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New skyscraper in New York City has 1,776 feet, but no name yet

NEW YORK -- When President Barack Obama came to New York City this week, his first stop was at that tall building under construction at the corner of West and Vesey streets.

You know, One World Trade Center. Or perhaps you might know it as the Freedom Tower. Or ground zero.

More than a decade after 9/11, no one's quite sure what to call the spot that was once a smoldering graveyard but is now the site of the fast-rising, 1,776-foot skyscraper that will replace the twin towers.

Sarah Barber, a preschool teacher from Stewartsville, N.J., said that no matter how much construction is done, no matter how many buildings go up, "it will always be ground zero to me."

"You can't forget what happened here," she said on a visit the same day as Obama's. "It's still raw because it happened in our lifetime."

But Julie Menin, chairwoman of the community board representing the neighborhood, says: "The majority of the people in lower Manhattan are calling it the World Trade Center site."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who accompanied Obama on Thursday, also said the site should be known as the World Trade Center. In a speech around the 10-year anniversary of the attacks, he said while people would never forget ground zero, so much progress had been made that it was time to call it something else.

The White House apparently agrees. Official guidance on Obama's visit referred to the site as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's One World Trade Center.

Obama toured the 22nd floor and later signed a beam, painted with the words "One World Trade Center," that will be used in the construction.

The skyscraper, expected to be completed in 2014, was initially named Freedom Tower in 2003 by then-Gov. George Pataki.

To many, the name conveyed resilience, even defiance. But others found it too provocative and worried that it could make the tower an even more tempting target for terrorists.