Last week, during the week of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, the Zoroastrian community of Greater New York had a inaugural event where over 600 people attended the opening of the new Dar-e-Mehr, a Zoroastrian religious and cultural center in Pomona, NY.The stunning building, inspired by ancient Persian and Zoroastrian architecture of the fire temples of India and Iran, was designed by award-winning architect Dinyar Wadia of Wadia Associates.The opening was held on the birthday of the Zoroastrian prophet, Zarathustra underlining the fact that the building is a gift from the community to the next generation.We have put together a press release, but the images we have included truly show the stunning piece of Persia, here in NY. Also attached is the recorded live stream of the event and the brochure.Please let me know if you have any questions!Press Release & ImagesYouTube:Key Excepts:The inaugural event held during the week of Nowruz, the start of the Persian new year also coincides with the birthday of Zarathustra, the Zoroastrian prophet. The goal of this new building is to house the active community of Zarathushtis which has grown tremendously over the past 40 years and is currently estimated to be about one thousand.Dar-e-Mehr is believed to mean “Door of Peace”, and denotes a Zarathushti temple without a permanently consecrated devotional fire. Thirty priests converged from all over North America to bless the building. The prayers were lead by the honorable Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor the high priest and religious leader of the Zarathushti community who joined from Udvada, India.
Inspired by ancient Persian and Zoroastrian architecture of the fire temples of India and Iran, the new building was designed by award-winning architect Dinyar Wadia of Wadia Associates. It features a stone façade with a colonnaded portico, and decorative capitols, evoking the architectural style of Persepolis (the ancient Zoroastrian city and heritage site) as a nod to the long road traveled. It is a 22,000 square foot structure which has four classrooms, three meeting rooms, a library, a traditional prayer hall, chef’s kitchen, recreation room and a main hall that can accommodate up to 400 guests. Special features include an Afarghanyu (fire vessel) based on the 250 year old prototype found at a historic temple in Mumbai, India, a custom crafted Winterstone® panel inspired by the ancient Tripylon Palace in Persepolis and a traditional Persian-inspired water fountain (that is yet to be built).The building took 2 years to construct and approximately $5M. The small but unwavering and dedicated community fundraised locally, nationally and internationally for close to 6 years to construct and complete the building. Zoroastrian populations are growing in numbers and acceptance generating a need for cultural and community centers throughout North America.The event was made accessible to viewers worldwide and broadcast by a live stream – it was viewed in close to 1,500 households in 32 countries and garnered an average viewing time of 2 hours (out of the 6 hour event.) In fact, the social media engagement has reflected the tremendous interest in this event including: 5,000 YouTube views and growing, and a Facebook Weekly Total Reach of 98,000 for the week of the event.