tax photo of what 51 Park Place used to look like. It is a fine palazzo and could easily be restored to its former glory while still serving as as a mosque or museum. The owner could save himself a heap of money by choosing restoration instead of demolition. But he seems to be going in the opposite direction. According to the NY Times (April 30, 2014) he has decided to hire Jean Nouvel to design a new building for this site, in a stretch of our neighborhood that belongs by merit in Tribeca South Historic District. In what seems a double tragedy that adds insult to the injury of demolition, Jean Nouvel is is by conscious philosophy an anti-contextual architect.
Here is a a photo of Nouvel typically designs. Now we can imagine what will befall this once wonderful block and once again, Tribeca gets eaten away at, building by building.