Monday, March 18, 2019

Yesterday Finally Felt like Spring. Questions about a Walnut and Cork Oak.

Is this a Walnut? Could it be a child of the Judson Walnut?
Did you get out on Saturday or Sunday? Sunday was especially glorious, and it was the first day that didn't just hint at Spring, but really felt like Spring. Especially after the cold of February, it was a welcome change.

A little more than a block away from the Judson Black Walnut that overlooks Gilmore Field, another "walnut-y" tree lined the walk for a very nice little cottage.

The Judson tree is especially venerable. It was planted in 1863, but because it's in a back yard and on private property, it's a little hidden and not something easy to appreciate. From the street you can see most of the upper half, but not the trunk and where it roots and meets the ground. (Apparently there's an old Rose bush near it also.)

So how old is this other grand tree? And if it's a Walnut also, did a bird drop it, or was it planted deliberately by an early homeowner? It frames the steps and walk for the current house very nicely, and maybe it's only as old as the house. But since it's so close to the Judson tree, it is reasonable to ask if it's related.

At the Setziol rocks, some trees are beginning to bloom
The Cherries at the Capitol were not yet in bloom, but some cultivars or other fruit trees at the Royal Court apartments, as well as on the Mill Race were just beginning to blossom.

On Liberty at Mill Race Park, the prospect of blossoming trees promised to show the Setziol piece to best advantage. The piece seems like it belongs in a Japanese rock garden rather than a Brutalist expanse of "park." I think the Public Art Commission misjudged the site. On a glorious day, there was no foot traffic, no visitors in the park. Even with Gamberetti's patio nearby, it's an empty space we ornament with art, trees, and the edges and angles of 70s landscaping in concrete. Still, this is a time of year when it seems especially likely to vibrate with life. Check out the park and sculpture on a sunny day in the next couple of weeks.

The small covering that looked like a black mourning band finally went away some time ago on the Supreme Court building rehabilitation, and there is no better time than now, before the trees start to leaf out, to admire the glazed terra cotta detailing on our oldest State government building. It's just so lovely.

Supreme Court building of 1914 - W.C. Knighton
On the 12th Street side of it is a mysterious tree. Do you know what it is? I have wondered if it's a Cork Oak. Have you been to Portugal? Do you know what a Cork Oak looks like?

On the side of the Supreme Court - A cork oak?
At Mission & 12th they've finally demolished the gas station. And it looks like they are preparing to demolish the building to the north of it. (One demolition permit was issued, the other is in review.)

Demolition finally at Mission and 12th
The service station boarded up, before demolition

And at Leslie and 12th, staging for demolition - permit in review
As long as new stuff is built, these demolitions are reasonable. But if the demolitions are just for a bare lot or for more parking, they serve to empty out the urban fabric and create more dead zones. Now the house on Leslie on the northwest corner of the block is the last one standing, and it's not being kept very well. Probably its days are numbered.

Did you see any interesting new things when you were out over the weekend?

1 comment:

GreenDrake said...

It looks like both properties were purchased by Salem Health last year so it sure looks like another sea of parking. Pretty soon they'll need shuttle service.