Changing The Name Of The New World Trade Center…

Posted by – March 30, 2009

…to “World Trade Center.” Yep, they are reclaiming the old name.

Since I’ll soon be living near the WTC site, I felt obligated to blog about this.  Personally, I don’t really care what they name it (“a rose by any other name…”) but I am interested in the outcry the change has precipitated, and am curious about the whole thing.

View of the new WTC from across the Hudson river

View of the new WTC from across the Hudson river

Rendering of what the new WTC will look like, 2005 redesign

Why did they dump the name “Freedom Tower?”

Here’s my theory: the World Trade Center authorities just announced their first lease (to a group other than the U.S. government). They are selling two floors to the Chinese, to create a Chinese business center.  Problem: no Chinese businessmen could find “Freedom Tower,” because “freedom” is one of the blocked terms on Chinese search engines (if you blog that word in China, it’ll be erased, or “harmonized” by state censors).  In order for it to sell space to Chinese tenants, the building had to have a new name.  That’s what I think happened.

Nick