Today, 4801 days after September 11th, 2001, employees will start to call 1 World Trade Center their office. About 175 Conde Nast employees are now moving into the building.
Conde Nast is taking floors 20 through 44. The Post reports, "Although [Conde Nast employees] won’t have access to the 1,776-foot skyscraper’s breathtaking 102nd-floor observation deck before it opens in the spring, the new tenants are happy to be part of lower Manhattan’s latest chapter." The company is moving employees in phases, and by March of next year, 3,400 employees will be at 1 WTC. A spokeswoman told the Post, "Condé Nast is proud to be a part of this important moment of renewal for the city of New York. We are excited about contributing to the vitality of this community for years to come."
The Times points out that the Port Authority moved some employees over to the building last week, "But it was Condé Nast’s decision to leave Midtown in 2011 that turned heads, prompting others to consider the same. Since then, Time Inc., another Midtown stalwart, announced it would be moving nearby, to 225 Liberty Street."
Condé Nast’s move from Madison Avenue in 1999 served as an imprimatur that Times Square was finally safe for white-collar workers. Soon came the lawyers, accountants, bankers and others who had avoided the seedy environ. Today, Times Square is choked with millions of tourists as well as performers dressed, or undressed, as Elmo, Mickey Mouse and the Naked Cowboy.
“There’s a certain nostalgia in advance of leaving Midtown,” said David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, which will occupy the 38th floor of 1 World Trade. “But if it means I’ll meet Elmo a lot less often, it’s all for the better.”
Of course, back in 2010, when the move was rumored, one employee told the Post, "If I'm still here by then, just shoot me."
Governor Cuomo issued a statement to the Times about 1 WTC new tenants, "We remember that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice." However, there is some criticism that the building is pure kitsch and suggestion that construction was sped up, resulting in unreported injuries.
Chris Rock commented about the opening of the new 1 World Trade Center—aka Freedom Tower to everyone who remembers the tortured design process—during his Saturday Night Live monologue. After discussing the Boston Marathon bombing, Rock segued into discussing 9/11:
Rock emphatically said, "They should change the name from the Freedom Tower to the 'Never Going in There Tower,' 'cause I'm never going in there... Does this building duck? Who's the corporate sponsor, Target? ... They put another skyscraper in the same spot? What kind arrogant Floyd Mayweather crap is this?... I am never going in the Freedom Tower... Hey, I got robbed on 48th and 8th about twenty years ago, I have not been back to 48th and 8th."
He ended with, "I am never going in the Freedom Tower. I don't care if Scarlett Johansson is butt naked on the 89th floor in a plate of ribs."