Although moving all 18 magazines and 3,400 employees will take until February, the Freedom Tower’s glossiest tenant started its downtown invasion this morning. Condé Nast will occupy floors 20 through 44 of 1 World Trade Center, and the publisher’s “arrival puts a stiletto in the heart of the outdated notion that Lower Manhattan is stuffy and gray,” says Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin in the New York Times.
Governor Cuomo went more stately with his welcome: “We remember that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice,” he said in a statement.
While the most important people in magazines aren’t relocating today, they do have their assignments: Anna Wintour and Vogue on 25th floor; David Remnick’s The New Yorker on 28; and Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair on 41, with company executives one floor up. (The cafeteria, which is not designed by Frank Gehry like the current one, is on 35.)
There’s a certain nostalgia in advance of leaving Midtown,” Remnick told the Times. “But if it means I’ll meet Elmo a lot less often, it’s all for the better.” He will have easy access to stores like Tiffany, Saks, and Brooks Brothers, which are moving in nearby (and probably overestimating publishing salaries).
“Condé Nast is proud to be a part of this important moment of renewal for the city of New York,” said a spokesperson. “We are excited about contributing to the vitality of this community for years to come.”
Chris Rock also delivered a not-quite-official welcome in his almost-edgy SNL monologue over the weekend. “They should change the name from the Freedom Tower to the Never Going in There Tower, ‘cause I’m never going in there,” he said. “Does this building duck? Who’s the corporate sponsor — Target?”
“I got robbed on 48th and Eighth about twenty years ago,” he added. “I have not been back to 48th and Eighth.”
Sorry, Condé. Just ignore him.