Danishova

Idgit Watch

Freedom Tower? We don’t need no stinkin’ Freedom Tower

Posted by danishova on March 27, 2009

Hey, let’s call it the Universal Service Tower! 

Douglas Feiden of The Daily News reports:

The Port Authority is taking the "Freedom" out of the Freedom Tower.

Although the 1,776- foot tower hasn’t been fully built, funded or leased – and won’t be occupied until 2014 – the agency decreed Thursday it will no longer be called the Freedom Tower. It will simply be known as 1 World Trade Center.

"As we market the building, we will ensure that it is presented in the best possible way – and 1 World Trade Center is the address that we’re using," said PA Chairman Anthony Coscia.

"It’s the one that is easiest for people to identify with – and frankly, we’ve gotten a very interested and warm reception to it."

The name change for the 102story, $3.1 billion skyscraper, unveiled after a PA board meeting, drew a sharp rebuke from former Gov. George Pataki, whose April 24, 2003, speech gave the building its brand.

"The Freedom Tower is not simply another piece of real estate and not just a name for marketing purposes," Pataki said.

"In design and name, it is symbolic of our commitment to rise above the attacks of Sept. 11. Where 1 and 2 World Trade Center once stood, there will be a memorial with two voids to honor the heroes we lost – and, in my view, those addresses should never be used again."

The change came after board members voted to sign a 21-year lease deal with Vantone Industrial Co., a Chinese real estate giant, which will become the first commercial tenant at Ground Zero. It plans to create the China Center, a trade and cultural facility, in 191,000 square feet on floors 64 through 69.

Just a coincidence!

The negotiations with Vantone, which is closely affiliated with the Chinese Communist government, had nothing to do with the name change, PA officials insisted, but was based primarily on bottom-line marketing considerations.

Right, cause freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose

Despite a five-year global hunt and millions of dollars plowed into marketing efforts, until the Chinese deal was inked, the PA had failed to snag a single private-sector tenant at Ground Zero. It has tentatively lined up a number of state and federal agencies to take big chunks of space.

Will New Yorkers discard Freedom Tower and buy the new name?

"If ‘Freedom Tower’ is the popular name, that will be the choice of the people as to how they think of downtown," said PA Executive Director Chris Ward.

"On the other hand, this is a piece of real estate. It has an address – legally, it is 1 World Trade Center."

Most New Yorkers, tourists and families of victims – gripped by the massacre of nearly 3,000 innocents at the site – quickly disagreed.

Who cares what they think?  We’re supposed to be like China now!

"My gut reaction is calling a building the World Trade Center when it really isn’t the World Trade Center is pretty creepy," said Rosaleen Tallon, who lost her brother Sean, a 26-year-old probationary firefighter with Ladder 10, on 9/11.

On Liberty St., across from the 16-acre site, Michael Gardner, 52, a tourist from London visiting the WTC Tribute Center, argued that the name Freedom Tower must endure.

"It is a symbol. The name is about freedom and peace. America – land of the free – that is the message that should be put out there."

Eh, what do you know? Were you educated in South Korea, or China?

The concept for the Freedom Tower building dates to the months after Sept. 11, when master planners vowed that a massive downtown-defining skyscraper would take the place of the twin towers.

Two years later, Pataki came up with the name. It was initially derided by critics, who found it gimmicky and too self-consciously patriotic, but later embraced by most New Yorkers, who saw it as a symbol of a resurgent America on the mend from the horrors of 9/11.

"I was always taught to like the word ‘freedom,’" said Enrique Saurez, a dishwasher from Venezuela who worked at Windows on the World, where 73 restaurant employees died. "Why get rid of it?"

Ha! A dishwasher! A mere peasant!  What does he know?

UPDATE:

Jammie Wearing Fool links to the New York Post’s report which includes this quote:

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.

J.W.F. concludes by saying:

Next thing you know we’ll be having Club Gitmo guests living on the dole on American soil.
Oh wait…

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