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The plans for a Jain temple, the very first in the western hemisphere, were announced in 1973 by Prof. Narendra Sethi, then the president of the Jain Center of New York, at a Diwali celebration, where Gurudev Chitrabhanu was the main speaker. This was the year of 2500th Nirvana anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the temples projected cost was to be $250,000. The Jain Center of America - New York was the first Jain Center registered in the USA in 1976. In its early years, the Jain Center Of America NY Center had no place to worship. In 1981, the centre acquired its first temple building in the borough of Queens, New York. In June 2005, the Jain Center Of America NY celebrated its Pratishta Mahotsav in the newly constructed temple at 43-11 Ithaca St, Elmhurst, Queens, NY, replacing the original 1981 structure.
Jain Center Of America is a 16,625 square feet (1,544.5 m2), with four stories and a cellar. The temple can accommodate over 500 people at one time. The most distinctive and unique feature of the Jain Center Of America Temple is the manner in which it has managed to unite of the Jain faith under one roof, with each tradition having its own worshipping space, to preserve their unique tradition and identity and at the same time foster greater harmony and unity among all its members.