"ONE-WORLD" trade center...UN approved(tm) bias-free, non discriminatory name.
Freedom is out of fashion at Ground Zero.
Once hailed as a beacon of rebirth in the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Freedom Tower has been stripped of its patriotic name -- which has been swapped out for the more marketable "One World Trade Center," Port Authority officials conceded yesterday.
More than seven years after the terror attacks and amid an effort to market the tower to international tenants, sentiment gave way to practicality.
"As we market the building we will ensure that the building is presented in the best possible way," said PA Chairman Anthony Coscia.
"One World Trade Center is its address. It's the address that we're using. It's the one that's easiest for people to identify with, and, frankly, we've gotten a very interested and warm reception to it."
Today, Mayor Bloomberg said on his radio show on WABC, "It's up the Port Authority. If it were me and I didn't have to rent space ... I would like to see it stay the Freedom Tower.
"But it's their building and they don't need me dumping on it. If they could rent the whole thing by changing the name I guess they're going to do that."
Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles Burlingame was the pilot aboard American Airlines Flight 77 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon, said the renaming of the tower is one more example that the nation is forgetting 9/11.
"If we can't say the word freedom out loud, God help us," she said.
"I understand the decision from a marketing point of view. But it saddens me that it's no longer economically viable to declare who we are."
The issue of the name change -- toward which the PA has been shifting for more than a year -- came up at a news conference after the agency signed a lease with its first major tenant.
A Chinese firm, Vantone Industrial Co., will lease six floors. A four-page press release for the lease signing included the name "Freedom Tower" twice -- only in parentheses.
The only other tenants so far are the federal and state governments.
"Freedom Tower" was coined by then-Gov. George Pataki, who oversaw the initial designs for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center and wanted a tower to rise a symbolic 1,776 feet at a time of heightened patriotism.
Pataki yesterday bristled at the name change.
"The Freedom Tower is not simply another piece of real estate and not just a name for marketing purposes. In design and name, it is symbolic of our commitment to rise above the attacks of Sept. 11," he said.
"Where One and Two World Trade Center once stood, there will be a memorial with two voids to honor the heroes we lost. In my view, those addresses should never be used again.
Coscia said the agency is simply referring to the 102-story tower by its legal name.
"It's part of a complex of what we're hopeful will be five buildings that will redefine the landscape of lower Manhattan, so we refer to it by that term," he said.
When pressed during the news conference on whether Freedom Tower will appear anywhere on the building, Coscia replied, "Next," and turned to answer a question from another reporter.
Click to view image: 'dcc701c711db-005_freedom_tower.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|