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Thread: World Trade Center Endures. Read the Signs.

  1. #1

    Default World Trade Center Endures. Read the Signs.

    September 18, 2003

    BLOCKS

    World Trade Center Endures. Read the Signs.

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP


    Rendering of rebuilt PATH station shows that it will bear the name World Trade Center. Joseph J. Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority, believes "it's a statement of hope."

    It is still there.

    Not destruction, not excavation, not rebuilding and certainly not the passage of two years have erased "World Trade Center" from the map.

    That name has persisted quietly, at some subconscious civic level, without official edict. It is poignant, on reflection, to find yourself on an E train marked "World Trade Center" or in a station with "Chambers Street WTC" plaques on the platform columns. But it is no longer startling.

    And it is no longer simply a reference to the past.

    Instead, a series of decisions points to "World Trade Center" as the formal, future name of that acreage downtown, Daniel Libeskind designs and all. This matters because what New Yorkers call the place will shape how they think about it. How they think about it will inform how they plan it. "You certainly couldn't call it ground zero," said Joseph J. Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the site and has given the name World Trade Center to the rebuilt PATH station, which will open in November.

    "By naming it the World Trade Center station, it's really a statement of respect for those that died there and what happened there," Mr. Seymour said. "At the same time, I think it's a statement of hope, that the World Trade Center will come back to be a powerful and meaningful development."

    Larry A. Silverstein, the leaseholder and likely developer of the site, intends the World Trade Center name to endure not only in the first tower he is planning but across the entire property.

    "They will be World Trade Center towers," Mr. Silverstein said this week. "We haven't assigned them a number because we're not sure which tower will follow the Freedom Tower. Time will tell that."

    Freedom Tower is the name given by Gov. George E. Pataki to the 1,776-foot skyscraper that is to anchor the site on the skyline. Mr. Silverstein has decided to call the tower north of that 7 World Trade Center, which was the name of the structure that stood there until Sept. 11, 2001.

    "There is an enormous amount of emotion vested in that decision," Mr. Silverstein said.

    "In my way of thinking, to call it anything else would be to try to deny, if you will, the reality of what transpired on Sept. 11, and to have the terrorists accomplish in some small measure what they tried to do."

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is also involved in planning the trade center site, has "given no consideration to changing the name," said Matthew Higgins, the chief operating officer. "And no one has raised the prospect with us."

    The World Trade Centers Association has already arranged to return its headquarters to the site, said its president, Guy F. Tozzoli. The group represents 286 trade centers in 87 countries.

    Mr. Tozzoli was the original director of the world trade department at the Port Authority, responsible for planning, building, renting and operating the first World Trade Center.

    He suspects that the name Freedom Tower will be supplanted in time by World Trade Center. "That name will endure forever," Mr. Tozzoli said. "It probably has more meaning now than it did before."

    But not everyone believes that the name is fitting for future development. The New York chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts is sponsoring a panel next Wednesday on the subject of recreating the identity of the trade center site (www.aigany.org).

    "As soon as you call it the trade center, you imply that it should be a coordinated complex of large-scale buildings that has a kind of heroic quality," said James Biber, a partner in the Pentagram design firm and a panelist.

    "It pretty much negates being connected back to the city fabric."

    Susan S. Szenasy, co-director of the Rebuild Downtown Our Town coalition and editor in chief of Metropolis magazine, called World Trade Center a "great name" for what it was. "It doesn't fit any more," she said. "We keep calling it the trade center but it's not. It can't be." She will moderate the panel.

    She has been thinking instead of names along the lines of 9/11 Memorial Plaza. "The date somehow has to be marked," Ms. Szenasy said.

    Although there are other names with historical connections to the site or its environs Hudson Terminal, Washington Market, Telegram Square, Radio Row, Little Syria none seem quite right.

    Yet Ann Harakawa, a panelist and a principal in the design firm Two Twelve Associates, which lost its office at 90 West Street in the Sept. 11 attack, said a new identity for the site should acknowledge its context.

