Completed in 1957, the Islamic Center of Washington is a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Washington D.C., located on Embassy Row near the bridge over Rock Creek.
History of Islamic Center of Washington
The idea for an Islamic Center was originally conceived in 1944 when the Turkish ambassador died and there was no mosque in which to hold his funeral. The Washington diplomatic community played a leading role in the effort to have a mosque constructed.
Support came from the Muslim American community and most of the Islamic nations of the world, who donated money, decorations, and craftsmen to the project. The Islamic Center is controlled by a board of governors made up of various ambassadors.
The site was purchased in 1946 and the corner stone was laid in 1949. The building was designed by Italian architect Mario Rossi and was dedicated on June 28, 1957 with President Eisenhower in attendance. When it opened, the Islamic Center of Washington was the largest Muslim place of worship in the Western Hemisphere.
The mosque has been visited by many high profile dignitaries, including several presidents. The highest profile visit was by George W. Bush on September 17, 2001, only days after the September 11th attacks. On national television Bush quoted from the Koran and assured Americans that vast majority of Muslims are peaceful.
What to See at Islamic Center of Washington
Some 6,000 people attend prayers at the mosque each Friday. As well as a mosque, the Islamic Center of Washington contains a library and classrooms for courses on Islam and the Arabic language. Around the building are flags of the Islamic nations of the world.
Quick Facts on Islamic Center of Washington
|Names:||Islamic Center of Washington|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||38.917091° N, 77.056759° W|
|Address:||2551 Massachusetts Ave.|
|Hours:||Mon-Sat 10:00am- 5:00pm, Sun 10:00am- 2:00pm|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Islamic Center of Washington|
- Wikipedia (some text incorporated under GFDL)
- Islamic Center - Washington DC Visitor's Guide
- Islamic Center of Washington - IgoUgo.com - user review and photos
- Religion Collections at the Islamic Center Library - Library of Congress
- Remarks of President Bush at the Islamic Center, September 17, 2001
Map of Islamic Center of Washington
Below is a location map and aerial view of Islamic Center of Washington. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.