Outcry after new Ground Zero tower loses 'Freedom'
The owners of the skyscraper being built at Ground Zero ran into controversy Friday with the decision to strip the building of its patriotic unofficial name "Freedom Tower."
"No more freedom," read the front page of the Daily News, declaring in an editorial that the site's owner, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, was "erasing history."
"Freedom is out of fashion at Ground Zero," rival tabloid the New York Post said.
The Port Authority announced that the planned 1,776-foot building, now barely above its foundations, will instead be known by the same name as one of the twin towers destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: One World Trade Center.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia made the announcement Thursday, saying: "As we market the building we will ensure that the building is presented in the best possible way.... One World Trade Center is its address, it's the one that we are using."
The spat coincided with the signing on Thursday of the building's first commercial tenant -- a 21-year deal with China's Vantone Industrial Company.
The Chinese company will take up the entire 65th and 69th floors and part of the 64th with a business and cultural facility dubbed the China Center.
Following a series of delays, the building is not scheduled to be ready for occupancy until 2014.
Susan Regenhard, the mother of one of the firefighters killed on 9/11, along with nearly 3,000 other people, said the Port Authority cared about marketing more than memories.
"It's all about marketing, all about PR, all about them making money," Regenhard told AFP.
Regenhard said she was never a fan of the "Freedom Tower" name because the the mammoth project is allegedly riddled with unsafe work.
"What's in a name? It's about the nature of these buildings," she said. "This is the number one terrorist target in the world."
Former New York Governor George Pataki, first to coin the name "Freedom Tower," reacted defiantly.
"The Freedom Tower isn't going to be One World Trade Center, it's going to be the Freedom Tower," he said in comments broadcast on NY1 television.
"I think One and Two World Trade Center are sacred names which should never be used again," said Pataki.