NEW YORK (Reuters) – The name "Freedom Tower" has been dropped for the skyscraper under construction in New York to replace the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the September 11 attacks, but some locals are not happy about it.
Designed amid much fanfare to symbolize the city's revival after the attacks in 2001, the tower, which will be New York's tallest building, has been beset by delays and its developer has struggled to attract tenants, due partly to fears it could be targeted for another attack.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is building the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, has admitted even its own workers do not want to return to the site where nearly 3,000 people were killed.
On Thursday, it announced it planned to refer to the building by its address -- One World Trade Center -- because that was easiest for people to identify with.
"As we market the building, we will ensure that the building is presented in the best possible way," Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia told reporters on Thursday.
The plan was savaged by local tabloids. "Free Dumb Tower," was the New York Post's reaction, while the Daily News' front-page headline was: "No More Freedom."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday he was disappointed.
"I would like to see it stay the Freedom Tower but it's their building and they don't need me dumping on them," Bloomberg said on his radio show.
"If they could rent the whole thing by changing the name, then they should do that," Bloomberg said, adding the most important part of the rebuilding was a planned memorial.
"We're not going to forget what happened down there and in the end the real thing that will tell the story and memorialize and hopefully give us a lesson that this should never happen again is the World Trade Center Memorial," Bloomberg said.
George Pataki, who was New York's governor at the time of the attacks, told the Daily News the name Freedom Tower was "symbolic of our commitment to rise above the attacks of September 11." He added the addresses 1 and 2 World Trade Center should never be used again since they were the names of the twin towers.
The Port Authority announced on Thursday that after on-again off-gain talks, it signed its first commercial tenant, Vantone Industrial Co Ltd, which rented several floors for a new China Center.