A tree grew in Long Island City.
On Wednesday, they chopped it down.
A Tree That Survived a Sculptor’s Chisel Is Chopped Down
The venerable 60-foot-tall Ailanthus altissima — the same species as the one made famous by Betty Smith’s novel “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” — had for decades been the centerpiece of the sculpture garden at the Noguchi Museum in Queens.
But the tree was dying, and its imminent collapse onto the museum could have been disastrous to a new $8.2 million renovation that had its groundbreaking on Tuesday.
“It’s sad, since it was there from the beginning — a living link with Isamu Noguchi,” said Bonnie Rychlak, the museum’s curator, referring to the Japanese-American artist who helped conceive and guide the museum to its opening in 1985, three years before his death.