NY Port Authority drops “Freedom Tower” name; jingos aghast

The New York Times’ City Room blog March 27 notes the ruckus raised by NYC’s tabloids upon hearing that the Port Authority has dropped the name “Freedom Tower” for the monstrosity going up at Ground Zero in favor of the more prosaic “World Trade Center 1” (NY Post front-page hed: FREE DUMB TOWER). Noted City Room:

Although the authority would not say so, it is easy to imagine that prospective tenants — already worried about moving into a building that will almost certainly occupy some terrorists’ cross hairs — could not have been comforted by a name with such potent political symbolism.

Right. We said as much way back in 2006, when construction first began. Adding insult to injury as far as the America-first crowd is concerned, Crain’s New York Business informs us March 26 that the prospective tenant who apparently objected to the hubristic moniker is a Chinese firm, Vantone Industrial Co. Ltd!

Dropping the “Freedom Tower” name is a good first step. But we stand by our original proposal: halt construction entirely, and build a memorial garden instead of a skyscraper. In any case, it is interesting that this development comes just as Obama has officially dropped the GWOT nomenclature—sure signs that we are, at long last, entering the post-post-9-11 era.

See our last posts on New York City and the long aftermath of 9-11.

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  1. Ground Zero paralysis continues
    Another sure sign that we’re in the post-post-9-11 era. This story didn’t even make the print edition of the New York Times. It was relegated to the website Aug. 4:

    Developer at Ground Zero Seeks Arbitration
    Larry A. Silverstein, the commercial developer at ground zero, asked arbitrators on Tuesday to settle a long-simmering dispute with the Port Authority that threatens to delay other projects at the 16-acre site.

    Mr. Silverstein said in a statement that the authority’s inability to complete the transit hub, a vehicle security center and other projects at the World Trade Center site had undermined his company’s ability to build three office towers along Church Street, a claim that was immediately disputed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    Mr. Silverstein has insisted in recent months that the authority finance two of the towers because he is unable to obtain real estate loans and corporate tenants for the project. Reluctant to invest in speculative office space, the agency has asked Mr. Silverstein to risk his own money before it agrees to put up additional funds.