A handsome, welcoming new border crossing has had its 21-foot-high yellow "United States" letters scrapped because crazy border people are afraid that the words "United States" will serve as an irresistible temptation for terrorists.
Four years ago, when the federal General Services Administration unveiled its plans for a new border-crossing station here in northeastern New York State, the design was presented as part of the agency's campaign to raise the dismal standards of government architecture. Even many in the famously fractious architectural community celebrated the complex -- particularly its main building, emblazoned with glossy yellow, 21-foot-high letters spelling "United States" -- as a rare project the government could point to with pride...
Yet three weeks ago, less than a month after the station opened, workers began prying the big yellow letters off the building's facade on orders from Customs and Border Protection. The plan is to dismantle the rest of the sign this week...
"There were security concerns," said Kelly Ivahnenko, a spokeswoman for the customs agency. "The sign could be a huge target and attract undue attention. Anything that would place our officers at risk we need to avoid."
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