NEW YORK – Dozens of opponents and some supporters of a mosque planned near ground zero attended a raucous hearing Tuesday about whether the building where the Muslim place of worship would be created warrants designation as a city landmark and should be protected from development.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, who has sought an investigation into the funding of the mosque, was among the witnesses who testified in support of giving the building landmark status, which could complicate plans by Muslim groups to develop a community center and mosque there.

After noting the building’s architectural significance, Lazio said it also warranted landmark designation because on Sept. 11, 2001, it was struck by airplane debris from the terror attacks on the nearby World Trade Center.

Lazio has called on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, his Democratic rival in the governor’s race, to probe the funding of the project. On Tuesday, he repeated that request.

Nearly 100 people attended the hearing at a college campus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Fifty-six people testified at the hearing, which turned contentious at times, with some speakers drowned out by audience shouts.

“To deprive this building of landmark status is to allow for a citadel of Islamic supremacy to be erected in its place,” said Andrea Quinn, a freelance audio technician from Queens.

But Rafiq Kathwari, who described himself as a moderate Muslim, said the landmark discussion had been hijacked.

“This has been made by a very vocal minority into an issue of bigotry,” said Kathwari, as he held up his U.S. passport and was nearly drowned out by shouts from the crowd.

The mosque and the related community center are a project of several groups, including the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which promotes cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West.

The five-story building on Park Place, a few blocks north of Wall Street, was completed between 1857 and 1858 and is an Italian Renaissance-inspired palazzo. It formerly housed a department store. The city’s 11-member Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to vote later this summer .