Remember 9/11?Â Remember the loss of the WTC and 2,750 workers, firemen, policemen and first responders?Â Remember how in the shattered concrete and twisted steel of the aftermath we swore to rebuild in the same place something that would defy the evil that brought the towers down?
And how we called it Freedom Tower?
Well, seems the Port Authority has other ideas:
NEW YORK (CNN) — The agency that owns the space where the World Trade Center towers stood is freeing itself of the term “freedom” to describe the signature skyscraper replacing the buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001.
“We’ve referred to the primary building planned for the site as One World Trade Center — its legal name and street address — for almost two years now, as well as using the name the Freedom Tower,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, in a statement released to CNN. “Many will always refer to it as the Freedom Tower, but as the building moves out of the planning stage and into full construction and leasing, we believe that going forward it is most practical to market the building as One World Trade Center.”
Nice – let’s dig down a little further and see if we can find a possible motive:
“The fact is, more than $3 billion of public money is invested in that building, and, as a public agency, we have the responsibility to make sure it is completed and that we utilize the best strategy to make certain it is fully occupied,” Sigmund added.
Commendably … altruistic…were it not for:
Representatives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Vantone Industrial Co. announced Thursday the signing of a lease that will create the China Center, a 190,810-square-foot business and cultural facility, to be on portions of the 64th floor and the entire 65th through 69th floors of One World Trade Center.
Hailing it as a great day for the Port Authority and its partners in the China center, Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward added, “this is the first step in a long journey as downtown is finally rebuilt.”
The lease is for 20 years and nine months, beginning when the building is completed, with rents starting at $80 per square foot and escalating afterward. The China Center also will have the right to lease up to two additional contiguous floors under the same terms, an option that expires at the end of 2009.
So – I guess we’ve figured out what the price of freedom is – at least insofar as a name goes…Â Me?Â I’m going to keep calling it Freedom Tower, whether the future denizens of the 64th through 69th floors care or not.