Albanian Islamic Center
Harper Woods, United States
The Albanian Islamic Center was founded by Imam Vehbi Ismail in 1962 and celebrated its grand opening on November 3, 1963. The mosque served as the first permanent home of the Albanian American Moslem Society, which had been founded by Imam Ismail in 1949 and had previously met at the International Institute of Detroit, briefly with the American Moslem Society in Dearborn, and in a former Armenian church on Hamilton Avenue. Today, the mosque serves the Albanian community that has been well established in the Detroit since the 1940s, as well as new Muslim immigrants from the Balkans and other regions of the Islamic world.

The mosque was designed by the American architect Frank Beymer, with a distinctly Balkan Ottoman-style minaret, dome, arches, and color scheme. The building is a long, low rectangle faced in brick, with a copper-colored dome over the entrance and the minaret to its left. The facade was not completed until 1975, and the minaret was also added at that time. Inside, there is a relatively small prayer hall, a large multipurpose social hall, a kitchen, classrooms, and office space. It is an example of what Omar Khalidi called "imported" mosque design, emboding a traditional design imported from the Islamic world.

Sources:

Howell, Sally. Old Islam in Detroit: rediscovering the Muslim American past, 170-171. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Khalidi, Omar. "Import, Adapt, Innovate: Mosque Design in the United States." Saudi Aramco World (November/December 2001): 24-33.

United States of America Embassy. "Harper Woods, Michigan." Mosques of America. Accessed March 31, 2015. http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/inbrief/2011/08/20110802121129esiuol0.2768671.html#axzz3VzKnD0zw.

University of Michigan. "Albanian Islamic Center." Building Islam in Detroit Research Project. Accessed March 31, 2015. http://biid.lsa.umich.edu/FM_Albanian_Islamic_Center.html.
Location
19775 Harper Avenue, Harper Woods, United States
Images & Videos
Documents
Associated Collections
Events
1963/1382 AH
Variant Names
Albanian Islamic Center
Building Usages
mosque
religious
Materials/Techniques
brick
Keywords
purpose-built mosques