Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The tree nest in El Jardín del Paraíso has been removed

[Photo by Roderick Romero]

The unique tree nest that surrounded a willow in El Jardin del Paraiso, the community garden on Fourth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D, is no more.

An EVG reader spotted the former octagonal treehouse broken up and lying in piles late last week...

[Photo via @artisanmatters]

East Village resident Roderick Romero created the structure in the fall of 2003. He also learned of its fate last week. No one from the garden, where he is a member, consulted him about the removal.

"It's horrible. It was a total surprise to me," he told me in a phone call.

Romero said that a garden committee member thought the structure had become decrepit, and started taking it down. When Romero saw what had happened — and what was remaining of the structure — he told the garden to just remove the rest.

"So many kids loved," he said. "Adults did too, but the kids got a lot of joy of it."

[Photo by Roderick Romero]

Romero, a well-known treehouse architect known for unconventional designs, has built structures for residential properties in the United States, Central America and Europe. This was his first treehouse in the "public domain," which he created at no charge to the garden. (This article for the Times in 2003 has more background.)

He said that he had done maintenance on the tree nest through the years and was unaware any structural issues.

The tree nest's departure reminded some residents of the removal of the Tower of Toys from the Sixth Street and Ave B Community Garden in 2008 a year after its creator, Eddie Boros, died. When told of this, Romero responded, "the only difference is I'm not dead."


Gojira said...

It wasn't corporate. Maybe if it had had a Citibike banner on it, it would have been allowed to stay. The way it was, it was too individualistic and reminiscent of an earlier East Village, and God knows we can't have that any more.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it was just deteriorated enough that it was unsafe for children to be playing in it? I know Roderick a number of years and I know the last thing he would want to see is a child hurt on tree house he built for children to have fun. Perhaps a fund could be started to commission him to build a new one?

Anonymous said...

maybe that fancy preschool that uses the garden as a private playground could put up some branded replacement....urgh.

Anonymous said...

This makes me so, so, so sad.

Anonymous said...

The comparison to the Tower of Toys is only appropriate if the treehouse was five stories tall and twisting over ready to fall in the next wind storm. Also the treehouse seems like it was inherently structurally sound as the Tower was absolutely not. However the treehouse violates NYC Parks insurance rules, perhaps that had something to do with it. When is EV Grieve going to cover the city license controversy that affects all the EV gardens? Go to the LUNGS meeting this Saturday, August 10 at 11am at DeColores Garden 313 E.8th St Btwn Aves B & C.

EV Grieve said...

Dear 8:17,

I did cover the initial meeting from May in the post titled "Concern over new GreenThumb regulations for community gardens." I saw the piece last week in amNY, though nowhere else. The LUNGS site doesn't have any current details or updates.

Is this meeting Saturday open to the public? Who is the meeting for? Please send me information. I know you have my email address.

Anonymous said...

Too accurate!

Jared the NYC Tour Guide said...

I loved this nest!

So special.

Too bad they didn't have the opportunity to communicate with the artist.