Crown Heights

Historic Weeksville willow tree threatened by developers

May 8, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The historic willow tree in Weeksville. Image © 2018 Google Maps photo

A historic willow tree in Weeksville, one of the nation’s first free African-American settlements, will reportedly be cut down this week by developers.

Prospect Heights Patch, a local website, reported Tuesday that activists who have been trying to save the 70-plus-year-old tree now believe they have lost the fight.

That fight dates back to 2015, when developers bought the lot on Schenectady Avenue between Pacific and Dean streets and announced plans for a four-story residential building. 

The tree stands within the Imani Community Garden, which sits on three lots in total. The New York Restoration Project bought the two lots on either side of the tree in 1999, but due to an error, didn’t buy the middle one, the website reported. 

“It has a lot of history in the community and is just an icon for that neighborhood, so it’d just be a huge loss for the community,” Greg Todd, a neighborhood resident who is leading the effort to save the tree, told the website.

The Brooklyn Eagle previously reported that owner Mendy Deutsch offered to swap the tree’s lot for one of the other two lots, but wanted $200,000 to do the swap. 

 

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