The 9/11 Museum pavillion (Ben Fractenberg/DNAinfo.com)
Ten years after the terrorist attacks, and less than a week from the ribbon-cutting at the new World Trade Center, the New York City mayor says it's time to retire Ground Zero.
In a speech delivered this morning on Wall Street, Michael Bloomberg said the new construction and memorial on the site has made the name no longer fitting, news site DNAinfo.com reports.
"We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as 'Ground Zero' -- never," Bloomberg told the Association for a Better New York at a breakfast appearance, adding that the "the time has come for us to call those 16 acres what they are: The World Trade Center and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum." (Read more and see photos of the memorial at DNAinfo.com)
His call for the name change isn't the first: For years Downtown residents have asked officials to stop calling the two rising skyscrapers and eight-acre memorial "Ground Zero," according to the article, saying that moniker recognizes only the past destruction rather than the promise of recovery.
The largest tower at the new World Trade Center will reach 1,776 feet, becoming the tallest building in the country when completed, while towers two, three, and four will each be successively shorter.
Despite the years of construction delays and cost overruns, Bloomberg says the half-finished office complex on the site of the former twin towers is the center of a growing and vibrant neighborhood, which boasts its highest population since the 1920s.
Bloomberg pointed out that Lower Manhattan gained 4,000 new school seats, 19 new hotels, $260 million in new parks, and more new residents in the past decade than Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia combined, DNAinfo.com reports.
"New York has come roaring back faster than anyone thought possible," Bloomberg told his audience of community leaders.
In addition to the skyscrapers, the site's eight-acre memorial consists of two sunken foundations at the exact spots where the towers used to stand. Inside the foundations are reflecting pools, and bronze protective walls atop the pools are etched with victims' names. The memorial and the museum are set to open Sunday, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
"I believe the rebirth and revitalization of Lower Manhattan will be remembered as one of the greatest comeback stories in American history," Bloomberg told the group. "And I believe it will stand as our greatest monument to those we lost on 9/11."
- Michael Bloomberg