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The iconic beloved palm trees inside the Brookfield World Financial Center have been removed. This was performed late at night and into the early morning of August 13th.
A Brookfield Properties spokesperson stated that newer tress will be replacing the older ones removed. New trees of the “Washingtonia Robusta” will be planted. The former trees had grown “too tall” and will be turned into mulch, not transplanted.
In addition to those comments, a public statement is posted near the construction, “Beginning the evening of Monday, August 12, the palm trees in the Winter Garden will be removed and replaced. Sixteen new Washingtonia robusta trees will be planted from August 19 through the 23rd. All work will take place in the evening hours. The palms are being removed as they have exceeded their normal indoor life, which is generally 10 years. Our landscape architects at John Mini Distinctive Landscapes have determined that the palms have achieved the maximum height under the Winter Garden’s glass ceiling and have begun to show signs of curvature and twisting. This requires the trees be removed and new, smaller palm trees will be planted in their stead. These trees were planted in September 2002 when the Winter Garden reopened a year after the 9/11 tragedy. The palms quickly came to symbolize new beginnings and change, and so much positivity. Replacing them is another step in that process as the Winter Garden enters its third evolution – the redevelopment of Brookfield Place. The trees will be mulched and used as fodder for serenity gardens at local hospitals to honor their role in the Winter Garden that made it both a place to meet and a place to rest.”
There was no public discussion on this major step, outraging many in the community (see comments section). Recall, the public protested the removal of the marble staircases in the Winter Garden. It is unknown whether the BPCA staff were aware of these plans in advance and allowed it.
When asked whether the marble stairs will still be preserved, the Brookfield spokesperson confirmed that they will remain. She referred to the renovations website.