The Islamic Center of Cleveland (ICC) began in 1966 when a group of local Muslims began holding prayers together in their homes and other temporary locations in and around the University Circle area of Cleveland. In 1967 the group of 39 members formally established the Islamic Center of Cleveland, and in July 1968 the group purchased a multi-family home at W. 94th St. and Detroit Ave. with the intention of converting it into a mosque. The ICC moved into its new space in the fall of 1969, after the house had been modified to include a prayer hall, a library, and classrooms.
In 1975, Saudi Arabia's King Khalid, who had become aware of the ICC during a stay at the Cleveland Clinic, paid off the remainder of its mortgage. Through this period the membership of the mosque was around 100 families, but by the mid-1980s immigration, new converts, and growing families swelled the membership to 1,000 members from a wide range of nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. Temporary outside facilities were rented, and in 1988 the ICC acquired an 8.3 acre plot of land in Parma, a city bordering Cleveland, where their new center would be built.
Ohio architect Gerald M. Rembowski was hired to design the mosque. Construction began in 1989 and was completed in 1995. The blue-striped concrete building is rectangular in plan, with an octagonal structure on top. A large gold dome sits at the center of the octagon, with a small gold dome over the entrance. Two 60-foot-tall minarets flank the front corners of the mosque. An attached building, constructed later than the mosque, includes a community hall and classrooms.
According to interviews with those involved in the construction of the mosque, it is modeled on the Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem. References to the Dome of the Rock can be seen in the large gold dome and the octagonal structure that it sits on. The large central dome and twin pencil minarets could also be seen as reminiscent of Ottoman architecture.
The mosque is entered from the west side, into an entrance lobby. Restrooms and wudu (ablution) areas are off of the lobby, which then leads to the prayer hall. Offices and a library are located off of the prayer hall. Another lobby leads to the addition, which includes the community hall, a kitchen, and classrooms. The central gold dome is located over the prayer hall, and has a large chandelier hanging in its center.
In 2010, the ICC purchased an adjacent plot of land at 12333 Plaza Drive and was given approval by the Parma Planning Commission to construct an expansion that would include a new community center, a medical center, classrooms, and additional parking. As of 2015, construction on this expansion does not appear to have begun.
Kahera, Akel Ismail. "American Mosque Architecture." In The Oxford handbook of American Islam, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane I. Smith, 404-425. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.