The mosque was originally commissioned in 1794 by Sultan Selim III, but most of the current mosque that stands today was completed in 1854 during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecit I. It was designed by Krikor Balyan, of the famed family of Armenian architects. It was constructed during a time when several well-known structures in Istanbul were being built or renovated, including the Ortaköy Mosque and Dolmabahçe Palace, in styles imported from Europe. Its front facade, constructed during a renovation in the late 19th century, gives it a unique appearance, with huge white columns. It has become a sort of stand-out symbol in the upscale, bustling quarter of Nişantaşı. It is also often used as the starting point of funerals for famous and public figures.