Saturday, October 17, 2020

Marcus Center chestnut grove demolition noted nationally

The clear-cutting of a beloved grove of chestnut trees in downtown Milwaukee which began last year - 

May, 2019 photos by James Rowen

- by the community's art center and not some evil timber baron or soulless multi-national giant - and already the subject of earlier condemnation by local commentators here and here and here - has been been noted by The Cultural Landscape Foundation:

Oct 05, 2020

The centerpiece of Dan Kiley’s design for Milwaukee’s Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is a grid of 36 horse chestnut trees … On the weekend of September 26, 2020, the site was clear-cut.

The Foundation had already included the landscape in its "Lost" category when the trees were placed on a literal chopping block:

The interior of the plaza in Milwaukee was covered in crushed stone and planted with 36 horse chestnut trees laid out in a 4 x 9 grid. The meticulously placed rows of trees are slightly more than eighteen feet apart on the eastern end of the plaza, increasing to just over 21 feet apart on the western end. The careful spacing created the illusion of a perfect rectangle, masterfully disguising the slightly trapezoidal shape of the plaza.

The grid of horse chestnuts speaks directly to [designer Dan] Kiley's time in Europe, specifically in Paris, France, where, as has been well documented, he was influenced by the garden of the Tuileries (also planted with horse chestnut trees), the imperial palace on the right bank of the Seine. 

1 comment:

Katrina said...

I am so sorry to hear this. Thanks for your efforts to save these trees.