    That name, she said, will affect whether the site is perceived as a discrete 16-acre parcel or part of a broader district.

    Two Twelve proposed to Mr. Silverstein that he call his first building 1 Greenwich Plaza, recognizing the plan to recreate Greenwich Street, a north-south route that had been cut off by the trade center.

    "We said, `How can you call it 7 World Trade Center when there's no 1 through 6?' " Ms. Harakawa said. "We loved the idea of using Greenwich, particularly because we were in favor of extending Greenwich Street through the site."

    But Mr. Silverstein would have none of it. "I looked at them absolutely appalled and I said, loudly and immediately, `No,' " he recalled.

    As one of the several million New Yorkers who still say Sixth Avenue, 58 years after it was renamed Avenue of the Americas, Mr. Silverstein offered a practical reason for keeping the name World Trade Center.

    "Even if we wanted to call it something else, New Yorkers would continue to call it what it was," he said. "That's the way New Yorkers are."


    Neither destruction nor rebuilding has erased the World Trade Center name from subway stations, like this one on Church Street near Vesey Street.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

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    *Please* have some sense and don't name anything the silly, child-like, "Freedom Tower". Hearing it makes me think of Disneyland or Las Vegas.

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    Sorry the picture did not go through, someone just e-mailed me recently telling me the right way to do it but I forgot. Sorry.

    If someone could show me again I promise to remember, thanks.

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    There's a button now, come on.

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    I think the WTC name is essential. I would be shocked and dismayed ... and PISSED if anything else were used for the site and its structures. But please.....this Freedom Tower name.....don't like it. Perhaps we should have a poll similar to the California Recall.

    1. Do you want to Keep the name Freedom Tower?

    2. If not, which of the following names would you choose?

    Just a thought.

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    I'm not sure I share the "enormous amount of emotion" that Silverstein has for keeping the same name for 7 World Trade Center. I suspect the public will eventually call it something else.

  8. #8

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    I think that World Trade Center is a fait accompli. There will be no effort to rename - too politically charged. It's also apropriate, given the historic nature of the site.

    I wish Freedom Tower could be renamed, but with all the attention it's gotten, we're stuck with it.

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    Senior Member DougGold's Avatar
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    When the Twin Towers stood, people referred to them as the World Trade Center also. The terms were interchangeable, and actually they never had any official address that read "twin towers." Certainly nobody ever called them Tower 1 and Tower 2 that I can remember.

    I imagine the new Freedom Tower will also be referred to synonymously as the World Trade Center, and have to assume that it'll have the official address of 1 World Trade Center.

  10. #10

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    The term Twin Towers was not used much locally. It seemed to be more of a description from a distance, as when in NY, visiting the twin towers.

    Generally for New Yorkers, it was the Trade Center. Going there usually meant a specific building, so it was the offical address 1 WTC and 2 WTC, or North Tower and South Tower.

  11. #11

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    Wonder if anyone managed to find/save the 7.



    It would be hard to call the building anything else if that 7 is affixed to the building prominently near the entrance.

  12. #12

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    I will only call it the World Trade Center. Others, what else could it seriously be called? Whatever they come up with it must have a connection to the global community. This is afterall the World Financial Capital. And New York City if anycity deserves a World Trade Center, and it deserves to be designated at Ground Zero.

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    I think Snapple Trade Center has a certain ring to it?

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    I don't understand why everyone is so anti "Freedom Tower". It is obvious that it was named that to be patriotic after the US was attacked. If you "hate" that name, why? Is it because you dislike this country or are unpatriotic? Do you have something against the word freedom? Honestly, I dont understand why everyone has something against the word freedom? Would you rather not be free? I personally don't mind the name. I'm sure itll piss off the terrorists, and that makes me like the name even more. In fact, it makes me like it so much I have used it as my moniker. Plus you have the freedom to call it whatever you want. If the majority of people like to call it the freedom tower, then let them. And btw, what does fait accompli mean? After all, I am in America, and I can't speak any french.

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    I think we offended Freedom Tower over here...

    It's alright, I like the name.

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